Sometimes the reason it takes me so long to write a recap is because I like the watch the episodes several times. I like to make sure that I understand the implications of the actions of the characters. This is a slow moving series, one that requires it’s audience to pay close attention. Imagine my discomfort at the pace of season three then. While last Sunday’s episode probably could have only occurred as a season finale, I think it would have been interesting to see it as a season premiere for next season. With that being said, let’s recap.
Betty finally does decide that she wants a divorce from Don. He makes mention of it to Roger who tells him about Henry. He is drunk and he is mad. As we’ve seen before, especially in this season, Don has no problem disparaging anyone when he doesn’t get his way. In a very powerful scene between the two, he grabs her face and calls her “Whore.” What a label for her to wear when he has been unfaithful throughout their entire marriage. I think that line might have carried more weight if Don had not had that crazy and hasty relationship with the hippie teacher. I would have loved for Don to be faithful this season and then seen his world crash down. It is as if the writers of Mad Men just wrote in the affair because they feel it’s obligatory. It’s not. Immediately after Don calls Betty “whore” she picks up Baby Gene and tells Don she wants him out of the house. Maybe she picked up the baby for protection. Either way, Betty still has the upper hand here. He can call her any dirty name in the book, it doesn’t matter. She wins this fight.
The other storyline, perhaps the biggest development and change that took place was the office revolt. Don learns from Conrad Hilton that Sterling Cooper is being sold, again. Don is pissed. He goes to Cooper to convince him that they should buy the company back. He says he wants to “build something.” I find it interesting that previously Don did not want any permanency whatsoever. Now that the family, his home that he built fell apart he needs to build something new. They both go to Roger (this is where Don and Roger make up) and convince him to go in. When they learn they can’t buy the company back they decide to defect. They have Lane Price, their British watchdog, go in with them all to create Sterling Cooper Draper Price. What a name. It’ll be interesting to see who stays and who goes. So far, Pete, Peggy, Harry, and Joan have joined Sterling Cooper Draper Price. In a very cute scene when the rest of the staff learns of the defect, Kinsey looks in Peggy’s office and sees that she’s gone. He’s disappointed. I hope they bring back Kinsey.
The whole episode was definitely exciting and while it was sweet to see Joan and Roger together (they needed her to take a few office things), it all had a Johnny Oceans feel to it. I don’t feel like the episode served any purpose except to set up next season which is why I felt that it could have waited until next season. Maybe that’s just me. I was just left feeling a bit disappointed.