So, apparently the cure for a bad cough is hot soup followed by coerced sex. I had an unsettling feeling Aimée would take his virginity when eyeing Dick in 'Collaborators,' warning him to "get his own vices."
But a lot of fault for Don’s emotional turmoil goes to his stepmother. Upon finding out about his tryst with the hooker, she beats him with a wooden spoon, screaming and calling him “disgraceful.”
The physical and verbal beating propelled Don into the sex and booze fiend he would become. Anything to numb the perpetual shame and fear of abandonment. It’s what drives him away from Megan, just like with Betty before.
Sylvia, on the other hand, won’t talk to Don. This rejection pushes him into stalker mode, smoking outside Sylvia’s apartment for hours on end. He marks his territory by leaving a pile of cigarettes. Sylvia, the crafty adulteress, fools Arnie into thinking she’s picked up smoking again.
She calls Don at the office to tell him to stop stalking her. And more importantly, just to be happy that he got away with adultery.
“I know you want to see me, too,” Don says. Is he delusional or just desperate?
“Don’t make me be the one to hang up,” Sylvia remorsefully says. It’s essentially a less adorable and more twisted form of the puppy love “no, you hang up!” conversations. She hangs up first.
After Don announces his half-baked pitch to Peggy and Ginsy, he races home. He’s practicing his speech to Sylvia as he unlocks the door to his apartment where cops and his ex greet him. Yikes.
On Monday, Don’s in the elevator when it stops on Sylvia’s floor. The scene is painfully long and awkward. Other than a quick “How are you?” exchange, neither says a word to each other. Sylvia briefly looks over at him, while Don coolly stares straight ahead.
Don’s stern and detached expression can mean only one thing: He’s over Sylvia. And with that, he’s also called quits to partaking in any creative ideas. Wait, huh?
Just like his abstinence from adultery and Peggy’s separation from SCDP, I doubt this will last long. Don not flexing any creative muscle at work will drain him of his ego.
And Don without his ego, as fragile as it is, is like Roger without his charm. He’ll crack without it. It might wane from time to time, but I refuse to believe he’s capped out all his creative resources.
If he genuinely is serious about cutting ties with his creative outlet, maybe he should spend more time with his children.
Sure, Sally seems grown up. In typical older sibling fashion, she bosses Bobby around and even packs his suitcase for him. (Poor kid.)
When getting ready to go over to Don’s, Betty asks her where Sally got her new mini skirt. Sally says she bought it with money she earned. “On what street corner?” Betty snaps. Leave it to Betty to compare her daughter to a hooker. Like daughter, like Don’s mother? Eesh, hopefully not.
Don’s still at the office when Megan’s about to leave to land a Broadway gig. Rather than wait for the unpredictable Don (more so than usual on this drug), Megan leaves Sally in charge of Bobby and Gene. With the promise of money for boots, Sally can’t resist.
Usually this wouldn’t be a terrible move. Usually. That’s until they get an unexpected visitor. Sally finds a disheveled black woman pilfering through their china. Who is she, Sally asks? Grandma Ida, who kind of raised Don. So she says.
“Grandma” Ida almost had me convinced she might actually know Don when she asked Sally, “Is your mom still a piece of work?” Yes, she is, and so is this shady lady.
When sweet ol’ “Grandma” heads to the other room to find the gold watch she needs to fix (ahem, steal), Sally calls the cops. Ida, master of deceit, takes the phone from Sally and tells the police it was a prank. A guilt trip or two later, Ida’s on her way to get fresh air (i.e. bolt in the night).
Then Don arrives home, only to come crashing onto the ground. Before he faints, Betty hurls accusations of Megan sleeping with the producers and Don sleeping with everyone else. The latter we know is true. It’s not clear if Megan is sleeping around or not, but at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if she were.