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6-9: "The Better Half" 2013.05.26


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#841

rogaine2233

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Posted Jun 1, 2013 @ 9:14 PM

Betty was ready to get it on with Don when they met for the last time, in the Ossining house. But he shut her down. Now she knows he is no different with Megan than he was with her.

#842

Snookums

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Posted Jun 1, 2013 @ 10:10 PM

Kartheiser is much more attractive than Pete. The article below is not that old. If I saw this person out somewhere, I don't think my mind would go to "unattractive" or even "average."  

 

 

 

An excellent example. Pete, the poor bastard, is about as alluring in his daily life as a damp,smelly stray dog, but Vincent Kartheiser is quite striking and charismatic. On TV, a successful character is usually played by a charismatic actor even if the character is the exact opposite.


Edited by Snookums, Jun 1, 2013 @ 10:10 PM.


#843

Carol in LA

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Posted Jun 2, 2013 @ 1:17 AM

Betty isn't going to negate what she gained via her encounter with Don (power over the anger and hurt left from their relationship) just to lose it again by being shitty to Megan about it.  She doesn't need to do that anymore.  She's knows how much better off she is than Megan and she doesn't need to laud it over her.



#844

Marie Claudine

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Posted Jun 2, 2013 @ 7:38 AM

I, too, can't imagine Betty spilling the beans to Megan. I even got the impression that her "poor girl" comment was somewhat sincere, just like I buy that she sincerely loves Henry (more so than she did in the beginning, when she was clearly hung up on Don). It feels to me as if she saw this as something that would give her peace regarding her failed marriage ("This happened a long time ago"), but in her warped mind it may not have had much to do with either Henry or Megan. Maybe this gave her some kind of closure, something like proof that it wasn't her fault that her marriage failed. For a while it seemed as if Betty thought that she wasn't young or exciting enough to hold Don. But if young and lively Megan (who lives in the city, has no kids to take care of, and her own "glamorous" career) can't hold Don, either, then this might be proof for Betty that Don was the problem all along.

It also seems to me as if Betty still likes Don, but has accepted that she can't have him in the way she wants to have someone ("I can only hold your attention for so long"), whereas Don appears to realize that he is going in circles.

 

Also, Betty is actually a pretty good keeper of secrets. She knows a lot about Don now, and has never so much as hinted that she might use it to her advantage.


Edited by Marie Claudine, Jun 2, 2013 @ 7:40 AM.


#845

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Posted Jun 2, 2013 @ 9:19 AM

That's true about Betty and secrets. She didn't talk about Sally's friend, either, or reveal that she'd been in the city.

 I agree that it's unlikely Betty will "use" what happened-- she would be hurt as well, and I think she truthfully didn't feel guilt about it and saw this as something that happened in the present but really was part of the past.

I think she was hurt so many times by Don's wandering attention and now she really understands that it's not her fault. I think she "knew" it before but didn't feel it.

 

In Ossining, I don't think Betty was just trying to get it on with him, I think she missed him. That was unhealthier and much worse, and this was more natural and in some ways healthy although it was cheating. I also saw a lot of affection between them, and sincerity. Had it happened in Ossining, Betty would have been acting. Here she was being pretty natural and real with him. And he tried to respond in kind.



#846

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Posted Jun 2, 2013 @ 9:43 AM

I imagine it also must have been very symbolic to Betty to see that she could be the mistress to Don. Who knows what she imagined about these other women and what they had and she didn't. Now she knows that once she's not the wife she's got those things too. There really was no big answer.



#847

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Posted Jun 2, 2013 @ 1:04 PM

Here's a question - what does Betty know about Don's cheating, besides Bobbie Barrett? My impression is Bobbie, Dick Whitman, and Don's frequent abandonment ended that marriage, and she never learned his cheating was chronic, and that he had long-term sexual relationships with multiple mistresses.



