If we know anything about the 1960s, it's that it was a decade of change. Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner and several cast members have hinted that change is perhaps the biggest theme of this season, and in this episode, plenty of seeds were planted. Not all our characters will bloom into beings capable of accepting the changes ahead though. While Don and Peggy remain ever versatile, if disgruntled, at doing what needs to be done (at least for a little while), the older generation - Roger Sterling and the British leadership at Putnam, Powell and Lowe - show themselves to be dinosaurs. And we all know what happened to them.
Change is neither good or bad. It simply is. - Don Draper
Don makes his strides at home with Betty, when her father, Gene comes for a visit. Abandoned by his second wife and slipping further into senility, Gene is a nuisance to Betty's brother, William, who greedily pushes to have their father put into an "old folks' home" in hopes of getting his hands on the family home. When Betty refuses, William lays on the guilt, suggesting he and his wife, Judy, will move in with Gene and Judy will play nurse. Don arrives home to find Betty, the self-declared "terrible daughter," in tears.
With the same boardroom savvy that has made him a success, Don springs into action, telling William how it's going to be: Gene (and his car) will stay with the Drapers, William will pay for his father's expenses, the house will sit empty. "We'll pretend you did the right thing on your own," Don says. We know from past seasons that Betty has always struggled with Don's inability to accept her family as his own, but his actions speak for themselves, as do January Jones' silent glances of appreciation to Don as William breaks the news to her.
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