Mad Men: The Fog   Rewatch 
September 14, 2014 9:35 AM - Season 3, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Betty and Don deal with Sally. Pete pursues a new angle in business.
posted by tracicle (10 comments total)
It's funny that the description (from iTunes) doesn't say anything about the birth of Baby Gene, the cause of The Fog. Or are there fog(s)?

The scene near the end, where Don sees the guard and his wife (but no baby) always caused me unease - did the baby die? (I always go straight to calamity with MM. I am a mess on Monday mornings.) I watched this ep with commentary and Weiner said the point was just that the guard was embarrassed that he had been so open with Don.

The return of Duck! Peggy sipping her bloody mary with a straw is so cute.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 10:38 AM on September 14, 2014

Yes, it's probably the vaguest episode description I've seen yet! I often make them more obscure because they give away too much.
posted by tracicle at 11:43 AM on September 14, 2014

I wonder if the title is meant to callback to Lane's comment that there wasn't fog in London, it was just the coal soot.
posted by drezdn at 1:25 PM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

At the end, Betty tells Francine, "You know how it is. It's all a fog". It's actually one of the more literal MM titles.

So, when PPL bought SC, Kinsey was the one who took Lois out of the telephone operator room for her intel on the (low voice) redundancies that are coming. This week she gets her scarf caught in the copier. And next week, she chops a guys foot with a lawnmower. Poor Lois.

Love Hollis with his slam dunk on Pete - Every job has it's ups and downs.
posted by donajo at 5:28 PM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the commentary explanation, Sweetie Darling. I always wondered if the prison guard wasn't a figment of Don's imagination somehow, like Betty seeing her father in the hospital. It doesn't make sense, but neither does the guard ignoring Don, really.
posted by donajo at 5:30 PM on September 14, 2014

Don specifically calls out Bert Cooper and Harry Crane as the moneymaking centers in his conversation with Lane. Interesting, that Don recognizes Harry's prominence.
I guess I didn't pick up on the Medgar Evers theme.

Love Cooper's blunt "You can go."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:20 PM on September 14, 2014

This is one of my least favorite episodes. It's so scattered, but perhaps that's intentional. Everyone is walking around in their own personal fog and can't see anyone but themselves? Or/and it is literally Betty's fog while giving birth? I don't know. But I do know that every time I've seen this episode I'm the one in the fog by the end of it.
posted by cwest at 10:04 PM on September 15, 2014

A musical shout out to Alberto Iglesias' "Me Voy a Morir de Amor" - the accompaniment to Betty's "twilight sleep". ...halfway between here and the Hebrides and other mountain ranges, which we are currently studying in chapter 12” - shades of Michael Giacchino's "Married life" theme from "Up" in this one - same year of release as this one?
posted by rongorongo at 1:42 AM on August 29, 2019

rongorongo: Thank you for telling me where I knew that theme from!

I'm on a rewatch right now, and jumping around a little bit (i.e. watching S3 but it's been a while since I've seen S2) and man if this episode isn't the most uneasy, uncomfortable episode to watch. A lot of it is basically shot like a horror movie, though subtly, and the dream logic bleeds far beyond the borders of the birth sequence, like the shot of Sally smearing blood on her face during the parent teacher meeting, everything surrounding lunch with Duck, and good god the entirety of the stuff with Dennis Hobart (the prison guard.)

Granted, I was also watching this on Netflix and the streaming was a little lurchy/jumpy for this episode, which only added to moments like Betty closing her hand around the caterpillar smash-cutting into Hobart and Don banging the cigarette machine up against the wall. Everything here just seemed like somebody was going to snap into sudden violence at any moment.

Also, I missed the Medgar Evers connection and didn't understand that he was the man in Betty's dream until reading a plot summary afterwards, but the episode's general "race relations / civil rights" theme felt awkwardly jammed in, somehow, like there's one line on a cutting room floor somewhere that made it land properly, but I don't know what that is. I know that I had to watch the whole Hollis and Mr. Campbell scene through my fingers, though Hollis's "Ups and downs" line was worth it. And man, I forgot that S3 is where Pete starts to make inroads into being a more complex and sympathetic character, all the while still having a couple of scenes per episode that are pure cringe. Here, I really liked that even when shot down by Admiral and taken to the woodshed by Bert and Roger, he still defends going after the Black market, because he knows he's right.

But man, this episode is a tough one.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:14 PM on February 2, 2020

Also: Betty falling hard into childish mode while on the Demerol, but also getting absolutely nothing she needs from the awful hospital staff. Someone as recognizable (if only for her voice) as Yeardley Smith in such a tertiary role. The vague menace of the Prison Guard, Sally's description of addling... there's just so much unease in this episode.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:28 PM on February 2, 2020

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