When we last saw the characters of AMC's Mad Men, their lives were in flux. Don (Jon Hamm) and Betty's (January Jones) marriage was ending. A new advertising firm was rising from the ashes of Don's old one. An all-encompassing sense of uncertainty hovered over every scene.
When the show picks up again this Sunday (July 25, 10 p.m. ET), a year has passed. But that unsteady feeling remains. And that vibe is most striking when it comes to Betty.
"I am very anxious for Betty," says Jones in a promotional interview on AMC's website. She's responding to a fan's question, "Are you happy with where your character was at the end of season three?"
Well, no. "I was confused and nervous," she recalls. And for good reason. Betty made a break from her two-timing husband, and now she seems headed for another complicated relationship with new hubby, Henry Francis (Christopher Stanley). Trouble is, based on her actions in the last three seasons, she isn't exactly a paramour of moral goodness herself. Even in Don's darkest hour, when he admitted his true identity and mournfully recounted his grim upbringing, Betty was cold and unforgiving. And she's always been like ice with her children. It's especially heartbreaking to watch her careless dismissals of Sally—who strives so earnestly for her approval.
In a scene during the season 4 premiere, Betty admonishes Sally (Kiernan Shipka) cruelly during Thanksgiving dinner. Betty's new mother-in-law then points out what's been left unsaid for too long: Betty's children are terrified of her.
Betty seems destined to learn a hard lesson from her second marriage: Don wasn't the only one with emotional issues.
Do you think Betty Draper will find happiness this season, now that she's left Don behind?
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