Episode 9 – Dark Shadows

Pete’s dreaming and Betty’s scheming, but it will all be in vain.

Pete’s daytime fantasy is just what it is.  Pete is Beth’s instrument of revenge, and she is going to use Pete on her terms alone.  (This is why she retreated from Pete when her husband brought him home, and why she did not meet him at the hotel.) Beth is a passionate woman, probably too much for her husband, who has retreated to a love nest, undoubtedly with a less demanding woman in order to restore his sense of manhood. He is clearly clueless; she is not a woman to be cloistered.  He will not be the man-about-town, but the community cuckold. The extent of her outrage will determine the length, breadth, and depth of the affair and any further cuckolding.  Lover and husband have a two-tailed tigress by its tails, and she will leave them in knots.

Betty’s descent from glamorous, though psychotic, housewife Betty Draper, wife of successful, debonair Madison Avenue maverick Donald Draper to bulimic Betty Francis, resentful ex-wife of Mr. Draper, and dissatisfied wife of pedigree Henry Francis, has been shocking. She is discovering  that there are situations in life much worse than being married to an unfaithful mutt.

Betty’s trip to the Draper’s chic Park Avenue pad and her discovery of Don’s deep love for Megan has an exponential effect on her resentment. She attempts  to poison Sally’s mind against Don.  Though it initially works, it ultimately fails.  Sally has put her faith in her father, who has always been kinder and more understanding toward her, and given the sordid revelations she’s recently been exposed to, she is beginning to grasp that adult life comes with twists and turns, but believes that her father, whatever his past may be, is a decent man, and her mainstay in a scary world.

With Megan out of the office, Don takes control again.  After his initial exuberance, Michael Ginsberg must now learn that making the team doesn’t automatically put him in the starting lineup. Despite his stray-dog likeability and earnest devotion, he is still an unpolished gem; he must come to understand that there is more to his job than hard work and creativity. Don put him in his place as breathlessly and brutally as he has done to Peggy in the past.  Michael needs to be quiet and observant.

 

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