Mad Men Note: "Does Mona Know?"


Lots of intriguing things happened this evening, but a bomb with a very long fuse was lobbed into our laps when Betty, finding keys in the drier, opened the secret drawer in Don’s private desk. (She seemed to know exactly what it would unlock the moment she found it —  a touch, like several others this week, of the Greek myths.) All I could think of was Psyche and Eros — and also Lohengrin. Where people you love are concerned, it is always best not to know the things that they haven’t told you. At the same time, knowledge about the people you love so irresistible that perhaps it defines the taste of the apple that Eve couldn’t help plucking.

“DON’T!” we cried. To no avail. Betty unlocked the drawer and was (typically) unimpressed by the wads of money. She went for the shoebox. “NO, BETTY!”  we screamed, as the Tokyo of the Drapers’s much-patched-up marriage was menaced once again by the Godzilla of Betty’s Juno-esque jealousy. We were so excited!

And why not? We were back in Season 1, when Don had girlfriends and secrets. We knew what Betty was going to discover about Don. Or we thought we did. Then she discovered the leftovers from Season 2. For those of you who have just emerged from a convent, it’s important to know that Dick Somebody (I can’t remember his last name) assumed the identity of his dead officer in Korea. The dead officer, Don Draper, had a wife, Anna, back in California. Dick, now Don, did the right thing, and made a friend of Anna. In order to clear up the tangles of her unknown widowhood, Dick/Don divorced Anna. That’s what Betty fastened on in her husband’s box of secrets, the divorce the decree — not knowing anything about Dick. She now believes that Don was married before — and (this would be the sin) Never Told Her! The irony is incredibly rich. The Don that we know, for all of his easy access to people of the female persuasion, has never been married to anybody but Betty (so far as we know), but he’s going to fry for a relationship that he never had.

Betty and Don have already ripened such a rich relationship of mutually supportive disingenuousness that it was no surprise to learn that a few hours put an end to Betty’s desire for a confrontation. She put the box back and went to bed. She dressed up for the Sterling Cooper fortieth, and she didn’t a thing. Not this week, anyway. 

We still don’t know who called the Draper home and hung up on Sally.