What's your name?
Donald Draper. But it used to be Dick Whitman.
It was the conversation we never thought would take place on Mad Men. But it was also the anchor of the scene that highlighted "The Gypsy and the Hobo," possibly the best episode in the history of this great show.
Follow the link above for a full recap of events from the hour, and read on for our take on it.
This week's episode showcased our favorite characters, acting like the polar opposite of everything we're used to. There was Roger Sterling, entertaining a former lover by getting drunk and acting like a jerk (okay, we're used to that), but then turning down her advances.
Was this because he's actually in love with Jane, or because he admits this woman broke his heart many years ago? Either way, this was a soft, vulnerable side that viewers rarely see. Even the phone call he placed on behalf of Joan seemed to be made with nothing but benevolent motives. Talk about a change!
Joan, of course, finally stopped playing the role of submissive housewife. Hitting your husband over the head with a vase is always a good way to force him to notice you; and to join the army, apparently. We don't see this ending well for Greg, and we can't say we're bothered by that fact.
Then there was Don and Betty - and the talk. Earlier in the episode, Don had told a client that the only way to improve her product's image was to change its name. It's a message he knows from experience. But he was finally confronted about his former life as Dick Whitman, as Betty forced a confession out of her husband.
But she didn't expect the reaction she got. Did any of us? There was no pitch, no attempt to regain power from his wife. Instead, Don told Betty everything. About his abusive father, his mother the prostitute, even the suicide of his brother. And that's when the tears flowed, when Jon Hamm locked up this year's Emmy and when Betty felt sorry for her husband, even when she had promised not to.
By the end of the episode, the Drapers almost seemed like a normal, healthy family. Don almost seemed happy when asked who he was supposed to be on Halloween. Still, rough times are ahead.
Will Suzanne eventually apologize to Betty? She doesn't know what Don owned up to. How will Don respond to this new balance of power in the marriage?
Those are questions for next week. For now, let's bask this tremendous hour of television and relive a few Mad Men quotes from it:
Betty: What would you do if you were me? Would you love you?
Don: I was surprised you ever loved me. | permalink
Betty: All this time I thought you were some football player that hated his family. | permalink
Betty: Are you thinking of what to say? Or are you just looking at that door?
Don: I'm not going anywhere. | permalink
Don: I can explain.
Betty: I know you can. You're a gifted storyteller. | permalink