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Henry Francis: Life Raft


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#91

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Posted Oct 8, 2010 @ 3:27 PM

Nobody's going to be as handsome as Jon Hamm, but I think Henry is pretty dreamy.
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#92

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Posted Oct 18, 2010 @ 9:56 PM

I thought Henry's line to Betty about how there are no "fresh starts", that lives continue no matter what, was one of the most brilliant things I've heard in ages. Henry isn't just the dumb new husband. He's insightful, wise, and actually knows that actions have consequences. He ought to tell Don the same thing (well, someone should).
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#93

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Posted Mar 26, 2011 @ 12:43 PM

When Henry and Betty decided to be together in that car in the rain, it felt nihilistic and illicit like an affair so their marriage IS Henry's affair. If this relationship doesn't work out, it won't be the failure of a marriage - it will be he lost The Other Woman. It is so inappropriate that he is living in Don's house even though it is at Betty's insistence. If he really wanted to, he could have moved her out of there pronto. His solicitousness is creepy in a diffident lover way not a legally married devoted husband way.

Creepy and entertaining like watching the Megan thing unfurl - I KNEW it!

I think he gets off on the illicitness that permeates the relationship with Betty instead of it being a saintly tolerance and general benevolence at sharing a home with somebody else's THREE kids.

Betty with Henry in that house is so dirty and a part of Henry likes it - like those creeps with foot fetishes. This is splayed toes for Henry! (grohhhhssss)
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#94

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Posted Apr 1, 2012 @ 1:43 PM

Since John Lindsay did not run for governor of New York in 1966, I assume Henry is working on Nelson Rockefeller's re-election this season. (Not exactly a spoiler since it's actual history: Rocky won re-election pretty easily that November.)
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#95

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 7:28 PM

So Henry is working for Lindsey, in the Mayor's office. Interesting. The commute from Rye to Manhattan has to be easier than getting up to Albany. :-)

At the end of S4, Henry seemed to be losing patience with Betty, particularly after she let Carla go for such a flimsy reason. Now he seems utterly devoted to her, despite a weight gain that (his protestations aside) is difficult to overlook. I think Henry initially viewed Betty as someone who needed rescuing; perhaps he does best when he can cast himself in the role of "white knight."
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#96

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Posted Apr 3, 2012 @ 7:53 AM

Yeah, Henry is almost too good to be true sometimes. I like that they've got him acting like a jerk to Don sometimes, because it gives his character more depth.
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#97

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Posted Apr 3, 2012 @ 8:50 AM

Henry's character is definitely going to get some more business to do this season. His job in the NYC mayor's office is going to play in the evolving times. Food for thought: Big Apple Mayor
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#98

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Posted Apr 3, 2012 @ 1:33 PM

I think an interesting story might be to see Betty actually fall in love with him, it is different for the show and different in television. It seems like a woman's story, and I still think that while he manages to write interesting female characters, Weiner has difficulty when they are the main focus. First season, Peggy was on point, but the show hits severe snags when dealing with Joan, Peggy, and Betty since then - particularly in 3 and 4.

He is a little too perfect, but I hope Betty wakes up and realizes she has a pretty good husband for her. I bet she could wear a bikini at her new weight and Henry wouldn't say anything negative about it.
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#99

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Posted Apr 3, 2012 @ 1:56 PM

How old is Henry supposed to be, do you think? I'm thinking 50-ish. I know I am terrible at judging ages, but his mother doesn't seem to be old enough. She looks more like an older sister to me than his mom.

As to the phone call from Don, I think Henry was taken aback and not at all pleased that Betty called Don. She did tell Don before she told him. Wow, actually Don was available, "there for her," when good ole Henry wasn't. Of course, we don't know that Henry knows when she called him.
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#100

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Posted Apr 3, 2012 @ 3:14 PM

No idea how old Christopher Stanley or Pamela Dunlap are, but I think Henry could be late 40s (his daughter knows Jane Siegel Sterling, so I imagine her to be 24)and his mother Pauline could be just 18 or 19 years older then him, so 66 to 68. I think that works.
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#101

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Posted Apr 3, 2012 @ 4:59 PM

Christopher Stanley's date of birth isn't publicly listed on such sites as IMDb, but someone on a message board who claimed to know him personally, and seemed believable, gave a date of December 9, 1960. Fifty give or take a couple of years seems right for the character too.

I don't know anything for sure about Dunlap either, but she has been appearing on episodic television for almost 50 years now. I'd guess Pauline is pushing 70.
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#102

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Posted Apr 3, 2012 @ 7:44 PM

I think Henry is made to look older than the actor really is. I saw a video of the cast and crew of MM doing their own rendition of "Bye-Bye Matthew"...an end of season thing, I think. You can find it on YouTube. It's pretty funny. While many of the cast members are in costume, perhaps because the video was made before they had a chance to change, Christopher Stanley was in jeans and a t-shirt. He looks much younger.
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#103

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Posted Apr 4, 2012 @ 2:36 AM

Thanks for the info. on his age. I checked the usual places (pet peeve of mine--if you're on the internet, search the damn internet before asking!) and couldn't find an age on either.

