Review: Mad Men - The Gypsy and the Hobo
by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 26th 2009 12:40AM
(S03E11) Autumn in New York, why does it feel so inviting... That's a great song, and I thought of it while watching the opening of this episode, with the Draper kids all excited about Halloween. And there was also that chill in the air between Don and Betty. Actually, the icy glare was all Betts. She was off to see her brother about selling their father's home, but what was really on Betty's mind was the contents of Don's desk drawer. More on that and gypsy and the hobo, after the jump. By the way, this was a great Mad Men episode.
Don was oblivious to Betty, even when she cryptically tipped her hand by asking him about money. Maybe Don was just too besotted with Suzanne to pick up on the signals. Suzanne had really fallen for Don, but was he feeling the same? I couldn't tell, even after he agreed to play house with her while the family was away.
While William was bitching about money and Gene's house, Betty was more interested in getting the advice of Milton, the family lawyer. Milton's advice was consistent with the times. He listened to Betty's concerns about Don's dishonesty, but once she confirmed that Don didn't hit her and that he was a good provider, Milton basically told Betty to work it out with her husband because a New York state divorce was not going to be easy or pleasant.
I still didn't think we'd get Betty confronting Don the way she did. What timing, too, with Suzanne in the car waiting for him, only to be left in the lurch. Inside the Draper house, a quiet hell was unraveling. You knew Don was rattled when he dropped his cigarette and couldn't pour a drink. In typical Don fashion, his first response to Betty's questions was "I can explain." Betty's response was even better, "I know you can. You're a very gifted storyteller."
Still, Betty couldn't help but be moved when Don brought the Dick Whitman box into their bedroom and told her the truth. And he really told it. Even the bitter truth about Don refusing to help Adam. I fully expected Don to say Adam had died in the war or an accident, but he said the word suicide and blamed himself.
The morning after, Don woke up alone and looked confused. But he put on his Don Draper disguise, kissed his family goodbye and promised to be back for trick or treating. Between Don and Betty there was an unspoken peace. They've had them before. The Drapers would endure. When Don got to the office, he called Suzanne and ended it.
Going out with Sally and Bobby in their costumes -- as a gypsy and a hobo -- a neighbor looked at Don and Betty standing behind them, he asked, "who are you?" The camera was on Don's face. The implication was clear; Don's not even sure anymore.
As if those developments weren't enough, Joan did her best with Greg, but the dolt continued to be as much an ass as he apologized for being. He deserved to be plunked on the head with the vase for failing to recognize that Joan understood too well being passed over. The cut to Peggy at the focus group underscored the point.
Joan was surprised that Greg decided to join the Army, but was supportive. She'll still take a job if Roger's friend calls her because Joan needs to succeed. You could hear the want in her voice when she spoke to Roger.
Roger surprised me in this show, too. He really does love Jane. When Annabelle threw herself at him, I fully expected Roger to succumb. He was drunk and still interested, especially since she had broken his heart years before in what she remembered as a Casablanca romance. Roger was as bitter as Bogey in that film, but not as mean. He let Annabelle down easy. She didn't like his rejection, but I respected him for being true to Jane.
Over the end credits, after the "who are you?" on Don's face, the song "Where Is Love" from Oliver played. It's the ultimate orphan song and the perfect tune for Don in 1963. It's what drives him -- the search for love.
In 1964, when Funny Girl opens on Broadway, they can use the song "Who Are You Now?" because that'll be what Betty wonders about her spouse.