#848

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Posted Jun 2, 2013 @ 1:34 PM

I think she only knew about Bobbie but that once she officially knew, she knew it had been going on for a long time. She even mentioned to her therapist that she sometimes felt like during sex he was doing things that somebody else liked. The fact that Don denied the affair she knew about so emphatically and showed no evidence of it I think proved to her just how good he was at it through practice. 



#849

abelard369

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Posted Jun 2, 2013 @ 1:46 PM

I thought Peggy's bayonet was supposed to be a Freudian joke, as in her bayonet is just so much bigger than Abe's. Ever since they moved she's been making unconscious digs at his masculinity, first by being able to buy the place without his financial help, then by telling him that he wasn't any good as a handy-man, and then jusy before she stabbed him by telling him he could,t protect her with just one hand. I think Abe was probably acutely aware of all those truths on some level, and that telling her that he was using her for an article was his way of regaining his manhood/dominance: "you might be the bread-winner but I am still your moral superior".

 

 

Great reading of the Peggy/Abe break-up.  Yeah, that break was a long time coming, and Abe's lack of masculinity had a lot to do with it, from where Peggy was standing.  She liked Abe's goofy qualities and his being principled and his wanting to work hard to be a great journalist, but she wished he were "more of a man."  Maybe it came down to where they chose to live: Abe's moral principles couldn't make Peggy feel safe in a neighborhood like that, she wanted more protection.  In the end, she "protected" herself by being her own "man" - using the phallic bayonet to castrate Abe and get herself out of that relationship, even if that's not what she consciously was planning on (obvs she wasn't *planning* on stabbing him!).

 

Also, Peggy's fantasy about Ted (Ted in Abe's place on their bed) makes me think she thought Ted might be both the career-driven type and the manly-man type.  Or manly enough, I guess.  I think she's always subconsciously looking for a father/protector and she thought Ted might fit that bill.  But then after the night of stabbery, Peggy wants to go to Ted and seek some kind of safe haven there and he's got nothing to give her in that respect.  And when she finds herself between Ted's closed door and Don's closed door at the end, she realizes she's not going to get *any* protection from *either* of them.  Neither one is going to be her new father/protector/safe haven/shelter.  Her home isn't safe and in a way neither is her work environment - or rather, no man is going to make either place safe *for* her.  She is going to have to make her own safe places.  I hope that she learned that lesson.  There is not going to be a White Knight in Peggy's story.  She's her own Knight.

 

 I agree that it's unlikely Betty will "use" what happened-- she would be hurt as well, and I think she truthfully didn't feel guilt about it and saw this as something that happened in the present but really was part of the past.

 

I loved Betty's line to Don: "This happened a long time ago."  I'm sure someone's mentioned this upthread already, but that line is such a great variant on Don's "This never happened."  Don puts huge events in boxes and puts those boxes away.  Betty is going to do the same with that one night with Don, but a bit differently: she's going to put it in the box of "the past that she's let go and isn't angry about anymore."


Edited by abelard369, Jun 2, 2013 @ 1:55 PM.


#850

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Posted Jun 2, 2013 @ 1:57 PM

 

Great reading of the Peggy/Abe break-up.  Yeah, that break was a long time coming, and Abe's lack of masculinity had a lot to do with it, from where Peggy was standing.  She liked Abe's goofy qualities and his being principled and his wanting to work hard to be a great journalist, but she wished he were "more of a man." 

 

 

 

I have a really hard time believing that Peggy's driven by strict gender roles about manly men and damsels in distress when it comes to her love life. She often seems to go for people she admires, but I think she was simply angry at Abe for putting her in a dangerous situation rather than angry that he wasn't doing his god-given job as a man of physically protecting her.



