Talk about a blast from the past. Every single time Sally's "friend" Glen Bishop shows up on Mad Men, it's a shock to the system. There's never a real reason for Glen to show up (other than the fact that Glen is played by Matthew Weiner's son), other than to mess with the balance between Betty and Sally. What would the final season of Mad Men be without one last look at the young man Glen has become? (That is if you can stop staring at THOSE SIDEBURNS. Whoa.) And true to form, Glen's presence drives a wedge further between mother and daughter due to one final, icky reprisal of Betty's odd connection with Helen Bishop's son.
Glen comes to the Francis residence looking for Sally to come with him and his new girlfriend to Playland for the day. The girlfriend, however, isn't the shocker. Glen has gone from the round-faced young man we knew and were confused by to a fully grown young man, with again, THOSE SIDEBURNS. But Glen's not just there to show off his new look, he's also there to tell Sally about his after high school plans: He's joining the army.
Betty, still stuck on swishing back and forth like a bashful schoolgirl in Glen's presence, is all about this, calling it brave. Sally, however, as a break down: "You're gonna die. For what? ... Just remember those kids are the same age as the ones you're going to be murdering in Vietnam," she says before she storms away upstairs.
While she's crying upstairs, Betty sways a little more and tells Glen that "Well, you've obviously grown into a fine young man." Keep it in your pants, Bets.
But then Glen comes back and grabs Betty, telling her he knows that Betty is his. (Cue my "cannot deal" face.) Glen confirms the underlying suspicion we've all had about his continued friendship with Sally — who tried desperately to get ahold of Glen to say goodbye, to no avail, while Betty gets an actual visit.
Glen practically says his army stint is all for Betty and that he's been waiting to turn 18... for her: "This is all I've thought about. I know you know me. I know you know the man I can be."
But Betty doesn't draw a line. She sort of leans into it. When Glen tries to kiss her, she stops it, but not because it's wrong or weird, or very, VERY uncomfortable, but because "I'm married." So yeah, you could say this episode left us all wearing a thick coating of the heeby jeebies.
And look, I'm not one to knock relationships between people whose ages are far apart (I mean, as long as everyone is legal). To each their own. But Betty's relationship, if we can call it that, is totally inappropriate and it always has been (yes, I know, I do a great Captain Obvious impression). But the most uncomfortable TV moment in recent memory does serve a purpose. It brings Sally to her boiling point.
Poor Sally's life doesn't get any better when her schoolmate Sarah spends an entire dinner the next day flirting with Don... and Don kind of... flirts back because he says she's a loose girl. Um, no. Sally is fed up.
"Sarah's 17 ... But it doesn't stop you and it doesn't stop mom ... you just ooze everywhere," she says. "My dream is to get on that bus and get away from you all." Damn, Sally. It's about time all this Glen nonsense lead you to a cathartic conclusion. It's only fair, all things considered.
Image: Ron Jaffe/AMC