Oct 27, 2009

Hedging their Bets (warning, spoilers)

Season 3 of Mad Men seems to have finally found its feet. So far this season, the writing's been okayish, with a lot of that non-comittal noodling in the manner of TV dramas, the worst offender being the episode where the new British overlord arrived — remember him? — only to be sent packing by a rogue mower. But with the end of the season fast approaching, the writers have finally started to dole out a few Big Dramatic Events, the biggest and most dramatic being Betsy's discovery of Don's secret. Betsy never looked better, in her polite but firm roll-neck sweater (no oggling me, buster) while Don shakily lit his cigarette. But the writers hedged their bets long ago: the whole secret identity thing is so weirdly callibrated, with no real victim, and a perfectly understandable motive. It's a shadowless crime. Hard to know what to make of it, and certainly not worth leaving your husband for. Whether Don sticks around is another reason. In my limited experience of this things, people keep secrets out of all-devouring, ground-splitting shame. If that secret is prematurely disinterred by A N Other, that other had better watch her neck. Betsy stands a very good chance of becoming someone whose eyes Don cannot bear to meet. I wish they'd shown him eyeing the exit — more cornered animal. Teach was waiting in the car after all. I loved her heartbreak. And how delighted I am to hear Joanie's hubbie is Vietnam-bound. Roll on, Tet offensive! For now, the flower pot to the back of the head will have to do.

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