It is tempting to say things slowed down in this episode because it lacked the frenetic quality of last week's episode. Except in this week's episode a lot of things happened. This week's episode was titled "The Better Half" and, indeed, there was more focus on the women and on their relationships past and present. It's worth noting that Weiner was again joined by Erin Levy as co-writer - is she his better half when it comes to writing episodes giving more air time to the women of "Mad Men"? The term seems to come into focus with Megan when she explains her role on the soap as twins: “They’re like two halves of the same person. They want the same thing, but they’re trying to get it in different ways.” By then we have seen a newly thin Betty, well admired by a service station attendant, as well as by a peer of husband Henry Francis. (What, you think we wouldn't have noticed that January Jones is no longer in a fat suit?) Except that Betty seemed to be using Don, letting him know what a real woman is - how's that for a twist? About Megan. "That poor girl. She doesn't know that loving you is the worst way to get to you," Betty says to Don in a pillow talk exchange. Did gaining, then losing, weight give Betty some new insight into her life? Or at least into Don? Betty and Don are thrown together because, particularly if the show was a sitcom, the episode could have been called "Bobby Goes to Camp." We see Don playing the role of a good parent. This is consistent, perhaps, with the change that may have begun in the last episode. Don never went to camp, of course. But there he is playing with Bobby. Oh, and Bobby sees another kid named Bobby and explains that he, himself, is Bobby 5: “I’m Bobby 5—it’s sad. There’s no Bobby 1 any more.” Actually Mason Dale Cotton is the fourth young actor we've seen as Bobby, but the first Bobby we saw was a toddler, three years old - we never saw an infant Bobby 1. Weiner and/or Levy seems to be poking fun at how TV frequently replaces a kid actor while the kid grows from toddler to teenager. A number of story lines continue in this episode. Roger screws up with his grandson by taking him to see Planet of the Apes. Why not, Don took Bobby? But his grandkid is younger and a wimp. His daughter Margaret tells him he can't see his grandson again unless Roger is there with his ex-wife, Margaret's mother. In a weird line Margaret tells him: "We'll probably have to get rid of the dog, he's afraid of the fur." Roger then tries to recover by taking a gift to his young son no one else knows about. But Joan is the mother and she makes it clear Roger is to stay out of the picture. Besides, she, the kid and Bob Benson are headed to the beach. Bob Benson is.... What is this guy? Joan tells him about Pete's mother which she only knows because she may be the only person Pete can talk to about his work-life balance issues. Bob then just happens to be able to give Pete a lead on a really qualified nurse to help with mom. And speaking of Pete, Harry turns him on to a headhunter because things aren't that solid here at SCDPetc. Except that Duck Phillips is the headhunter. Duck warns Pete about the situation at at SCDPetc. saying: "I've been you. I went on interviews and realized I filled the room with desperation." He tells him: "There's a head of marketing job in Wichita you'd be perfect for." He describes SCDPetc. as like the "27 Yankees" which generally refers to the power found in the first six hitters in the team lineup. Pete is in danger of not being seen in the lineup. And Duck warns Pete to get his family life in order. Then there is the historical context that we always have in "Mad Men". On July 3, 1968, a Bulgarian immigrant and Neo-Nazi, 42-year old Angel Angelof, opens fire from a lavatory roof in Central Park, killing a 24-year old woman and an 80-year old man before being gunned down by the police. The shooting took place across from where Jacqueline Kennedy's 5th Avenue apartment in case you were wondering why you kept hearing all those sirens. According to Time Magazine: Which brings us to Peggy. The most interesting, and sad, storyline was how Peggy got to here: What is it they say about guns? Something about accidentally shooting a household member? Apparently knives taped to the end of a mop handle aren't exactly a great idea for error-free self-protection either. (I'm not quite sure whether Weiner and/or Levy is making fun of pro-gun control people or NRA types, but the context of the sirens and paranoid Peggy stabbing Abe tells us we certainly haven't made any progress on this subject.) Anyway, Peggy has inadvertently cut her ties to Abe. Along with the clueless ambulance attendant we hear this exchange: Abe: I thought you'd be braver. You're in advertising. Peggy: Don't do this right now. I said I was sorry. Abe: Your activities are offensive to my every waking moment. I'm sorry, but you'll always be the enemy. Peggy: Are you breaking up with me? Yep! Then to add insult to injury in her romantic prospects, Ted tells her he couldn't even feel the brush of her hand without reacting and, by the way, I'm sorry about you and Abe but I'm not interested, now let's go to work. Earlier in the episode she found herself caught between Ted and Don over how to market margarine. Margarine in 1968 is a you-have-to-have-been-there thing. Today I have to look carefully in the grocery stores to find margarine for a few recipes. For the most part people buy it because it's substantially cheaper than butter. It was originally created in the 1880's, it's artificial and I can believe it's not butter. Between 1940 and the mid-1960s in the U.S., butter consumption reduced by half, while margarine consumption tripled. The argument between Ted and Don is whether there is any noticeable difference between the "more expensive" margarine or the cheap margarine. Ted thinks price is an issue. Don doesn't see that as a marketing point. The hint here, Peggy, is that there is a difference - neither Ted nor Abe are butter like Don. Peggy is the one woman Don actually has mentored, encouraging her ambition in a backhanded way. And we know Don has already warned her about Ted: "Don't let him fool you." Peggy refuses to take a side against Ted or Don in the margarine debate. Afterwards Don chastises her saying he wanted her to make a decision: “You should try it sometime. It’s what professionals do.” Peggy argues defensively, ending up complaining about how Don marginalizes her: “Well, he never makes me feel this way.” Don replies, “He doesn’t know you." Yep, Don knows you Peggy, and you know him. In fact, you both know more about each other than anyone else in your professional lives since you first met. It's time to cue the closing music... [youtubehd]JoUi41ZktaY[/youtubehd] ...which is Lou Johnson's 1964 version "Always Something There to Remind Me" by composer Burt Bacharach with lyricist Hal David who provided these lyrics: I walk along the city streets you used to walk along with me, and every step I take reminds me of just how we used to be. Well, how can I forget you, girl? When there is always something there to remind me. always something there to remind me. As shadows fall, I pass a small cafe where we would dance at night. And I can't help recalling how it how it felt to kiss and hold you tight Well, how can I forget you, girl? When there is always something there to remind me. always something there to remind me. I was born to love her, and I'll never be free. You'll always be a part of me. If you should find you miss the sweet and tender love we used to share. Just go back to the places where we used to go, and I'll be there Well, how can I forget you, girl? When there is always something there to remind me. always something there to remind me. I was born to love her, and I'll never be free You'll always be a part of me. 'cause there is always something there to remind me. always something there to remind me. always something there to remind me. Yeah, sure, "how we used to be." Some seem to remember the disappointment. Not everyone wants it to be like it used to be. Don thinks he does but Betty does not. Megan thinks she does but Don does not. Roger thinks he does but Joan does not (nor does Margaret). Pete thinks he does but no one in his life does. And Peggy didn't even want the firms to merge because she's didn't want it back the way it used to be with Don. Because, Don notwithstanding, for her there's always something there to remind her - Pete.