It'll be interesting to see how his and Betty's marriage plays out. He isn't any more keen than Megan is on the connection Don and Betty still have.
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#104

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Posted Apr 4, 2012 @ 5:43 AM

No idea how old Christopher Stanley or Pamela Dunlap are, but I think Henry could be late 40s (his daughter knows Jane Siegel Sterling, so I imagine her to be 24)and his mother Pauline could be just 18 or 19 years older then him, so 66 to 68. I think that works.


Minor nit. I believe his daughter knows Margaret Sterling (forget her married name) not Jane. But yeah, I read him as being in his late 40s.
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#105

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Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 2:34 PM

I wonder if Henry would have pursued Betty had Rockefeller, his boss, not already scandalized himself out of the Presidential running by marrying Happy? Francis went after a 6 months pregnant, married woman who eventually left her husband for him. It doesn't seem like something that would serve Henry well at all if he or his boss had any political aspirations, if it came out.
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#106

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Posted Apr 30, 2013 @ 7:23 PM

I find myself a little irrationally excited about getting to see more of Henry's political life. Working for Mayor Lindsay has actually been pretty intriguing, given how controversial Lindsay's reign was. I'm even more intrigued to see how he now defines himself against Lindsay.
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#107

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Posted May 3, 2013 @ 12:49 AM

Picking up from the thread for "The Flood":

Henry's constantly around the kids, we've never see him having any big disagreements (or any disagreements, really) with them, and he's intervened on their behalf when Betty has over-reacted to them in the past. I think that's more than enough to see that he's a good guy with them, even if Bobby's fear for him wasn't enough to tip us off.


Yes; I don't need or expect scenes specifically showing Henry taking Bobby and Gene out for ice cream, to tell me that he's good to Don and Betty's kids. Time is limited; scenes solely about the secondary characters are rare. It's all in the little grace notes. Just the way everyone was standing, the body language, in the scene in which they shopped for Christmas trees (a scene mainly about Sally reconnecting with Glen), told me much of what I needed to know about the dynamics of that household. Sally is more remote from him than the boys are, and that makes sense, because of the three, she's the oldest and was the most fully formed when Betty married him, and she's also the most devoted to Don, and vice versa. So I think the other two think of him as their father, and she thinks of him like "As stepfathers go, I could have done worse."

I don't find anything creepy about the way he and Betty began. He's satisfied me now that he wasn't drawn to her because of a warped married-and-pregnant fetish, and he wasn't drawn to her just because she looked like Grace Kelly, et cetera. It was something specific to her, and it endured and developed. It worked out for him that her marriage was a house of cards that was a few months from overdue collapse. He's been nothing but supportive and devoted, and that's enough for me. Not that he's a saint, but I'm not going to be all, "I can't wait for that immoral Henry Francis to get his, because the Bible says thou shalt not covet another man's wife." Because...Jesus. Everyone on the show. I would have been driven away long ago.
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#108

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Posted May 3, 2013 @ 7:42 AM

Not that he's a saint, but I'm not going to be all, "I can't wait for that immoral Henry Francis to get his, because the Bible says thou shalt not covet another man's wife." Because...Jesus. Everyone on the show.


I distrust Henry for how his relationship with Betty started, but I'm not waiting for him to get his - I'm just curious how it came to be that he magically appeared in her life at that time, why he would pursue her, and how he justifies it all. He's a rather 2D character at this point, and I'm looking forward to how they might flesh him out. He's not a hero or saint; he's complicated, and that makes him interesting.

Henry is a good looking guy with a great career. He could have had anyone. Why Betty? She's pretty? That's kinda all he knew about her. They both projected a lot onto each other to move from longing looks to marriage in a blink of an eye. Relationships built on projections usually crumble, so I'm curious to see where his Senate campaign takes them as a couple (and not just Betty fretting over her looks). There's a lot of vetting and sweeping of skeletons out of closets in campaigns...what's going to come out?
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#109

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Posted May 3, 2013 @ 7:50 AM

Henry is a good looking guy with a great career. He could have had anyone. Why Betty? She's pretty? That's kinda all he knew about her. They both projected a lot onto each other to move from longing looks to marriage in a blink of an eye. Relationships built on projections usually crumble, so I'm curious to see where his Senate campaign takes them as a couple (and not just Betty fretting over her looks). There's a lot of vetting and sweeping of skeletons out of closets in campaigns...what's going to come out?


Not sure I want to see all this screen time devoted to secondary story lines when we've had so many main characters' story lines derailed.

On the other hand, I do wonder about how Betty and Henry can/will last when they basically had a similar short courtship, quick engagement/marriage as Don and Megan.
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#110

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Posted May 3, 2013 @ 9:35 AM

I think they'll last because it's expedient to the "machine" of the show. Don has three kids, and Betty doesn't work. When Betty and Henry visited the lawyer, Henry told Betty he didn't want her to take anything from Don, that he would take care of her and the kids. I can assume or presume that doesn't mean Don doesn't pay child support, but I'm not comfortable going there since Henry said "and the kids". And it kind of gave Don more latitude financially, plotwise, since he doesn't have to pay for the private school education of three kids, as well as everything else that's involved.

