Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Inheritance – Mad Men Episode Summary 2.10

The Inheritance Mad Men Episode SummarySynopsis: Pete Campbell learns that his father has squandered his inheritance, while Betty Draper learns that her father has suffered a stroke. Don and Betty put on a false pretense to hide their separation from her family. Their charade seemed to have brought them back together. At the office, Don Draper bumps off Paul Kinsey from the business trip, and decides to fly to Los Angeles.

Episode Summary: At Sterling Cooper, Don Draper briefs his staff for their upcoming business trip to Los Angeles. Pete Campbell and Paul Kinsey are to attend a convention they believe will be filled with astronauts, scientists, engineers and generals all of whom have multimillion-dollar projects in their pockets. Moreover, congressmen intent on bringing the aerospace business to their districts will also be at the conference. It is the mad men’s job to convince these congressmen that Sterling Cooper is the ad agency that could help them reach their goal. Continue reading...

Later that night, Trudy Campbell tries to convince her husband to bring her along with him. Pete, however, makes it clear that it will be to his disadvantage if she comes along for her presence will undermine his position at the office especially since Don Draper has already set strict ground rules. The trip is all business. Conceding to her husband’s decision, Trudy then tries her luck with the idea of them adopting a child. The couple has been trying for quite some time now to bear a child with no success. With the pressure from the young woman’s parents, Trudy could think of no other choice but to adopt. This angers Pete Campbell. Pete wants a child of his flesh and blood, and not someone else’s.

Still living in a hotel, Don Draper receives a late night call from his wife. Betty had just learned that her father had suffered a stroke three days ago. The news she only found out through her brother for her father’s girlfriend Gloria did not even bother to inform her. Don Draper offers to accompany her that very night to see her father, but Betty insists that they just visit him first thing in the morning. She uses the kids who are already fast asleep as the reason for her decision.

Don and Betty Draper arrive at her father’s house without hinting about their separation. Her brother, William, arrives soon after. Gene Hofstadt though appears to have recovered from his mild stroke is showing signs of dementia. The old man mistakes his daughter for his wife. Betty, who always disapproved of Gloria, was given one more reason to dislike her when she learns that her father has had several strokes before without anyone informing her.

At Sterling Cooper, Paul Kinsey’s girlfriend arrives to meet him for lunch. Sheila, a young African American woman, has gotten some disapproving looks from the secretaries. What was supposed to be a pleasant lunch out with her boyfriend turns into a debate when she learns that Paul Kinsey will not be joining her to Mississippi for he will be flying off to Los Angeles instead.

Pete Campbell receives a visit from his brother, Bud, with news of their late father’s dire finances. Both had no idea until their father’s death that the old man had dried up the well, and used up what would have been their inheritance. They both worry that the little money their father had left will not be enough to sustain their mother’s lifestyle. Pete also takes the opportunity to inform his brother of their plan to adopt a child to see what his reaction would be. Bud though finds it unfortunate that his brother has to resort to drastic measures tries his best to be supportive. Regrettably, he informs their mother of Pete’s plan to adopt. Dorothy Campbell strongly disapproves of this, and even threatens to disown her own son if Pete pushes through with the adoption. Pete was willing to shrug off her mother’s criticism, but her mention of his father’s disapproval set him off to inform her of the embarrassing truth that her husband had spent all her money leaving her with almost nothing.

Don and Betty Draper spend the night at her father’s house. Don has been a good sport despite Gene Hofstadt’s sudden outburst at remembering that Don has no family, and that people like him cannot be trusted. The two continue in the charade to hide their separation. Though they share the same room. Both agreed not to sleep in the same bed, and so Don sleeps on the floor. Later that night, however, Betty has a change of heart. She joins her husband on the floor, and the two make love. The next morning, Betty is in a sour mood, which quickly changes to confusion when her father once again mistakes her for his wife, and makes a pass at her. Arrival of a familiar face gave comfort to the already troubled Betty Draper. Viola, her family’s long-time maid, has come to help tidy up, and also to serve as a crying shoulder for Betty who worries that her father’s condition is worsening. Betty fears that she will lose her father very soon making her an orphan. Don and Betty Draper arrive home. After the previous night’s love making, it seemed logical to Don that his wife has forgiven him, and is ready to take him back. Much to his surprise, Betty Draper insists that all were pretend.

Don Draper arrives in the office surprised at the absence of his staff. As it turns out, many have gathered in the conference room to give Harry Crane a surprise party to celebrate the news of his wife bearing a child. The alcohol that was served to the employees of Sterling Cooper seems to have caused them to act strange. The uptight secretary, Hildy whom Harry has had an affair with congratulates him, and gives him an affectionate hug. Suddenly, Don decides to attend the Rocket Fair in California taking Paul Kinsey’s place. With Jane Siegel fired, Joan Holloway once again plays the role of Don Draper’s secretary, and was tasked to inform Paul of their boss’ decision. Joan notifies Paul that he will not be flying off to Los Angeles in front of their colleagues terribly embarrassing the copywriter. With him bumped off the business trip, Paul wastes no time to tell his girlfriend that he will be joining her at the rally in Mississippi. Lastly, Pete calls on Peggy Olson, and asks her out of the blue of her opinion of his hatred towards his mother.

Later that night, Betty Draper sits alone in her kitchen startled by a sound in her yard. At that moment, she probably regrets sending her husband away. The next morning, she finds their dog restlessly barking at the playhouse only to discover that Glen had run away, and has been living in the playhouse for a few days. The young boy was upset at learning that his father is planning on taking him and his sister away. Even more upsetting is his mother’s nonchalance. Betty Draper takes in the boy, and learns that he has come to rescue her. Disturbingly, Betty other than a sympathetic look did nothing to rectify the boy’s fantasies. The arrival of her children, and Carla interrupts the awkward moment of them holding hands. It was only then did Betty come to her senses, and she gives Glen Bishop’s mother a call. Helen Bishop arrives relieved to have found her son safe and sound. Glen, however, begins to hate Betty Draper. Later, troubled at finding her son camping out at the Draper’s, Helen returns to have a word with Betty. Betty informs her that the boy feels alone, and is in need of a mother. Helen acknowledges that she has been neglecting her kids. Betty, just like Glen, is a lonely person. She finds an unlikely confidant in Helen Bishop, and tells her of her separation with Don uncertain of what their future will be. Helen, a divorcee, knows Betty’s situation all too well. She tells her that the hardest part is realizing that you are in-charge. Sorry for Betty, she will be left alone for quite awhile given that Don Draper had escaped to California.

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Anonymous said...

Betty's fathers last name can't be Draper. Thats Don's last name, not hers.

Comprehensive Episode Guides said...

^Oops! You're absolutely right! Thanks for pointing that out. I changed it to Hofstadt.