Mad Men 3.5 “The Fog” Recap

Previously on Mad Men: Don watched Sally’s teacher dance around a maypole and liked it, Peggy gave away Pete’s baby, Grandpa Gene died and Sally was understandably upset, Pete got Freddy Rumsen fired after Freddy pissed his pants and Peggy ended up getting Freddy’s job, Duck Phillips hates Don Draper and got the ax from Sterling Cooper.

Don and Betty visit Sally’s teacher for a conference. Don slides right behind a student’s desk, but Betty is about 11 months pregnant at this point, so Sally’s teacher offers up her chair. Sally got into a fight with the class bruiser at the water fountain, and there’s a quick cut of Sally, disheveled and starring into the camera, wiping a smear of blood across her left cheek. The bruiser didn’t need any stitches or anything, the teacher is mostly just concerned about Sally’s new bad behavior. She innocently asks if anything is going on at home, and finds out Grandpa Gene passed away two weeks ago. The teacher is flustered, and offers her condolences. Betty and Don are somewhat surprised Sally didn’t say anything, but the teacher wonders why they didn’t send word themselves – Sally never even missed a day of school. But when asked if Sally went to the funeral, Betty quickly says, “Why would we put her through that?” Don adds, “I don’t think children belong in graveyards.” The teacher is embarrassed, but realizes now why Sally was asking so many questions about Medgar Evers murder. Betty gets up, saying she needs to use the restroom, and the teacher says they can do this another time, but Betty protests it’s just because of her condition and heads off. Sally’s teacher apologizes again to Don, and says Sally needs more attention, she’s grieving, which is so sad since it should be a happy time. “There is a very special pain to losing someone at that age. I don’t know if you can understand that,” she says. “I can,” Don replies, looking at her steadily. Betty returns, and it’s agreed just to put the matter behind them. “It’s going to be a beautiful summer,” the teacher smiles.

Pryce is going over expense reports. Sal defends his $82 in expenses as Don walks in the conference room. “I signed his receipts, didn’t I?” Don backs him up. Pryce will not be deterred from his penny pinching ways, and begins to address, “The amount of pencils, pens, pads, paper and postage that are currently being consumed suit a company four times our size.” Don’s had enough, and gets up and walks out, just moments after arriving. “It has also been brought to my attention that a credenza has disappeared, a fact that I believe necessitates a conspiracy,” Pryce continues.

Paul and Pete commiserate over the Admiral TV account. Their sales are flat, and Pete’s got nothing, except – maybe new creative? Paul gets interested. They talk about the cities where more TVs are being purchased, and Pete realizes it could be “Negroes” buying the TVs. Harry pops in with the juicy news Lois caught her scarf in the Xerox machine. Ken pops in with the gossip as well, and needles Pete about his new watch from Birdseye. He and Paul decamp to a Met’s game, as Pete fumes.

Don dictates a letter to his secretary, and is interrupted by Pryce. Don argues they bought Sterling Cooper because they do this better than the Brits, and that “part of that is letting our creatives be unproductive until they are.” “Pennies make pounds, and pounds make profits,” Pryce professes. Perhaps he missed the memo that pennies make dollars here in the US. Don gets him to lay off by suggesting he start getting his fingernails dirty with Bert Cooper and Harry Crane selling media. “And lay off expense accounts – think of the men’s morale, not just your own,” Don says. “You’ve obviously seen Bridge On the River Kwai,” Pryce smiles. “I’ve seen everything. You have my ticket stubs,” Don replies.

Pete gets a call – his Uncle Herman is on the line. “Uncle Herman?! My goodness, is Aunt Alice all right?” he says worriedly. Oops, it’s really Duck Phillips, who’s given name is actually Herman. Pete’s not thrilled with Duck’s ruse, since he has a 91 year old Uncle Herman, but Duck smoothes things over by inviting Pete to lunch. Duck is at Gray now, and is scouting Pete. Pete can expect a lunch invite soon – he’ll have his girl call Pete’s girl and say it’s Clorox. I think I’d rather drink Clorox than have lunch with Duck.