#851

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Posted Jun 2, 2013 @ 6:23 PM

Great reading of the Peggy/Abe break-up.  Yeah, that break was a long time coming, and Abe's lack of masculinity had a lot to do with it, from where Peggy was standing.  She liked Abe's goofy qualities and his being principled and his wanting to work hard to be a great journalist, but she wished he were "more of a man."  Maybe it came down to where they chose to live: Abe's moral principles couldn't make Peggy feel safe in a neighborhood like that, she wanted more protection.  In the end, she "protected" herself by being her own "man" - using the phallic bayonet to castrate Abe and get herself out of that relationship, even if that's not what she consciously was planning on (obvs she wasn't *planning* on stabbing him!).

 

All this is too specious for my liking. To my knowledge Abe's "masculinity" was never in question. Again, this obsession with aping the stereotypical behavior that is Male is perhaps more a late-20th Century pre-occupation.

 

As for Abe's and Peggy's break up being "a long time coming," I don't know. I doubt if Peggy would ever love Abe enough to want to marry him. He certainly was too immersed in his idea of social injustice to devote any real emotion to developing and deepening his connection with Peggy. Abe loved a Cause. He knew Peggy was in advertising when they first met, but now everything she does supposedly offends his sensibilities.

 

Abe is an ass. His shortcomings have little to do with maleness.

 

I won't even touch the castration theory because it's too random.



#852

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Posted Jun 2, 2013 @ 7:23 PM

 

As for Abe's and Peggy's break up being "a long time coming," I don't know. I doubt if Peggy would ever love Abe enough to want to marry him. He certainly was too immersed in his idea of social injustice to devote any real emotion to developing and deepening his connection with Peggy. Abe loved a Cause. He knew Peggy was in advertising when they first met, but now everything she does supposedly offends his sensibilities.

 

 

She seemed to be more than willing to marry him when she thought she was getting a proposal last season when instead Abe asked her to move in with him.  Maybe I read that situation wrong, but it seemed like Peggy's attitude (i.e.  she went and bought a new dress, seemed very happy) was that she fully expected to say yes to a proposal.  As for Abe during this episode, I think his attitude towards Peggy has just changed with the times.  He's become more radical, she mostly stayed the same since they met and he can't get past that.   

 

Though I would love to be a fly on the wall when Peggy tells Mama Olson that she and Abe have broken up. 



#853

lkhllywd

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Posted Jun 2, 2013 @ 8:01 PM

my brothers were at camp in 1968 and Henry Francis showing up the next day makes zero sense. NO camps had a "visiting weekend." I just hate it when something happen on the show just for the benefit of the viewer, or for the character, that just wouldn't happen in real life.


The summer camp I went to had a visitors' day. I don't think a visitors' weekend is too much of a stretch.

Peggy stabbing Abe by accident seemed like Matt Weiner on a political soap box. We were supposed to make the connection that if Peggy and Abe had had a gnu in the apartment, Abe might have been dead, I guess.


I'm late to reading this so all the jokes have already been made, I'm sure. Maybe if they'd had a gnu in the apartment they'd know for sure who pooped on the stairs ...

Roger says to Margaret, "I saw the Gollum when I was his age." Did we know that he was Jewish? I assume he's Jewish because of the Gollum remark.


There were a couple of different silent films -- from 1915 and 1920 -- called The Golem.

#854

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Posted Jun 2, 2013 @ 8:04 PM

 

Yeah, that break was a long time coming, and Abe's lack of masculinity had a lot to do with it, from where Peggy was standing.  She liked Abe's goofy qualities and his being principled and his wanting to work hard to be a great journalist, but she wished he were "more of a man."  Maybe it came down to where they chose to live: Abe's moral principles couldn't make Peggy feel safe in a neighborhood like that, she wanted more protection.  In the end, she "protected" herself by being her own "man" - using the phallic bayonet to castrate Abe and get herself out of that relationship, even if that's not what she consciously was planning on (obvs she wasn't *planning* on stabbing him!).

