It’s Thanksgiving of 1966. New York City has a smog issue. It killed 169 people.
Draper Love Nest:
Don gets the kids for the weekend (since it is November is it Thanksgiving weekend?) and takes Bobby and Gene out while Megan and Sally appear to be spending their time entirely at the Draper Love Nest. Baseball season’s over, not sure if the Garden with Rangers or Knicks games would be appropriate for two little kids (Bobby #4 is super short) nor would Yankee or Shea Stadium for a Jets or Giants game. Maybe a movie? Only kids-related films I could find that could fit is the Adam West Batman film or the family comedy The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming! Would he take them to the parade? Would Sally and Megan not go? Screw it, Don is totally taking the boys to see Fantastic Voyage or 10,000 B.C. to keep up with the Raquel Welch quotient.
Megan appears to be doing a table reading of a script she has. It sounds very Betty. Is she having Sally or Don do a table reading with her? I believe it has to be a script because it seems un-Megan, especially given the context of her previous rapports with Don, Sally, or any of the kids.
Henry and Betty have driven to the city. Their conversation seems a bit too open to have the kids sitting in the back. So are the going into the city for something? Are they seeing somebody? Or are they just picking up the kids for the Francis version of Thanksgiving? Henry seems to be in a hurry while stuck in traffic. This drive also seems to be all about Betty the way Harry talks to her in an exasperated manner and it does not seem like the first time she is having this little moment. They’re going to some place she wants to that Henry is not too enthused about.
Crackpot theory: Did Megan do the unthinkable and invite those two over for Thanksgiving dinner? Surprise again, Don! She does it because she got a TV or theater call back to play an evil mother. She slyly invites Betty because Sally remarks how much the part is like her mother. Betty is there to be studied!
Don does indeed appear to be surprised by something Megan tells him in a very Don, “Are you kidding me?!?” way. Is it something to do with her new acting career or is it something as simple as the kids are coming at last second? I notice that Don and Megan are in the same clothes as they are shown when Don kisses Megan goodbye when he takes the boys out (although it is not very noticeable with Don in an overcoat) which seems to take place after the news. Given Betty’s propensity for such shenanigans, such as inadvertently planting the seed for Don’s second marriage by firing Carla for the Disneyland trip, this is believable. But boy how I would love for some legit Betty-Megan interactions. Betty last referred to her as the 20 year-old girlfriend.
I noticed that on the original promo telecast there was Sally remarking, “How did you do that?” or something in that vein. I think she was talking to Megan. So I am guessing there is going to be a little bit of girl time between those two. Betty’s going to hate that.
Prediction: Don and Megan get the kids for Thanksgiving weekend thanks to Henry’s tight schedule but Betty demands that on their way to what I assume is his political operative functions she wants to go to the Draper Love Nest to check in on Sally or just specifically, Sally and ‘that good for nuthin’ skinny French-Canadian harlot who stole my first husband when I was prepping to win him back with booze and angry sex in an empty house who has now also stolen my daughter’. Megan is actually doing a table reading with Sally who will also be interested in acting and they watch the vampire soap opera Dark Shadows that Sally is OBSESSED with since neither of them want to even think about going out in the smog. Also note, Megan still barefoot and in jeans (**gasp**). Maybe Megan gets a Dark Shadows script. Like many soap operas it was shot in New York and since the days of yore soap opera appearances provided a steady pay check to stage actors. Dark Shadows, however, may be a little too pop history but it could just be the script.
Now moving onto SCDP:
Much like Don’s lonely exit from the office of SCDP after Megan left. Did he pull an all-nighter (Megan’s acting classes are at night) or did he just go into an empty office on a holiday? He does have a lot of catching up to do.
Bert Cooper is telling who we presume is Roger that ‘This requires your finesse’. Another feather in the cap for ‘Roger’s got his groove back!’. Does Don’s fall mean Roger’s rise from the ashes? Roger is also calling somebody to have dinner. Is it Mona? It cannot be Joan, since I think Roger would just go into her office to ask. Or is it Jane’s pseudo-intellectual psychologist who introduced him to LSD? Or is it a client/account?
Harry Crane once again appears to project himself onto a situation because when he says ‘empty promises’, Peggy’s sarcastically inquisitive ‘What were you promised?’ seems like a line any character would ask to Harry in that situation because of what a total buffoon he has become. Seems that the creative team may be getting a pep talk from Harry as Head of Media and Peggy acting out since really, when was the last time Harry was specifically involved in anything work-related besides him smoking pot at a Rolling Stones concert?
Joan’s “It’s something to talk about.” I notice her hair is less put together. She may be talking about a current event, I guess. Too oblique for even me to try and decipher.
Pete is in Loveland over Beth, the poster girl for Mother’s Little Helper. What else could he be laying down in his office looking stupid for? But wait, who is this unexpected person in his office? Is it Beth? Pete’s tone makes me think it has to be a woman and a very vulnerable situation about to unfold.
Pete has been stalking Beth and she gives him a tearfully depressing piece of her mind to him before she splatters it while falling into Chekhov’s empty elevator shaft… or she just kills herself at SDCP. Her death leads Howard to suspect the affair and as does Trudy who immediately wants a divorce that causes her father to take away the accounts he has given Pete through Clearosil. The PR damage to the SCDP makes Don’s letter to Lucky Strike a distant memory and Pete has to be put on leave if not quit/fired from his position. I could go on and on. SCDP’s competition has to deal with dropping balloons on civil rights activists, they have to deal with dropping liaisons off buildings. Either way, Pete is destroyed professionally, ethically, psychologically, and romantically.
Transition into “You wonder who is going to get hit next!” by Don at a pitch meeting (Ginzo is beside him). Okay now even the promos have the illusions to violence and death and given this comes off a Pete clip…. Nah, it could be Don trying to get his groove back too.
Also missing from the original promo after episode is a scene of Pete with Bert Cooper, Don, and I think Roger all on an elevator telling all of them to be patient (But sadly no Lane Pryce). Pete would be the first one to be neurotic about an account so I am pretty sure people catch on to his weird behavior. In fact, I think he gets a look from Bert and Don. They are all on an elevator in their trench-coats either all going to see a client are just had a rough time with a client. Side-eyes could mean latter.
It’s back to work time at SCDP. Don will finally try to be serious and the copy-writers are moving on to media with an account (oh no, are we back to the Heinz Beans account?). Peggy’s work relations continue to be rocky while Ginsberg’s prospects are on the up with Don having him as his new ear to youth culture. Roger definitely gets his groove back with a client. Pete does indeed get a visit from Beth to cut it out and she probably is not long for this world but not as dramatic as my crackpot theory (coming back to the city was hard enough, I am thinking if there is a suicide it is in Howard’s love nest to spite him). Pete Campbell is also probably gone from even reasonable work productivity, suicide or not. Hopefully there is some Lane Pryce. Maybe that is who Joan was talking to!