Don comes home to a seemingly empty house and a ringing phone. Don calls out he’ll answer it, and it’s Suzanne Farrell, Sally’s teacher. She’s calling to apologize again, and we cut to a shot of her, bra strap dangling and drink in hand. A thousand warning bells start ringing in my head, “Don’t Do It Don!”, as she confesses she might have overreacted because her own father passed away when she was eight. “I don’t know why I’m calling, I’m embarrassing myself,” she sighs. He smiles, and says, “No, you’re fine.” Betty calls out and he hangs up. “It’s time to go,” she says. With a slight deer in headlights look, he says, “OK, I’ll get my keys.” “They’re in your hand,” Betty smiles. “Francine took the kids. Who was that?” “No one,” Don replies. The warning bells start jangling again as they leave for the hospital.

They arrive at the hospital and after a “Hang in there, Betts,” and a kiss on the top of her head, Don’s work is done. Betty is wheeled down the hallway and sees a janitor who looks familiar. “Daddy!” she calls. The nurse admonishes her that she can call out all she wants here, but they’re about to go by the nursery. “Of course,” Betty replies. Betty tries to fill out some paperwork, but the pen won’t work. The nurse takes over, and we learn that Betty will not be giving the baby the breast, she ate lunch, and her water never breaks.

Waiting room with Don. A nurse come in, and it’s Lisa Simpson! She calls out for Joseph Waddell, but is answered by Dennis Hobart instead. He’s wondering what’s going on with his wife, Pamela. Nurse Lisa tells him she’s fine, the baby is breach and they’re calling in a specialist. “What?!” he says, shocked. “Didn’t someone get your permission?” Nurse Lisa asks, and the modern woman who has birthed a baby in me starts fuming, “PERMISSION? Can’t a grown woman give her own damn permission?!” Dennis is not pleased, but Nurse Lisa smooths things over and receives his permission and leaves. “This is not how I pictured it,” he says to Don. “Where’s all the backslapping?” He brought a bottle of Johnny Walker Red to celebrate, and Don quickly makes friends. Turns out Dennis has been there all day – he even called in to work at the prison – and is bored. Don sort of half listens as he flips through a magazine, but when Dennis asks him if he’s done this before, he admits this is his third. “Yet I never thought to bring a bottle,” he adds. “My daughter took forever. I remember being pretty worked up. The nurse said don’t forget – you’re wife’s in the boat, you’re on the shore.” Damn straight, skippy. Dennis asks if Don has a boy as well, Don smiles that he does. “You throw a ball around?” Dennis aks. Don looks uncomfortable, and admits, “Not enough.” He goes back to reading and rips out an ad.

Betty is in a gown being prepared for delivery. She’ll be shaved and given an enema. They really didn’t flinch from depicting how having a baby used to be.

Don and Dennis are still hanging out. Dennis shares the excitement of being a prison guard in Sing Sing. The prisoners respect him because he’s dangerous and has a badge. “How do they know you’re dangerous?” Don asks. Dennis shrugs with a little smile in reply. Dennis get philosophical in his drunkenness, and says how everyone in A block would blame their mom and dad. “That’s a bull excuse,” Don says. “That’s true, Don,” Dennis readily agrees. They look troubled.

The nurse keeps stabbing Betty, looking for a vein. Turns out Betty’s regular doctor is in the city. Betty gets upset, saying she wants her doctor, but just as she’s getting going, the medication kicks in and she’s off to twilight land. No, not with the sparkly vampires.

The Draper street. It’s a little too technicolor and the violins are playing, but Betty, looking slim and glowing in a spaghetti strapped gown, is happy. A green caterpillar slides down a silken thread, landing in her palm. She smiles at it, then closes her palm around it. The music plays, as we cut to –

Don and Dennis, beating the hell out of a cigarette machine in the hospital. A candy striper is helping them fish out Don’s cigs. They’re successful, and the candy striper heads off, with Dennis ogling her. “What do you make her for, 16?” he leers. Don has enough sense of decorum to look slightly embarrassed. The guys share a smoke, and Dennis gets all choked up. “That’s my girl in there. If something happens to her. . . I just don’t know what I’d do. And then there’d be that baby. How could I love that baby?” Don has flashbacks to his own birth, and quotes Sal (quoting Balzac),”Our worst fears lie in anticipation.” “You so sure about that?” Dennis replies.

