Mad Men Review: Get On The Scale, Get Off The Scale

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Both of Don Draper's former wives made valiant returns in "Dark Shadows." Fat Betty ate up the screen (pun intended) with every emotion you can imagine, while the deceased Anna Draper appeared in mention only via an attempt to cause a rift in Don's now solid family situation.

Although everyone in the known universe hates Betty Francis, it is difficult to argue that January Jones has been amazing in the role over these past five years. Let's look at the depth at which she portrayed the character this week by running through the many emotions of Fat Betty...

Megan Draper Photo

Not only did it make me sad watching Betty attend those bizarre Weight Watcher meetings, it obviously was making her sad to be there. The leader of that crew is all well and good, but I think they could all benefit from a more influential instructor. I would suggest someone like Tony Perkis, who always knows how to treat his students at a "weigh-in."

With things seemingly not running so smoothly with Henry, Betty was supremely jealous when she walked through Don's apartment. The trendy furniture wasn't the only thing she was jealous of, though. Seeing Megan with her shirt off – and later reading that note from Don to his new wife – must have shattered Fat Betty's self confidence a lot.

She certainly is trying, but after that encounter with Megan, Betty just had to go straight for the fridge once she returned home. I don't know why, but in that split second she was opening the door, I couldn't have been more interested. What was she going to choose? Carrots? A ham? Ice cream? Nope, she went right for the whipped cream, and took it to the face like a pro. The guilt hit her like a ton of bricks, however, and watching her spit the cream out into the sink was hilarious.

Although she showed many emotions in taking that lone bite at dinner, my favorite to see on Betty's face was joy. She was happy to be eating a wonderful piece of food, and because her relationship isn't what she wanted it to be and she seemingly has no friends at this point, that one bite was the happiest she is going to be for the time being. As she chewed, though, it seemed like she also felt more guilt, then confusion, the sadness, jealousy, and joy again.

Jones was great in this episode, and she did it so quietly. There were no "That's what the money is for!" outbursts leading to this high praise. She subtly put forth a fantastic performance around many other great performances.

The other Draper ladies were amazing as well, especially the scene between Megan and Sally. To paraphrase Don, which one was the child? Sally had complete control over Megan as she demanded to know who Anna was, and basically was telling her stepmother to give her what she wants and then keep her mouth shut. "Don't you dare tell Don I asked you." She is feisty, and Keirnan Shipka was unsurprisingly wonderful.

As much as fans have begun to hate Megan as much as Betty lately, I remain steadfast of the opinion that she is good for Don. Take, for example, when she told him about what happened with the whole Sally/Anna/Betty thing. He was fired up and ready to call Betty to yell at her, but Megan calmed him down, and explained that Betty wanted nothing more than that. She reasons with the man who sometimes can seem as unreasonable as they come.

Finally, "Dark Shadows" was also filled with some great SCDP drama. Don dealing with Ginsberg's rise to success, but mostly that single creative meeting in which they both pitched their Sno Ball ideas, was intriguing to say the least.

Both ideas were enjoyed by all. The difference seems to be that Michael is coming up with a million ideas all of the time. They aren't all that thought out, they're not that brilliant, but they're funny. Don, on the other hand, spends hours and hours thinking of one idea. It is also funny, but it's a very different style, and I can see the advertising world slowly moving in Michael's direction. He is a rising star, and that might cause even more trouble for Don in the near future.

What did you all think of this week's episode? Were you as impressed with Jones as I was? Are you afraid of Michael Ginsberg for Don? And how many more times is Pete going to dream of a naked Rory Gilmore this season?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (47 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


People hate Megan? I think she's a great character, and I love her being with Don. She adds a new dimension to Hamm's character. I hate and will always hate Betty, but that's because January Jones is the worst actress who ever walked the face of the Earth.

Ava mila

@Mia yeah she is fat but that had nothing to do with the situation. It was just mean. Just like leaving Ginsberg's work in the cab. I know he is a jerk but I always imagined him being at least supportive to his co-workers. That was such a Pete move there. This season he only supported Megan, he either ignores everybody else, yells at them or pulls a jealous scene like this one. I thought after all this years in the business he didn't have to use such crapy ways to feel successful.
Don't get me wrong, I don't like Megan more then Betty (look at my name!!) I just think she has a smart way to deal with Don. He is the one who changed for worse. I'll rather have him be a single playboy than a jealous whiny little boy addicted to everybody's attention.


january jones was PREGNANT during the filming people - that is why betty was written as "fat" this season.