 

Also, Peggy's fantasy about Ted (Ted in Abe's place on their bed) makes me think she thought Ted might be both the career-driven type and the manly-man type.  Or manly enough, I guess.  I think she's always subconsciously looking for a father/protector and she thought Ted might fit that bill.  But then after the night of stabbery, Peggy wants to go to Ted and seek some kind of safe haven there and he's got nothing to give her in that respect.  And when she finds herself between Ted's closed door and Don's closed door at the end, she realizes she's not going to get *any* protection from *either* of them.  Neither one is going to be her new father/protector/safe haven/shelter.  Her home isn't safe and in a way neither is her work environment - or rather, no man is going to make either place safe *for* her.  She is going to have to make her own safe places.  I hope that she learned that lesson.  There is not going to be a White Knight in Peggy's story.  She's her own Knight.

 

 

 

 

I have a really hard time believing that Peggy's driven by strict gender roles about manly men and damsels in distress when it comes to her love life. She often seems to go for people she admires, but I think she was simply angry at Abe for putting her in a dangerous situation rather than angry that he wasn't doing his god-given job as a man of physically protecting her.

 

 

To the Peggy thread!



#855

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Posted Jun 2, 2013 @ 9:41 PM

I never believed Betty was the vengefull bitter shrew out to get Don and Megan like others do.

Even if she was, I doubt she would be stupid enough to risk her own marriage by doing something like that.

 

Petty doesn't always think first. 

 

It was only in the previous episode--which was what, a few months ago--that Betty was spewing hateful comments in Don & Megan's living room, with her children sitting right there, about Megan being on the casting couch. So I find it hard to believe that she is now suddenly sympathetic toward Megan. Also, she seemed poised to make a pass at Don a couple of seasons ago, after she'd married Henry, when Henry got mad at her for firing Carla. Betty is an immature, petty, spiteful woman and always will be. Doesn't mean she doesn't have the occasional moment of rising above things, though i can't think of any examples now ... but she is more petty and vindictive than she is not. In my humble opinion, that is. 

 

As for Abe during this episode, I think his attitude towards Peggy has just changed with the times.  He's become more radical, she mostly stayed the same since they met and he can't get past that.   

 

Though I would love to be a fly on the wall when Peggy tells Mama Olson that she and Abe have broken up. 

 

I agree with this (though I'd watch the scene with Mama Olsen between fingers). Many couples found themselves veering in separate directions due to the changing times. I'm glad MW gave us an example of that, though I'm sorry it didn't work out for Peggy as I have always thought she and Abe seemed to genuinely care for each other. In particular, at the Zoobie-Zoo surprise party for Don's 40th.

 

Peggy always seems like she just goes with any guy who shows interest in her: the engaged Pete shows up drunk at her door and shows interest, so she lets him in for a one-night stand; Duck shows interest and she goes along with it; that college kid at the bar who show interest--she goes home with him; Abe shows interest; she goes along. Did she like any of these guys first, or only after they showed interest? Don't know about that crashing bore in season four, who looked like he was in junior high and who broke up with her over the  phone at dinner while her mother was sitting right there.  

 

 


Edited by Hag, Jun 2, 2013 @ 9:54 PM.


#856

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Posted Jun 2, 2013 @ 11:19 PM

Quote

I never believed Betty was the vengefull bitter shrew out to get Don and Megan like others do.

Even if she was, I doubt she would be stupid enough to risk her own marriage by doing something like that.

 

Petty doesn't always think first. 

 

 

 

 

Love this typo. I want to take it to Prom.

 

Betty certainly can be petty and spiteful, but I think as far as Don's concerned, she's reached her good place.


Edited by Snookums, Jun 2, 2013 @ 11:19 PM.


#857

Hag

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Posted Jun 3, 2013 @ 10:20 PM

Love this typo. I want to take it to Prom.

 

Betty certainly can be petty and spiteful, but I think as far as Don's concerned, she's reached her good place.