“I wanna go home!” Betty shrieks. “Where’s Don?!” “She can’t hear you,” the doctors says. “The hell I can’t!” Betty shouts. “He’s in the waiting room!” the nurse angrily replies. “Bull. He’s never where you expect him to be. Have you seen him? Have you been with him? Someone call him. I don’t want to be here. Why are you doing this to me?” she says, dazed, and sweaty. The unflinching portrayal of the birth process continues.

Don dozes in the waiting room while watching TV. Nurse Lisa comes in and wakes Dennis, asleep on a couch, and tells him he has a little baby boy. She says the wife and baby are fine, but he can’t go in to see her because she lost a lot of blood and needed transfusions. He can see his son in the nursery though. He’s happy as can be, and Don offers his congratulations. Dennis gets right up close, and puts a hand on Don’s cheek. “You’re an honest guy. Believe me, I’m an expert,” he says, as Don looks away, knowing the truth. “Go see your baby,” Don advises. “Why do they put up with us? I mean, we don’t deserve it. This is a fresh start. I don’t know who’s up there, but I’m saying this to you – I’m going to be better. I’m going to be a better man. Tell me you heard me,” Dennis says. “I heard you,” Don replies, eyebrows raised. Dennis leaves, and Don looks thoughtful.

don-betty-babyBack to Betty, sweaty and dazed on a gurney. “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t do it,” she murmurs. “Either you can do it, or we will, but it’s going to come out some way,” the nurse sharply replies. Betty makes it back to twilight land. This time she’s trailing through the halls of the hospital in her hospital gown. As she walks, she steps through a door and is dressed in a chic maternity top and is home again. The janitor from the hospital is mopping the floor off the kitchen, and it’s Gene. “Daddy?” “Who are you?” he replies. “It’s me.” “I don’t know you,” he replies. “It’s me, Elizabeth. You do know me.” He turns and smiles. “OK, so it’s me. I had to go away.” “But don’t you miss me?” Betty wonders. “Of course,” he smiles. He keeps mopping, and it’s a big bloody streak on the floor, just like we saw on Sally’s cheek earlier. “Am I dying?” Betty asks. “Ask your mother.” “Elizabeth! Shut your mouth, you’ll catch flies,” Ruth admonishes. She’s over by the kitchen table with Medgar Evers. “I left my lunch pail on the bus. And I’m having a baby,” says Betty. “You see what happens to people who speak up?” Ruth replies, holding up a bloody towel from Medgar Evers. “Be happy with what you have.” “Hey, you’ll be OK,” Gene adds. “You’re a housecat. You’re very important, and you have little to do. ” Betty stands mute, but I’m tempted to start yelling at the TV.

Time passes in the form of shadows shifting on the wall. We focus on a close up of Betty’s face, still sweaty, surrounded by lank hair. The camera pulls out, and lo, there’s a baby in her arms. She looks down at it. “She’s beautiful,” she sighs. “It’s a boy,” Don replies, smiling. She looks up, just noticing he’s there. “Oh, you look terrible,” she says. “How do you feel?” he says, sitting on the bed beside her. “I need to put my face on.” “You look beautiful, Betts.” “Gene.” “What did you say?” “His name is Eugene.” “We don’t have to decide that now,” Don says. “Gene,” Betty says, looking at the baby as he coos. You’re going to lose this one, Don, and rightly so. He kisses her, and we see them reflected in a mirror outside the arrives at Sterling Cooper. “Did you get any sleep?” his secretary kindly asks. “No. And I don’t expect to for the next six months,” he wisely replies. He enters his office to find it filled with baby gifts. Roger calls him, saying, “Da da,” as he eats a sundae. Roger’s really regressing, isn’t he? He asks the baby’s name, saying Jane wants to put it on the back of a yacht or something. “No name yet,” Don replies. Turns out the art department was at a standstill without Don, and Pryce is on Roger’s back. “I missed half a day!” he protests. “Betty had the baby, not you,” is Roger’s reply. “I’ll see what I can do,” Don replies.

Peggy’s at lunch with Duck. Unlike me, she likes Duck’s turtleneck. Pete arrives to join them, and stiffens up immediately upon seeing Peggy. “What’s she doing here?” he seethes. “Don’t worry about it, I know what I’m doing,” Duck smarms. “No, you don’t,” Pete replies. Nope, he really doesn’t. Pete sits, and Peggy explains she didn’t know until she got there. Duck says he realizes they have a secret relationship, and they both look like they swallowed lemons. Turns out Duck just thinks it’s professional. He offers the moon and stars, but Pete’s not impressed. Peggy is intrigued. “This is your time, Peggy,” Duck smarms.

