Betty’s Fat and Don’s Old…I’m not kidding, Mad Men Season 5, Episode 3

By Jasmine Wong

If you didn’t notice in last week’s two-hour premiere, Mrs. Betty Francis was glaringly missing. While she’s not my favorite character at all (that time she told Bobby to bang his head against a wall because he was bored is one of my favorite awful parenting moments), I was relieved to see her back.

And boy, was she back, in a bigger way, literally. Ladies and gentlemen, BETTY IS FAT. And I mean like, really fat. Obviously it’s to hide January Jones’ real life pregnancy, but honestly, I think they added more fat make-up because I doubt she was THAT fat.

Poor Betty, the episode opens with her unable to fit into her dress and then quickly cuts to Don Draper easily zipping up Megan’s with room to spare. Henry, ever the loving husband, assures Betty that he thinks she’s beautiful, but Betty’s not having it. With some prodding from her mother-in-law, Betty goes to the doctor in hopes of snagging some diet pills, but instead comes out with news that she might have cancer. I have to say, I kind of felt bad for Betty as she reflects and realizes that she’s about the crappiest mother ever and if she dies her kids are going to forget her existence. There’s a super weird dream sequence where Betty’s dead, everyone’s wearing black and no one remembers her. In a panic, she calls Don because Henry’s not there and they have a moment. He calls her the old nickname ‘Birdy’ and tells her everything is going to be okay. (I might be in the minority here, but I will always always want Betty and Don together just a tiny wee bit). And in the end, everything is okay. She doesn’t have cancer; she’s just fat.

Meanwhile, at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, Don has a new African- American secretary named Dawn (get it? Haha) and Peggy is forced to hire a male copywriter for the Mohawk Airlines. After much frustration on her part (and on mine) she hires Michael Ginsberg, a supremely annoying, rude (he calls it honest), schlep of a boy (I mean, what WAS that crumpled plaid blazer and gross patterned tie??). He’s apparently good at his job, but I cannot stand him already. Good luck Peggy, I feel like by the end of this season you’re either going to hate him too or be sleeping with him. Or maybe both.

Speaking of people I cannot stand, Harry and Don go on a little man adventure in which they naively and un-hippingly, try to get The Rolling Stones to agree to do a Heinz commercial. As if. But Don and Harry don’t know that, and off they go to the concert. Harry’s at the prime of his sleaziness and overall cluelessness, hitting on pubescent girls by telling them stories of people they have never even heard of while high. GOOD JOB BUD. It’s always the saddest and the worst when someone tries so hard to be cool…and then just fails even harder. Because he’s so high (and because he’s a dweeb) Harry thinks he’s signed The Rolling Stones, but really, he’s signed the Trade Winds (who?), and proceeds to down way too many mini sliders to console himself. Gross.

Meanwhile, Roger and Peter are still going head to head, and Pete is coming out the winner. He’s managed to throw some public digs at Roger over the Mohawk account, and Roger is finally realizing that he basically adds nothing to the company. (But please Roger! Don’t go! Who will say all the inappropriate, sexist, racist, every-kind-of-ist one-liners?) Like Roger, Don is beginning to realize that he’s getting old too. While Megan was a desperate move on Don’s part to stay young, it seems she and her friends (who party on Fire Island…man I wish we go to see Don partying/awkwardly sulking with Megan’s friends) are just constant reminders of how old he really is.

Another fantastic episode as Mad Men Season 5 gets a rollin’. However, one complaint: NO JOAN! I WANT MORE JOAN. Thanks.