Register Now!

So Betty finally knows all about Don Draper's mysterious past. Three seasons have been leading up to this point: The BIG REVEAL! Will it save their marriage — or destroy it?

I shocked myself by completely rooting for Betty to GET BACK WITH DON. I hated all of Don's affairs (and hated watching my husband watch all of Don's affairs). I'm not one of those women who was like, "He's so hot — who cares?! I'd screw him." I was like, "SOLIDARITY WITH MY SISTERS." But I couldn't help rooting for them to give it one more try, and make it work.

Yes, Betty — like the rest of us — now knows just how much of a cad Don/Dick truly is, and she can dump him as fast as he dumps inefficient secretaries.
Which sort of "cad" are you referring to? I take "cad" to mean more of "cheating bastard" not "tortured soul who changed his name to escape war."

Do I have to pick one? Shouldn't the question of "which indiscretion are you referring to?" be a sign that this marriage is not working?
But now with his being an open book, they really have a chance for redemption.

He may be an open book now, but Betty was wooed by and fell in love with Don Draper — and now she's stuck with Dick Whitman. Just because he was good at his con doesn't make him less culpable for the many lies he told.
But Don had an emotional awakening, and wasn't it the wall he built up that caused all of his cheating and so many of their problems in their marriage? Should Betty do tit-for-tat, or run off into another kettle of disfunction with that skeezy politican Henry Francis? Or should she try and make it work? It's not like she doesn't have her own walls built up, either. Hello, repression, thy name is Betty.

Didn't Don "recommit" to his marriage after his little California swinger's vacation? And after his drunk-driving accident? And probably countless times before? We've seen this dance: Betty calls him on some shit, he plays the doting husband for a week. Until he finds some sexy stewardess to bang.
I think he's felt constant guilt, but this is the first time he revealed his real name, his real self, to Betty. It's different, you have to admit.

It IS different, and that's the point: Don has finally revealed every lie he's told to Betty. And Betty had to confront him about it; this was no volunteered confession. And you don't get points for not lying another time to cover up the web you've already spun. Now that she finally sees the whole truth, it should be pretty obvious: get the hell out of Dodge.
She doesn't know the whole truth about the affairs, but I'd argue she also knows who he is. He wasn't hiding his likes and dislikes from her. He wasn't hiding his personality. They were in love when they got married. So the question is: when someone fucks up royally, do you take them back or do you work on it — especially when you have three young kids and it's a different generation? She's not leaving him to go after her ideal job. She would flee from a man she loves — but who she's understandably furious with — to a man she doesn't even know. It'd be from one situation to a nearly identical one. You think she shouldn't slow down, talk to Don, and try to make it work?

She may not know Henry Francis, but until two weeks ago she didn't know her husband either. The woman is the very definition of "long-suffering." And when is a mistake a bridge too far? He's already cheated many times, lied about his identity, and ignored her. What does he have to do, kill someone?
You're seriously saying you can live with someone for seven or more years and not know them? You know a lot about them, no matter what they try to hide. Yes, Don lied about his name. He had affairs. So has every other man on the show, as have many of the women.

Yes, lots of men had affairs on the show, but Don's had by far the most (that we've seen). He only shows remorse when he's caught; why should we expect him to change his ways now? Betty should decide to DUMP HIS ASS.
I think he's constantly remorseful — and constantly unhappy.

Thanks to his own choices. There are consequences to your actions, and Betty is well within her rights to say that, after years of emotional neglect, the marriage is dead. In fact, she should. Don Draper gets away with everything. He needs a good kick in the pants.
Ha, well, that's what I thought, too — up until the last episode. Look, in this generation, it would never have gone that far. I can't imagine any woman now putting up with what she did then. But if someone cheated, let's say once, and you have three kids, do you end it abruptly? I used to say that, before I was married. (And I STILL say, if a man cheats on me, I'll cut off his junk. I can't imagine if my husband cheated on me. I'm Italian. I might kill him, and her. And kick the cat. Or at least order a lot of embarrassing porn and have it sent to both their workplaces.)

But what's in this for Betty, exactly? Why does she have to put in the effort to make amends and reestablish their bond when Don was the one who did wrong? Why is Don rewarded with a stable marriage (if they can work it out) for finally not lying?
Love? Love makes you do crazy things! What if she still loves him? (She says she doesn't, but is she just pissed the hell off?) Love would be the only reason to stay.

Ah yes, love does make you do crazy things. Like offer to fly your mistress off to Paris the day you get your bonus check.
That was at least one season ago!

There are lots of couples who still love each other in some way but should break up nonetheless. This is one of them. I understand the urge to see them work it out — it's romantic, and Don, for all his faults, is sympathetic. That's why we watch. But pragmatically, I think he's fucked up far too many times. And he's clearly never learned a lesson. Betty definitely isn't perfect, but I think she should stand up for herself and tell Don to shove it.
Okay, Don's fucked up many times. I actually didn't find him sympathetic until last episode, when I fell for his weepy, tortured eyes. But what if this is the real change, the seachange of his very existence?