 

I admit I love it too. :)
 

I have my doubts that any "good place" Petty reaches about Don, or anything or anyone, doesn't last long. I laughed out loud at last night's previews for next week: Petty snarling about something. Ida was right: She's real piece of work. As for Don, she actually might be over him, that much i agree with. But I still think she would not be able to control the impulse to stick it to Megan with a nasty comment about her one-night stand with Don. Again, Petty doesn't think first.



#858

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Posted Jun 5, 2013 @ 12:37 PM

I've been catching up on this season recently and just saw this one.  I've really been loving Peggy and Joan's storylines this year, so it was great catching up with them again (far better than the previous episode's nonsense!)

 

That said, I really had problems with the dialogue in this episode - everyone was being very blunt, in a way that didn't feel organic at all.  It all sounded like written dialogue, when it came to people speaking about each other and their relationships (Joan/Roger, Peggy/Abe, Don/Megan, Don/Betty, etc).

 

 

I, too, can't imagine Betty spilling the beans to Megan. I even got the impression that her "poor girl" comment was somewhat sincere, just like I buy that she sincerely loves Henry (more so than she did in the beginning, when she was clearly hung up on Don). It feels to me as if she saw this as something that would give her peace regarding her failed marriage ("This happened a long time ago"), but in her warped mind it may not have had much to do with either Henry or Megan. Maybe this gave her some kind of closure, something like proof that it wasn't her fault that her marriage failed. For a while it seemed as if Betty thought that she wasn't young or exciting enough to hold Don. But if young and lively Megan (who lives in the city, has no kids to take care of, and her own "glamorous" career) can't hold Don, either, then this might be proof for Betty that Don was the problem all along.

It also seems to me as if Betty still likes Don, but has accepted that she can't have him in the way she wants to have someone ("I can only hold your attention for so long"), whereas Don appears to realize that he is going in circles.

 

 

 

Really liked how you put all that and I agree that she was in it for the closure.  What I can't help but wonder, though, is how Don felt with her laying there next to him being so obvious about the fact that she doesn't really want to reopen anything and is just nursing her old wounds.  Wouldn't Don object a little bit or be turned off?  There was something a bit patronizing about her honesty ("that poor girl", genuine as it was, was still a burn to Don), and it also made Don seem a little too simple or dim, that he'd roll back ontop of her for round two, even though he knows she views him as misguided and sad, and therefore, not worth obsessing over anymore.

 


Though I would love to be a fly on the wall when Peggy tells Mama Olson that she and Abe have broken up. 

 

 

 

This is a scene I absolutely want to see play out.  If anything, this show upsets me over the scenes we DON'T get to see - when exactly did Joan and the Perky Guy begin dating formally?  I was curious about how that would begin, given Joan's reluctance to get involved with anyone lately.  I'm also eager to see more of Ginsberg and the girl his father arranged for him to date.

 

Is anyone else confused/bummed by the fact that Peggy, after the break-up she was on some level hoping for or expecting (in spite of also wanting to commit to Abe formally), goes straight to her boss, sans-make-up, for...what?  Consolation sex?  It really rang of something one of the other, less mature girls in the Firm might do, with Don especially.

 

I read that last scene about Peggy becoming, in part, a bit too much like the weaker girls she'd always looked down on...and I'm not sure why the writing went there.  Would Peggy be thinking about her boss now that she's no longer attached?  Well, sure...but to go into his office the very next day to get it on?  That's....well that's such a soap opera move.  It didn't feel "Peggy" to me.

 

Lastly, is anyone else mighty suspicious of Bob?


Edited by DisneyBoy, Jun 5, 2013 @ 1:06 PM.


#859

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Posted Jun 5, 2013 @ 2:01 PM

I don't think men are turned off by having a woman not be in love with them, really. It's no different than  Don hearing Sylvia say "We can't fall in love."

 

And while she may have been patronizing, that has zip to do with libidio. She's a hot blonde in bed with him. He went for it. Plus, he likes her, and while she's being a little pitying, she's not being mean.



