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Good news! More happens in the first 15 minutes of Episode 4 than in the entirety of last week's "does Betty or doesn't Betty have cancer" melodrama. Except now we have a new melodrama! Don might be dying from all of the trillions of cigarettes he smokes, and he apparently has terrifying fever dreams while ill.
The episode opens with the one scene in last week's teaser that we were the most excited about, which would be when Megan finally pulls the wool off from over her eyes and acknowledges the fact that Don has a penchant for cheating. Or as she puts it later, a "careless appetite." While they're both in SCDP elevator, a mystery woman enters and approaches Don, and he quickly introduces Megan as his wife. After she exits, he explains to Megan that the woman, Andrea, was someone that he worked with six years ago. He also explains what she should definitely know by now: Since he's slept with the entire island of Manhattan—and probably Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and all the surrounding suburbs, too—he's bound to run into some of them.
At the office, lots of shenanigans take place. Stan is wearing pantyhose over his face. Joyce comes in unannounced and calls Peggy "Pegasaurus," and brings with her photos "not suitable for publication" of the Richard Speck murders of eight nurses in Chicago. Megan sort of salivates over them and Michael Ginsberg is disgusted. What a bunch. As usual, no one is really doing any work.
Sally calls Don at the office while he's mid-nap. She explains that she hates Grandma Pauline, who's watching her while Betty and Henry are in Buffalo and Bobby is at sleep-away camp, "peeing himself." Sally's biggest complaint is that Grandma Pauline doesn't allow her to watch as much TV as she wants. The motif of Betty's house being haunted continues, when Don tells Sally to go outside. "I don't want you to get rickets in that haunted mansion."
In other news, Greg is home! He and Joan acknowledge that they're both pretty skinny now, and he holds his son for the first time, who, of course, isn't actually his son. It's Roger's. Joan's mom, Gale, runs some errands with the baby so that Joan and Greg can get busy. However, the honeymoon is short-lived. Greg tells Joan that he has to tell her something, which she assumes means he had an affair in Vietnam. Instead, it's that he has to go back for another year.
Joan assumes that he was ordered to do so (because that's exactly how Greg phrases it), but it turns out he volunteered. This tidbit of information comes out while he and Joan, along with her mom and his parents, are out to dinner. Naturally, this leads to a blowout fight back at their apartment, where Greg tells her that he's got his orders and now she has hers.
Elsewhere, Michael gives what's presumably his first presentation to Butler Footwear, and it's a hit. He then pitches another pitch that involves Cinderella, which Don had previously nixed, and that's a hit too. Don warns him not to do anything like that again "or else," and we get the feeling that he will probably spend the rest of Season 5 doing things exactly like that. Don calls Megan from the bar, and the camera cuts to Megan. She's got herself a nice little office, huh? Oh wait, it's Don's office. She's just keeping his chair warm. He's still hacking up whatever he ate for breakfast, and she orders him to go home and not to return back to work. So, he coughs his way into bed.
Peggy, on the other hand, has to stay late. Pete tells Roger that Mowhawk Airlines wants to discuss a campaign on Monday. This will be tricky, since all of the airlines except Mowhawk are currently on strike because the mechanics "need more wrenches or something." Roger sets aside the fact that Peggy doesn't have a penis and bribes her with what one would assume is $100 to work on a campaign over the weekend. Actually, it's only $10. Peggy cranks up the sass, and ends up swindling Roger out of $400.
Back at the Francis crypt, Grandma Pauline's starring role continues. Turns out, she's a pretty awful human being. She refuses to tell Sally about the murders, so Sally reads about it from a newspaper in the garbage can on her own. How resourceful of her. When she gets scared and can't sleep, Grandma Pauline scares the shit out of her, shows her a giant knife she keeps under her ass for protection, and gives Sally a sleeping pill. Betty and Henry come home to find Pauline, with the knife, conked out on the couch. Sally is underneath it.
And now here's where things get weird. Andrea, the woman from the elevator, shows up at Don's apartment. She flirts her way in and Don escorts her to the back stairwell, for fear that Megan is going to come home and find them. Andrea is still trying to make her way into Don's bedroom, despite the fact that he's very visibly dying from tuberculosis or something. Don falls back asleep after she leaves, and then, all of a sudden: She's back. Are they going to do it? Yes, they do. Is he going to strangle the life out of her when she calls him a "sick man"? Yes, he does. Is she dead under his bed? Yes! But wait—was it all just a fever dream? Yes.
Don wakes up in the morning to a glorious image of Megan coming to his rescue with juice. He immediately looks under the bed to see if a woman's corpse is there, but it's not. Megan explains to Don that she came home immediately after work and that she's been with him all night. So—it never happened. Matthew Weiner, yet again you've totally made something out of nothing.
Now let's get back to things that actually happened. Peggy is working late at SCDP on the Mowhawk Airlines campaign, when she hears what she assumes is a murderer in Don's office. It's Dawn, Don's new secretary. Because of the Chicago riots and their effect in New York, Dawn won't be able to get a cab to take her above 96th Street, and her brother won't allow her to take the subway.
So—Dawn and Peggy have a sleepover! Peggy gets drunk and relates her experience of being the only female copywriter at SCDP for a while to Dawn being the only African American there. Peggy then sort of takes all that empathy back when she questions leaving her purse, full of Roger's $400 bribe money, on the coffee table by where Dawn is about to go to sleep. In the morning, Dawn leaves a thank you note for Peggy's hospitality, and Peggy feels like a real asshole for thinking she'd steal her money.
The episods ends with Joan telling Greg she thinks that he should go. He takes this to mean "to Vietnam" but it really means "leave my apartment and let's get a divorce." He storms out, and tells her that if he walks out of the door he's never coming back. Joan then takes a nap with her mom and baby Kevin.
As for the coming attractions for next week's episode, maybe it's best not to analyze them anymore. They were filled with one-liners and strange side-eye glances between the entire cast, but one scene is Pete sleeping in bed with Trudy. Is he dreaming of Mowhawk Airlines, or plotting his next attempt to ruin Roger's life? Or is he just discontent that Trudy went to bed with curlers in her hair. Stay tuned!
· Episode 3: Betty's Maybe Cancer, the SCDP Grandpas [Racked]
· All Mad Men Coverage [Racked]