Well, I think it’s far to say that they had dirty dreams in the ’60s, based on what’s running through Betty’s mind when the phone rings and wakes her up…and when she’s holding the baby, no less. Turns out it’s Connie, calling for Don and trying to wrack his brain about a business decision. Whether or not it’s helpful for Connie isn’t immediately evident, but it prevents Don from getting back to sleep, leading him to a late-night drive and a close encounter with Sally’s teacher on a jog, eventually finding him heading to his office and crashing on the couch. Betty, meanwhile, tries to be a dutiful mother and see the kids off to the school, but when she’s given the opportunity to bail out and go to sleep, she does…but not before first composing a letter to Henry Francis, asking, “Does anyone else read this?” The answer: not if Betty’s going to be writing him.
The Lucky Strike ad campaign looked like it was going to result in Sal getting lucky, but after rejecting the drunken advances of Lee Garner, Jr., the company’s representative, he quickly found himself in a position where the guy wanted him off the project. It was such a surreal event for all parties concerned…Garner for having his advances shunned, Sal for getting hit on in the first place, and then Harry for getting the alcohol-fueled phone call from Garner…that it’s no wonder that the whole situation ended up completely FUBAR, but I have to admit that I didn’t expect it to truly end with Sal getting dismissed from Sterling-Cooper. My wife was particularly fascinated by the conversation between Don and Sal, specifically when Sal questioned the sort of reaction that would’ve occurred had it been a woman who had been hit on: “It would depend on who the woman was and what I knew about her.” It was harsh, but it’s not like we’re dealing with a world of H.R. interactions and constant lawsuits. We’re in Take-One-For-The-Team territory, and although you could see from Don’s reaction that his knowledge of Sal’s shenanigans doesn’t mean in any way that he approves of them, one must rise above and look at the business side of the situation…and the fact of the matter is that Lucky Strike is a big account, and Sal should’ve done anything to save it. Anything.
Aside from Sal’s storyline, this week was predominantly about two burgeoning relationships: the one between Betty and Henry, and the one between Don and…Connie? Yeah, it’s fair to say that, although Don’s obviously a smitten kitten when it comes to Sally’s teacher, the more important goings-on this week were between him and Mr. Hilton. It’s made imminently clear that it’s not exactly easy to have a normal sleeping schedule with you’re working with Connie, but it’s even harder to figure out where you stand with the man. The two of them shared several in-depth conversations over late night drinks (including the great moment when they’re enjoying a little bit of “hair tonic” from circa the Prohibition era), and Connie all but said that he viewed Don as being like a son, but by episode’s end, Connie seems furious at Don for being unable to read him like a book about this whole “Hiltons on the moon” concept. Between this incident and the Lucky Strike fiasco, then coming home to Betty being Betty, given what we know about Don, it’s only to be expected that he would be going out trolling for a little stress relief. Still, how about that pitiful excuse of claiming that Connie called, even though he knows full well that Betty would’ve heard the phone if he had? Man, Don’s just not even trying any more…
Meanwhile, Betty’s attempts at pursuing something with Henry didn’t exactly go as she’d planned. When it appeared that they’d be able to enjoy their handwritten communiques without prying eyes, she started to get excited, but then he tried to take it a step further by showing up at the Draper residence, and that completely freaked her out. (By the way, just how stupid does Betty think Carla is, anyway?) Still, after their subsequent phone call, she started to get excited again, only be totally let down when he bailed out on a campaign-related appearance and sent someone else in his stead. Clearly, this is a case where the man and the woman are approaching the situation from two completely different directions, but you can kind of understand her reaction of showing up at his office and throwing the locked box at him. And, hey, it did lead to a passionate kiss…well, you know, as passionate as an ice queen like Betty gets. But in the end, she backed away from the situation, and it looked for a moment like the relationship between Don and Sally’s teacher was traveling on a parallel track, but if you really thought it would end that way, then you’re just not giving the old Don Draper charm enough credit. Instead, he’s going back to school, and Betty…well, she’s back to dreaming the same dreams she was when the episode back.
A few random comments to close:
* Peggy teamed up with the two new guys to offer a possible Hilton campaign, but her new comrades in arms didn’t do her any favors, though at least part of that may have been due to Don’s lack of sleep. It did, however, result in at least one great line from Don toward the young buck with the highly accented speech: “Now that I can finally understand you, I’m less impressed with what you have to say.”
* I thought it was hilarious that Pete spent the entire scene on the set of the Lucky Strike commercial coughing up a lung from his attempt to smoke one of the client’s cigarettes.
* I loved that, when Don came home from having to back Sterling’s decision to fire Sal, he already had bottle and glass in hand before he answered Betty’s question, “How was your day?”