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Recap / Mad Men S 2 E 13 Meditations In An Emergency

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Don returns home. Stirling Cooper deals with the implications of being taken over by a British company. Betty discovers she is pregnant and considers termination, but in the end she decides to reunite with Don. Duck has gone through an elaborate set plans to make himself the president of the new Stirling Cooper, but encounters conflict, when Don does not like the direction Duck wants to take the company. The story takes place during the Cuban missile crisis.


This episode contains examples of:

  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Played very straight in final scene where Don and Betty makeup. Betty has good reasons to feel hostile toward Don, but she does love him and he loves her.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Averted twice in one episode. Betty decides to let Don back because she is pregnant, but it obviously will not make things better. The problems with the marriage are persistent. Peggy also discusses how she could have used her pregnancy to pressure Pete into a marriage, but decided to give the baby up for adoption. The baby could get her a marriage, but Pete would by happier with Trudy.
  • Batman Gambit: Duck went through an elaborate set of actions to make himself the president of Stirling Cooper. It nearly worked.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Don's working without a contract, which had been mentioned periodically throughout the first two seasons, finally becomes important here and thwarts Duck's attempt to take over as president of Sterling Cooper.
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  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Discussed and played straight. Betty's doctor tells her "That's an option for women who have no other options." implying that an upstanding citizen like Mrs. Draper should not consider an abortion. Played straight because Betty does keep the baby. Peggy also kept her baby and put it up for adoption.
  • Historical Domain Character: President Kennedy is seen on a television.
  • Internal reveal: Pete is shocked to learn that Peggy had his baby in 1960 and put it for adoption, especially after he's just confessed her his regret over his relationship and is struggling to conceive a child with his wife.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Subverted. At this point, Don is paying no price for his actions, so it appears that is a real Houdini. In future episodes, he will pay penalties.
    • Played straight by Pete, who escapes any consequences for petulantly throwing away the Clearasil account after an oblvious Duck tells him to end their contract on the grounds that it conflicts with one of PPL's existing clients.
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  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Pete cannot give Trudy a baby, yet he does have an unwanted baby. His affair with Peggy bore fruit.
  • Take This Job and Shove It: After Don hears Duck's plans for Sterling Cooper, he threatens to quit because he does not want to be a part of company that is more interested in getting clients to buy TV advertising than it is in producing the advertising campaign that is best for the client.
  • Weapons Of Mass Destruction: Missiles have been placed in Cuba.
  • You Never Asked: Roger replies with this when Duck angrily demands to know why he wasn't told that Don has never had a contract with the agency, with Bert adding that he never thought it was that big of a deal.

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