Mad Men Season 3, Episode 8: "Souvenir" - Recap

What is it that makes the things we can't have so desirable? Often on Mad Men, it seems most of the characters can have whatever they want, whenever they want. The same holds up in some aspects of "Souvenir." Pete successfully beds his neighbors' au pair, and Henry Francis gets at least some part of what he wants from Betty. But even (especially?) in the world of Mad Men, that type of covetousness has its drawbacks. By episode's end, Pete is an emotional wreck under the doe-eyed gaze of his wife, and Henry Francis (unknowingly) has brought his flirtation with Betty to an end. (So she says, anyway.)

But Betty has her own wants. She's transformed by a trip to Rome, as is her attitude/attraction toward Don. But when that fantasy gives way to her real life back in the suburbs, when passion is replaced with babies and local politics, Betty is the same bitter housewife we've known for nearly three seasons. So what's worse? Getting what we want, only to lose it, or never attaining what we wanted to begin with? I'm sure Joan Harris has some things to say about the latter.

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