#860

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Posted Jun 5, 2013 @ 4:03 PM

I see your point, but I always felt Don had a lot of pride wrapped up in his sexual exploits.  Given how mopey he's been this season, you'd think he'd at least have frowned upon hearing her words.  The screen was so dark I couldn't really tell what face he was making.



#861

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Posted Jun 5, 2013 @ 7:54 PM

Here's a question - what does Betty know about Don's cheating, besides Bobbie Barrett? My impression is Bobbie, Dick Whitman, and Don's frequent abandonment ended that marriage, and she never learned his cheating was chronic, and that he had long-term sexual relationships with multiple mistresses.

 

She may not have known the specifics, but she knew.  Remember what she told the psychiatrist back in Season 1?



#862

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Posted Jun 6, 2013 @ 12:14 PM

I'm neither a lover nor a hater of Betty (though I'm often annoyed by the way she seems to bear the brunt of MW's mommy issues), btw.

 

In any case, to me there was a clear line from the previous episode when Betty and Henry had to come into the city after 'Grandma Ida' broke in, and this one. I think realizing that Don was cheating on Megan and also being able to call out Megan and Don for their parenting made Betty feel good and therefore powerful. And she apparently realized that losing weight and being gorgeous trophy wife Betty again was her way to be powerful. So when she saw Don in this episode, she had the opportunity to wield that power and she did so.

 

She's experienced what it's like to be an overweight middle-aged (and brunette) lady and feel invisible. She tried it on and she couldn't live with it.

 

I've heard others speculate over the last couple of seasons that Don and Betty would have a tryst at some point and I just couldn't see that happening. But the way it did unfold makes a lot of sense to me.

 

It's also kind of a nice tie-in to Peggy and Joan's stories this season where both are trying to find their own way to be and feel powerful. These storylines kind of help make up for having to hear about Don's man-pain all the time.



#863

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Posted Jun 6, 2013 @ 2:18 PM

I was thinking back on this one and realized - we saw Betty sleep with both her husband and Don in the same episode.  I don't think that's unintentional, and I really hope we don't get a "who's the daddy?" pregnancy storyline out of it.  We're near season-finale time, and on another series, I could definitely see things going that way.

 

What I found myself wondering, though was how long it took for Betty to lose the weight.  She'd been struggling last season with it and Weight Watchers.  How did she manage to drop what seemed to be a good forty pounds over a couple of episodes?  How much time had passed?



#864

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Posted Jun 6, 2013 @ 2:25 PM

How did she manage to drop what seemed to be a good forty pounds over a couple of episodes?  How much time had passed?
 

 

Betty was noticeably thinner even at the start of this season than she was last season.  When we saw her in early April (MLK assassination), she looked like she had about 15 pounds to go (though they were still putting atrocious prosthetics on her face -- that always rang false to me).  But the episode ended with Betty being newly motivated by Henry's decision to pursue public office. When we saw her at Don's apartment at the end of The Crash, it was probably late June, and her face looked like the original "hot Betty", so she'd obviously lost more weight over the nearly 3 months since early April.  The Better Half seemed to occur in late July, so maybe another month after The Crash, and while she wasn't as super-slim as earlier (I've read that they padded January Jones's hips and breasts slightly for that episode), she had definitely conquered the weight issue.  So maybe it was a wee bit fast toward the end, but it's not as if the character lost 40 pounds in a few weeks.



#865

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Posted Jun 6, 2013 @ 2:52 PM

I don't see how it could matter even if she did get pregnant by Don. She's married to Henry and sleeping with him. If she got pregnant it would be Henry's.



#866

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Posted Jun 6, 2013 @ 8:35 PM

Betty discovering she was pregnant would be a problem if Henry had had a vasectomy at some point. Vasectomies started to become popular after the Second World War.



#867

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Posted Jun 9, 2013 @ 1:31 AM

It just seems like a pregnancy would be something a show would do to build TENSION going into the final season.  Hopefully, they don't go that route.  I see no point in Betty having another Draper kid...