@ Betty Draper, it seems Megan is ALWAYS calming Don into subjection, its becoming formulaic, this is a drama, not a sitcom. Megan is more his therapist(the rapist), than wife, and she's raping the raw emotion right out of the putz, I mean, his real name is Dick for a reason. Also, when Don said "Betty should keep her fat nose out of it", was pure perfection, she's fat, why tip-toe around it, has nothing to do with respect. There isn't a reason to focus on Joan at this point, what are they going to show, Joan feuding w/ her mother and changing baby diapers, that would be a huge yawn fest, almost as much as continuing Roger and Jane's story line. We already know how she's coping because it was her decision to get a divorce, not the other way around. I rather wait until Joan's gets a lover or her loser ex comes back from the war either dead or maimed, begging for her to take him back. Speaking of Roger, how funny was it when Cooper looked at his watch when Roger told him he was divorcing Jane, ha.


I'm kind of annoyed they've focused so much on Megan this season. Like, i get it, but I feel like some of the other characters are getting shoved aside. I mean, January Jones was pregnant, and Lane was shooting fringe, but what about joan?? Christina Hendricks has barely been in the last couple of episodes! I want to know more about how she's coping etc

Ava mila

I think Betty has already lost a little weight, her face seemed much skinnier then in ep2. I'm positive she will be back in shape in s6.
I also liked her late night conversation with Henry, even though he's boring he really loves her and she is supportive with his career.
But I have to admit Megan was the bigger person in this fight, even though I like Betty more. She explained Don's and Ann's marriage really well to Sally and she calmed Don down. Betty had no objective reason and right to get in their business but Don was very hurtful when he said she shouldn't get her fat nose in everything. She still is the mother of his children and he should have some respect even in these kind of situations.


I absolutely loved Betty, she brings spice into this undulating season. I have faith she will lose her weight, please writers do so within the next three episodes, can't take much more of that awful fat suit. Megan is not good for Don, his behavior at SCDP proves this, given the fact his competitive spirit reared its head once she was gone. And when Megan told him not to call Betty, it wasn't maturity talking, it was fear of letting Betty "win". Her exchange with Sally and how easily she was played exposed the depth of Megan's insecure tendencies, that actually stifles/suffocates Don instead of benefiting him. When Don told Ginsberg that he doesn't think about him, I was like "yes, you go Don". If Megan were in the elevator with him or knew he purposely left Ginse's pitch in the cab, she would've lectured him to death, thank goodness she left SCDP.

Ava mila

*or she will die. Cause let's face it, she's too perfect for this show, and in Mad Men there is no black or white. Every character is a shade of grey.
And I really love Sally, she's so smart. How she told Megan to make herself cry was so funny and she put her mother in her place by not telling her about the fight, cause she knew that's what Betty wanted to hear.

Ava mila

I don't know who bothered me more this episode with their jealousy: Betty or Don?
Betty handled the strange moment with Megan pretty good, I was happy when she resisted the whipped cream and spited it out. That was a huge step for her, to not solve her problems with food.
However, I was very disappointed when she couldn't get over the note, when she got to know how much Megan means to Don she just got in her old bitchy ways. To tell Sally about Anna at this point was over the top, she was just acting like a child.
Don however was so narcissistic and an ass with the whole Snow Ball pitch that I really wanted to punch him in the face. So know when he didn't have his wife to entertain him at work he starts to actually do something? And then he has to be better then anybody else, cause he still wants to be the star even though he works less then Roger these days. Megan seems to handle everything so perfectly that I start to think that either she has a big dirty secret or she will die soon, cause let's face it, she's too perfect for this kind of show where nothing is black or white.


Fat Betty is just so fat

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Mad Men Season 5 Episode 9 Quotes

You know Don; tall guy, short temper.


Stop telling me things I said that night. Like I know I didn't promise to re-marry right away just to save you alimony.