If Henry and Betty split up, that would make the children Don's financial responsibility once again, as well as his responsibility in other ways with the stepfather-father figure out of their lives.

I agree with rogaine that we're not going to see this "explored", just because Henry is a secondary character, a place to settle Betty and the kids, and splitting them up would create plot problems.

When Henry told Betty "You'll never have to worry about money" - I kind of took that as a little bit of grandiosity from Henry's side - not about money, but about politics. It's the day of King's assasination and Henry is inspired to run for office in his own right. I think he was anticipating Betty's possible worries - if something happened to him (like it happened to King) - what would become of her and the children? So before he dropped his plans on her, he let her know she'd be secure no matter what.
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#111

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Posted May 3, 2013 @ 5:02 PM

When Henry offered to pay for the kids, Betty said she wanted everything she's entitled to. There's no way that Betty would let Don off the hook. If he was even a day late with the payments, she'd be making calls to the office and her attorney. And Don sees the primary role of a father as proving financial support. I'm sure he pays.
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#112

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Posted May 3, 2013 @ 5:41 PM

I'm just curious how it came to be that he magically appeared in her life at that time, why he would pursue her, and how he justifies it all.

I don't think there is an explanation beyond "Betty was never going to leave Don unless she had the next husband lined up, so the writers came up with Henry and found plausible enough ways for them to cross paths".

I have never found Henry's attraction to Betty creepy or needing an explanation beyond what was provided on the show. Since it's still remarked upon several years later, I guess the idea of a man being attracted to a woman carrying someone else's baby really is that unusual and bothersome to people. In high school, I had a male friend who broke it down to me when he was telling me how attractive and sexy he found pregnancy in women (looking back I have no idea why we were discussing this, though our high school had no shortage of pregnant students). He said pregnancy was like a woman wearing a neon sign telling the world that she's had sex, and that seeing a pretty pregnant woman made him want to imagine the sex she had to get in that condition, along with appreciating her new natural assets (think of Dr. Greg's joy at the idea of Joan having even bigger breasts). From what I gathered, he was strictly observing (though I didn't ask)!

Anyway, I doubt Henry was quite like that, but knowing there were men out there who thought that way about pregnancy in random women they already thought were hot, explained to me why he wasn't totally hands off with Betty at the derby party. But if the story had required them to meet when she wasn't pregnant at the time, he still would have been attracted to her and the writers would have had them share some other type of personal "moment" instead.
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#113

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Posted Jul 1, 2013 @ 6:02 PM

When Sally made the fake ID in the name "Beth Francis", I assumed at first she was using Henry's last name. But now it's been pointed out that the "F" in Donald F. Draper stands for Francis.

 

Since Matthew Weiner doesn't seem to do things accidentally, will we at some point see a connection between Henry and the original Donald Draper? Perhaps the real Donald Draper's mother's maiden name was Francis and/or she was a distant cousin of Henry's.


Edited by staveDarsky, Jul 1, 2013 @ 6:03 PM.

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#114

cabernet7

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Posted Jul 1, 2013 @ 7:03 PM

I doubt there's any connection between the real Drapers and the Francises.  I wondered if Sally even knew Francis was her father's middle name.  I think she chose the name as a FU to her father, without knowing it was also part of her father's name.


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#115

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Posted Jul 2, 2013 @ 1:45 PM

Response to older post a few up - I just wanted to note that after Betty said she just wanted what she's entitled to (I don't think she said "Everything I'm entitled to", just "I just want what I'm entitled to") - Henry interrupted and emphatically said he didn't want her to take anything from Don, and he (Henry) was going to provide for her and the kids. The topic ended after that, so I believe that's how it is. Henry takes care of them. They've let us know from time to time that he has the money - he told her she'd never have to worry about money even if he went further in politics (and, died in office somehow, I think was the implication).

 

I think the only time it's been mentioned that Don was going to pay for something was when Betty told him Sally wanted to go to boarding school. Don immediately said "I'll pay for it." The connection I made was that no matter if Henry paid for everything else (at his wish, not Don's, I believe we're meant to understand), Don insisted on paying for this because Sally was running away from what she'd seen between Don and Sylvia. Don was the reason she wanted to go to boarding school.


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#116

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Posted Jul 3, 2013 @ 8:57 PM

You're right that Betty said "what I'm entitled to".  But the scene ended after Henry's response and we don't know what was decided.  Don views his primary purpose as provider.  I cannot see him agreeing to that.  When he was considering fleeing when Megan filed his information with the Dept of Defense, Don met with his accountant to set up trust funds for the kids.  Child support may not figure into the Francis household budget, but I believe Don is paying it, even if it's being banked.


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#117

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Posted Feb 12, 2014 @ 3:31 PM

While it's true we don't know what really ended up happening with regards to Don and child suppport, the look of utter adoration Betty gave Henry after he told her he would take care of her and her children financially makes me think Betty had no problem adhering to Henry's wishes.


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