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September 1, 2015

What will Betty Draper do?

by Jane Boursaw, posted Oct 21st 2009 10:29AM
Mad Men - Betty and Don DraperSo ... Betty Draper is starting to get an inkling of Don's dark and secret past on Mad Men. In Sunday's episode, she found the box with all his secret things. Really, you'd think he would keep it in a safety deposit box or something. You can't just leave that stuff lying around the house, even in a locked desk drawer. Someone's bound to find it, just as Betty did.

My question is what will Betty do with this important information? She' s already been stung by Don's affairs, and now she's got this to contend with.

Betty has been getting a little stronger this season, and I can see her traveling to visit the other Mrs. Draper at some point. Or maybe she'll just hold Don's secret over his head and make him behave -- as if she could. Don's already in a world of trouble, with his stalker girlfriend calling the house and swooping in on him during his morning train ride.

As Bob said in his review, "I think we're about to see the very foundation of Mad Men shaken forever..." Any thoughts on where all of this is headed? Could the upcoming trip Betty's taking with the kids be to California? I can't imagine she'd take the kids to see the other Mrs. Draper, though.

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This is going to play out over the course of many episodes if not multiple seasons. Mad Men doesn't do quick reveals and when it does they don't shatter the flow and upend everything. No matter how shocking, every twist and turn is handled in a natural, slow evolution.

Also, keep in mind, women of the day suffered in quiet shame. They were fully subordinate to their breadwinning husbands. We've already seen Betty sweep it under the rug. She may not be happy with her place, but Betty's no bellweather. She'll stick with the mode of the times and maintain her bored housewife role. Sure she may actually try her hand at infidelity, but she just can't be anything except pretty, subservient and cowed. She just doesn't know how.

What I'm surprised nobody is talking about is the hints that Don's going to be freed from his contract when Sterling Cooper is sold only to hang his own shingle. We've already had hints of defections from Sterling Cooper. You can't tell me Joan and Sal are gone for good. A big hint was during the 4th of July meeting when the new organizational chart was laid out by the Brits...Don was sketching an American flag...on independence day. He's planning staging his own revolution. He's way to good at advertising to flush his whole "new life".

Don will create a super-agency with the best of Sterling Cooper and they will use this vehicle during the final season to usher in the societal revolution which is pending. Women's lib. The "outing" of gay America. The upending of normal society. Don's agency will thrive in the turmoil.

October 21 2009 at 9:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Because this is Mad Men and they don't play by the same rules as other TV shows, I almost think nothing will happen with this information.

Remember last season's big reveal? Peggy told Pete she had his baby and then...what? Nothing. Nada.

It took two years for Cooper to use the information about Don's identity against him. Weiner likes to let these things simmer. Maybe we'll notice a change in Betty's attitude, but if I had to guess, I doubt this information is going to blow-up the Draper Family Facade.

October 21 2009 at 1:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

After the Rome episode, Betty was very clear that she's bored with her life as a housewife. Now she has something to do. I imagine she'll draw out her investigation for a bit. And a confrontation with Anna seems inevitable.

October 21 2009 at 12:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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