Shouldn't she give it a month? A trial separation? At least TALK ABOUT IT? She basically patted Don on the back and then appeared to seriously consider a marriage proposal from a man she's seen in person maybe five times. Is this a better option?

YES. It's not like the troubles in their marriage started just now! They've already almost divorced. By any standard, their marriage is a farce, a travesty, a ridiculous pantomime of suburban life. Calling it anything else, just because we feel bad for Don, is foolish. Yes, he's sad. Yes, we like him (sometimes). But he got himself into this mess. And Betty shouldn't bet on the New and Improved Don to be better. Neither should we. She can only judge by what he's done, not what he may or may not do. And by that standard, she should peace out.
Well, every marriage thus far on Mad Men has been portrayed as some level of miserable. (Lovely for a newlywed like me to watch!) But their marriage, while deeply disfunctional (especially compared to what we expect, four decades later) is hardly a farce. He supports her; she works at home raising three children; they still sleep together and, despite her anger and his infidelities, I think they still love each other. There's a lot to consider once you have kids. She should never sacrifice her own happiness for theirs, though it feels like that's what that generation mostly did, from my extensive TV-watching research.

This last reveal of Don's was life-changing. And it's perfectly, wonderfully tragic that his revelation coincides with her being done with it all. Those clever writers! They win Emmys for a reason.

I predict the separation won't last. Betty will return to Don — hopefully more empowered. Maybe she should whip him a little in the bedroom; could be good all around. But it's not as simple as "see ya." Not when she doesn't know the new guy. At least go live at your dad's old place. Don't run into a new relationship!

It could never be that simple — divorce isn't a cake walk. I don't think she should up and marry Henry, but I think she needs to get out of this marriage. It's clearly toxic. And Don can try as hard as he can to change, but this is what you get when you cheat constantly! Maybe we'll see them working it out in the future, but right now, hoping Betty stays in the marriage seems like dooming her to an unhappy future. It shouldn't be her job to clean up Don's mess (metaphorically — literally I guess she is expected to do that).
Haha. I think we can both agree we're glad we don't live in the 60s. The outfits are gorgeous, but I hate heels. We'll just have to see what insanity comes during the season finale. If they bring back a John Deere mower, I'll be highly impressed. Or we can play the drinking game: every time Betty or Don tells Sally to "go watch TV," do a shot!

Speaking of which, shouldn't we be drinking right now? Our 11 a.m. highballs? To really get into the spirit of things.

I've got vodka in my desk. That's one aspect of the show I can totally support.

Share this article:



Betty should leave Don's ass - but NOT go run and get married to what's-his'-face old politician dude. BETTY AND JOAN SHOULD BECOME ROOMMATES!

kel commented on 11/06

betty and joan should TOTALLY become roommates.

het commented on 11/06

Way to make it all about you, Isabella.

lem commented on 11/06

They are each getting something they need from each other in this miserable marriage. Sometimes people like Betty and Don embrace a dysfunctional marriage because the pain feels familiar and routine and in a weird way, comforting. That's why they will work it out somehow - because they are both f-upped. Staying together for the kids is pathetic. The kids are just taught the coping skills needed to endure a toxic relationship so that they can go on to create their own toxic relationships later when they grow up.

tc commented on 11/07

Leave a Comment


We are ardently committed to free expression, but we do expect Hooksexup visitors and contributors to interact respectfully and responsibly. Blatant expressions of bigotry, sexism or hatred may be constitutionally protected on the street corner, but they're not cool here.

Previous Hooksexup Debates

The Men Who Stare at Goats by Scott Von Doviak
George Clooney & co. get political, psychic, and really weird. /entertainment/
Culture Wars: Debating Mad Men's Marriage by James Brady Ryan and Isabella Notti
Spoiler Alert: Should Betty [redacted] Don [redacted] or [redacted]?
Sex Advice From . . . Mike White by James Brady Ryan
Q: What has screenwriting taught you about dating? A: I write about awkwardness. Dating is the perfect inspiration. /advice/
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Me and My Friends by Tony Woolliscroft
Twenty years of intimate photos, onstage and off.
20 Ways to Get Your Arrested Development Movie Fix* by Phil Nugent
*Until they actually make the movie.
My Parents Were Awesome by Eliot Glazer
Before fanny packs and Yanni concerts, your parents were free-wheeling, fashion-forward, and super-awesome.
Awesome Advice, Way to Go! by Erin Bradley
The Washington Post forgets that vampires aren't real. /advice/
Ten Revelations on the Road to Love by Jack Harrison
Seduction is easier than you think.