Pete returns, and asks Hollis the elevator operator about his TV. Hollis refuses to speak for all African Americans as to why one TV is superior to the other, and Pete acts like an entitled dick. Hollis manages to diffuse the situation. “It’s my job,” Pete offers. “Every job has it’s ups and downs,” Hollis quips. “You don’t watch baseball? I don’t believe you,” Pete says. Hollis offers a laugh, and Pete finally leaves him alone.

Betty stands at the hospital window, and waves down to Don and the kids while holding their new little brother.don-sally-ep5Late at night, Don stands cooking a snack. Sally creeps in to join him. They share a nice father/daughter moment over eggs and hash, with Sally sharing some wisdom from Miss Farrell, her teacher. “Everything is going to be fine,” Don says as they dig in.

Don walks down the hospital hall with a boquet of flowers. He smiles as Dennis and his wife go past, but Dennis casts his eyes down. There’s various theories on why, with one being something happened to the baby (since she’s not holding one), and the other being he feels ashamed because he realizes that he can’t live up to the promise he made Don to be a better man. Don is just as puzzled as we are.

Pete, backed up by Harry, meets with the guys from Admiral. They’re telling tales of Burt Peterson’s firing while Pete tries to build a rapport with them. Pete tells them their sales to Negroes are growing, which the guys from Admiral admit they know. Pete is momentarily thrown off, but resumes his pitch, showing the Admiral people copies of Jet and Ebony, and pitching targeted ads. The Admiral guys protest then they’re making twice as many ads, but Pete says no, they’ll have integrated ads. “I don’t think that’s legal,” the bespectacled Admiral guy frowns. “Of course it’s legal,” Pete retorts. “This conversation is not worth having,” the other Admiral guy says. “Who’s to say that Negroes aren’t buying Admiral televisions because they think white people want them?” Pete looks at the guy like he’s speaking a foreign language.

Peggy visits Don, who’s resting in his office. She doesn’t know if this is the best time to talk to him, but he says he invited her in, and offers her a seat. She makes her pitch for equal pay for equal work, saying they passed a law. “It’s not a good time,” Don says. “It’s not going to happen, not now. I’m fighting for paperclips around here.” “I look at you, and I think – I want what he has,” Peggy says. “You have everything, and so much of it.” “I suppose that’s probably true,” Don admits, “What do you want me to say?” “I don’t think I could be any clearer,” Peggy replies, offended. “What if this is my time?” Peggy says, her jaw set as she walks out the door.

She runs into Pete, and they get into a disagreement about the whole meeting with Duck. Peggy argues that what she does is none of his business. “Your decisions affect me,” he says, glaring. She has no reply to that, and walks away.

Betty fills out some more welcome paperwork in the hospital. Welcome to the world and the State of New York, Eugene Scott Draper.

Pete walks into Cooper’s office. “If it isn’t Martin Luther King. I should drop kick you off the roof,” Roger snarls. Cooper lays it out for Pete, saying Admiral is pissed. Pete thinks they’re being stupid – money is money. Cooper and Roger scream and rage against Pete, until Pryce steps in as the voice of reason. “Are we done with the flogging? If I may, Bert, Roger, it does seem as if there’s money to be made in the negro market. . . I don’t think it would be wrong of us to pursue it. . . I just moved here, I’m a stranger in a strange land. But I can tell you, there’s definitely something going on.” Bert half-heartedly agrees to look into it, and sends Pete away.betty-comes-homeDon brings Betty and baby Gene home. Francine is there with the kids, and eagerly grabs the baby so Betty can greet Sally and Bobby. Betty’s fridge is packed with food from the neighbors. Francine thinks she’s making a mistake allowing Carla to go, but Betty protests Carla has already been away from her family for several days. Francine offers she know some girls, and Don asks if Betty wants something to eat. She agrees, and starts to get up, but Don gently says he’ll get it, and takes the kids off to the kitchen. Betty and Francine exchange pleased looks over the baby on the couch.

The middle of the night. Baby Gene howls, waking Betty. She rises and stumbles to the hallway, pausing a moment as the baby continues to cry. She pulls herself together, and heads in to care for the baby.

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