Mad Men: Roman Holiday

By Couch Baron
|  Monday, Oct 5, 2009  |  Updated 8:45 AM PDT
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It's August, and amid the sweltering heat, Pete has been left on his own while Trudy's at the beach, and when he runs into a German au pair who lives on his floor and has ruined an expensive dress of her mistress'...

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It's August, and amid the sweltering heat, Pete has been left on his own while Trudy's at the beach, and when he runs into a German au pair who lives on his floor and has ruined an expensive dress of her mistress's, he takes it upon himself to get it replaced. When he speaks to a manager at the store, it just so happens to be Joan, and she handles the dress situation with her usual extreme competence, but when Pete triumphantly produces the replacement frock, the girl tells him she's got a boyfriend.

He seems to take that in stride, but later, he drunkenly shows up at her door, and soon, they are going at it. Unfortunately, the girl's employer shows up the next day and gives Pete some friendly but pointed advice about staying away from his nanny and keeping his extracurricular activities out of the building.

This lesson is driven home when Trudy and Pete run into the au pair in the elevator, and although nothing untoward happens there, Trudy's kindness and affection cause a wave of guilt that suddenly overwhelms Pete. The meaning of this reaction is not lost on Trudy, but later, Pete tells her he doesn't want her to go away without him anymore, and she chooses to see this development in a positive light.

Don has been doing some intermittent traveling for the Hilton account, and he and Betty are getting along again, so when he gets called to Rome, he invites her along, but she initially declines, at least partly because she's too busy slaving away for an imminent hearing over the Pleasantville reservoir issue.

Francis shows up at said hearing with a request from the Governor's office for further study of the quality of the reservoir's water, which is enough to suspend the project for the moment. But when this leads to a kiss between them, initiated by him, Betty changes her mind and decides to accompany Don to Italy. You'll remember, of course, that Betty spent a significant amount of time in Italy when she was younger, and she falls right back into speaking the language as though she never left, which charms everyone around her, including Don, as the two of them spend a romantic night of reconnection together.

While Don and Betty are away, Francine leaves her kids with Carla, and when Bobby sees Sally giving Ernie a kiss, Sally lashes out at her brother verbally and physically. Carla reports this to Betty when she returns, and Betty gives Sally a short but stern talking-to about hitting her brother, and then a longer, more motherly chat about the magic of a first kiss. Combined with the lovely trip, it's no wonder when Betty tells Francine not to expect her to reach out to Francis anymore, but it's clear that the trip to Rome only underscored to Betty how humdrum her existence in Ossining is, so despite her tacit declaration of fidelity, it looks like a bumpy road ahead indeed.

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