Recap: Mad Men – Season 3, Episode 9: “Wee Small Hours”

Articles | Oct 14th, 2009

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Last Sunday’s episode of Mad Men proved me both right and wrong. Don did go off and start his affair with the school teacher but Betty also started an affair of her own and didn’t end things with Henry like I had thought. “Wee Small Hours” opens with Betty fantasizing about Henry kissing her on her fainting chair. She is brought to reality by a phone call from Hilton, who doesn’t seem to understand the concept of personal space when it comes to Don.

The next morning Betty writes a letter to Henry and they being the correspondence part of their affair. He later drops by the house and Betty is put in a spot because her housekeeper spots them. Betty puts on a fundraiser for Henry’s boss, Governor Rockefeller, to go along with her cover story. She is severely disappointed when Henry doesn’t show up and confronts him in his office. They share another kiss and Betty stops and says it’s “tawdry.” Betty has childish instincts where she knows what she wants and throws fits to get it but she that is compounded with guilt a child feels. She can’t go into this affair without feeling that guilt.

Don meanwhile has affair as if to alleviate something inside him. After one of Hilton’s night calls, Don makes his way to the office and runs into Sally’s teacher Suzanne jogging on the road. It can be asked whether or not Don really runs into her because his neighbor already told him Suzanne’s jogging route. Suzanne seems like the brunette version of Betty. She is beautiful yet childish. She flirts with Don but calls him out at the same time. It’s all very Betty-like and annoying too. Don’s previous liaisons were with strong women figures but Suzanne seems like a child too.

At the office, the boys are doing a commercial for Lucky Strike when Sal gets propositioned by Lee Garner, Jr. the man from Lucky Strike. Sal backs away and turns him down with makes Lee Garner, Jr. very upset. He calls to have him off the commercial. When Sal is left on the commercial, Lee Garner, Jr. storms out. The boys have to explain to Don what happened and here we see a different side of Don. He lets Sal know that he should have done what Lee Garner, Jr. wanted and refers to homosexuals as “you people.” The entire episode has references to Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech and the equality undertones nicely parallel the homosexuality here. After this and a bad pitch to Hilton earlier in the episode, it seems as if the stable parts of Don’s life are falling apart. As a result, he is just making bad decision after bad decision and turning into the man that he strived to get away from.


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