“Field Trip,” last night’s episode of Mad Men, was another dense, extraordinary, and awkward episode of television that saw Don Draper’s character arc continue to move in unexpected directions, while Betty Francis also made her first appearance of the season, if only to demonstrate that the old Betty is back, reminding us that no one on television — and that includes King Joffrey — has a better bitch face.
“We were having a conversation!” — We’ll start with Betty this week, in a B-plot that wasn’t particularly compelling but that did allow us some relief from the awkwardness of Don’s storyline. Betty had lunch with a blast from the past, Francine (Anne Dudek). Francine is still annoying as hell, and Betty still has the keen ability to casually throw a bitch face at her that says, “I’m just bored enough to hang out with you, but you’re a ridiculous person and I loathe you.”
Nevertheless, Francine left Betty feeling insecure about how she spends her days, but also spiteful, wanting to prove the old-fashioned necessity of a stay-at-home mom (because the alternative would have meant Betty finding a job, and she’s not about to sully herself with work). So, Betty volunteered to be a chaperone on Bobby’s field trip to a farm, where she spent the day blowing second-hand smoke all over elementary school children and reminding us how ridiculous our smoking policies were back in the 1960s.
The day was almost perfect, too. Bobby clearly has had so little intimacy with his own mother that a conversation with her felt monumental to him, and he even got to experience a twinge of pride when his mother volunteered to drink freshly squeezed milk from the bra-less farmer’s daughter. Betty even made a bitchy new friend with another of the old-fashioned mothers.
Of course, Bobby ended up ruining everything, and by that I mean, Betty ruined everything by acting like a child when Bobby traded away her sandwich for gumdrops. Betty soured the entire affair when she gave Bobby a bitch-face that said, “Now my lunch is just cigarettes, you little sh*t! Look at what you’ve done! For f**king gumdrops? What is wrong with you? Christ, it’s time recast Bobby again.”
“Eat your candy” is the new “go f**k yourself.”
“It was a perfect day and he ruined it,” Betty said of her son, and then wondered aloud to her husband why her children don’t love her. Maybe it’s because you’re a terrible f**king human being, Betty.
But she does throw terrific shade. Welcome back, Betty.
“I love you.” / “Goodnight.” — Meanwhile, everything about Don Draper’s plotline was perfection. The episode began with an unemployed Don making a surprise visit to California in an attempt to calm Megan’s nerves, and ended with an employed, but nearly divorced, Don. For Christ’s sake, he ordered TOMATO JUICE on his flight to California. We don’t even know who this man is anymore.