'Mad Men' Season 6, Episode 9 Recap - 'The Better Half'

(AMC)

Pete Campbell's sideburns have gotten downright unruly this season, haven't they? Look at them, up there, slowly distancing themselves from his face, making their break for freedom.

Anyway! Onto the recap! After last week's speed-fueled episode maybe this one will be a bit more straightforward?

We open with the great butter vs. margarine debate. Things are getting heated between Don and Ted. They call Peggy over to tell them which campaign is better "mouthwatering, savory delicious taste," (Don) or "mouthwatering, savory delicious taste at a lower price" (Ted). Peggy is like (to paraphrase), 'They're both great! Yay margarine!" Which is not the answer they were looking for.



Be-wigged Megan! She's on the set of her soap opera, where she wears lace pantsuits and goes by the name of Colette. Or Carine. She plays twins!


Don is not over this butter vs. margarine thing. He corners Peggy in her office because he wants to know why she didn't back him up earlier. Peggy is over trying to decide who she should be more loyal to — her old boss, or her old old boss. It looks like she thinks a bit more highly of Ted at the moment, though. (Remember when they made out last episode?) "He's interested in the idea, and you're interested in your idea,' she tells Don. Burn.

Blonde Betty is back in full force. The bouffant in on point, she's wearing a yellow gown (And those swingy pearl earring from that episode when she and Don went Rome, I think?) and flirting with Henry's colleague. And Henry is pissed. "Stewart did everything but grab your ass," he says. Oh, wait just kidding. He's turned on by it. Henry and Betty commence making out in the back of their limo.


Oh no! Abe was stabbed on his way from the subway to his and Peggy's apartment. But, out of a misplaced sense of social justice, he won't give the police a description of the kids who attacked him. "Were they colored or Puerto Rican?" the police ask. "Or white?" Abe says.


Roger Sterling's grandson is in the office, and everyone is doting on him.

Duck Phillips and Pete Campbell are having a sleaze summit. Or at least that's what it feels like when these two get together. Duck is a headhunter now! He's trying to get Pete to move to Wichita. I am still not over Chauncey. It is really all I can think about when I see Duck.


NEVER FORGET.

Don runs into Betty at a gas station on the way to Bobby's camp. He and the gas station attendant are blatantly checking her out.


Ted is yelling at Peggy because she TOUCHED his HAND in a presentation, which means everyone is going to know they made out, obviously. Peggy has basically forgotten about the kiss, while Ted is in love with her. Awkwardness ensues.

Is Bobby aging in reverse? Was the original Bobby (Bobbies?) older than Bobby Draper 4.0? Don, Betty, and Bobby have stopped at a diner for lunch on their way to camp, and they are singing a camp song ("Father Abraham") as a family. Weird.


Pete corners Joan in the copy room to tell her about everything that's been going on with his wife and mother. "I can't solve those problems, Pete. I have those problems," she says. Good point. Pete needs people to tell him to get over himself more often. 

Ahh! Don and Betty are at a motel now. They're drinking on a stoop and talking about their kids. Then Don follows Betty into her room. He grabs her hair. Who else is yelling "Don't do it!!!" at their screens? Betty is like, "What are you doing?" Then Don is like, ::puts sunglasses on:: "Waiting for you to tell me to stop."

Ugh. "What did you think when you saw me?" Betty says. "That you were as beautiful as the day I met you." Don. No.

Then, THIS HAPPENED:

Okay, it's a parody account. But still.

Megan's actress friend Arlene has stopped by the Draper's place for a drink. "Don is very proud of you. You can tell by how protective he is," Arlene says. Megan tells Arlene that Don is "old-fashioned," then she admits she's lonely. Then. THEN. Arlene tries to make out with Megan. Megan isn't having it, and Arlene is like, "You invited me over and there were two bottles of wine! What was I supposed to think?" Which would normally be out of left field, but remember when Arlene and her husband were trying to figure out if Megan and Don were swingers?


Who should make out next? Joan and Peggy? Duck and Betty? Roger and Don? (That last one might be kind of hot, actually.)

Betty and Don are in bed, everyone. "I'm happy with my life. Let's just enjoy this," Betty says. Then Don says of sex, "It doesn't mean that much to me." Betty brings up Megan. "That poor girl. She doesn't know that loving you is the worst way to get to you." You know, normal pillow talk.

Peggy walks in on Abe boarding up their bedroom window after someone threw a rock through it. She's freaking out because she doesn't feel safe in their apartment anymore. Abe finally agrees to put the place on the market. "Maybe we're not cut out to be pioneers," he says.

Roger's daughter Margaret is not happy that he took her son to see Planet of the Apes. Roger is like, "But Don took his kid." "Don Draper, father of the year," Margaret says. AND THEN. She tells him he can't see his grandson unless her mother is there, too. Oof.

Don walks into the diner near Bobby's camp to see Betty and Henry eating together. They exchange hellos, and then Don walks over to his table of loneliness, to gaze at Betty and Henry forlornly.

Ooh Bob is hanging out with Joan at her apartment. They're getting ready to go to the beach. Bob's little beach shorts! Then Roger rings the doorbell and he's like "Who are you?" when Bob answers. Roger makes up some excuse about needing paperwork from Joan and everyone looks very flustered.

Over at Peggy and Abe's, Peggy has fashioned a spear (!) out of a broom and a knife. She just heard a noise. OMG it was Abe and she just stabbed him by accident!!!

"Your activities are offensive to my every waking moment," Abe tells Peggy when he's in the back of the ambulence, slipping in and out of consciousness. "You'll always be the enemy." Peggy is like, "Are you breaking up with me?" Then Abe tells her this breakup will make a great ending to his article, and we all feel a little less sorry about the fact that he just got stabbed.

When Don gets home, Megan tells him that something in their relationship has to change. "You're right," Don says. "I haven't been here." No, Don. You've been off sleeping with your ex-wife.

The next day, at the office, Joan tells Roger he can't just drop in on her to see Kevin. Roger wants to see his son, but Joan would rather have Kevin believe that Greg is his real dad. Because, as Joan says, Greg is a "hero." YOU KNOW THAT'S NOT TRUE, JOAN.


"Something delicate has come to my attention," Bob says to Pete. Oh no. But wait! Bob just wants to recommend a nurse for Pete's mother. Still, I don't trust this Bob guy.

Peggy pays Ted a visit in his office. She tells him that she and Abe broke up, expecting a reaction. Instead, Ted says, "You'll find someone else. And whoever he is, he's lucky to have you." The he tells Peggy to get to work. Sigh.

And, that's it! So much happened tonight. Leave your best guesses as to when exactly Peggy and Ted will hook up again, how many child actors will play Bobby Draper before the season is over, and Bob Benson's real identity, in the comments!
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