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The Inheritance
The inheritance1.jpg
Season 2 Episode 10
Air date 5 October 2008
Written by Lisa Albert
Marti Noxon
Matthew Weiner
Directed by Andrew Bernstein

Six Month Leave
The Jet Set


Betty visits her ailing father; Paul's girlfriend, Sheila, advises him about his civic responsibilities; Pete's mother tries to put the kibosh on an important family move that he and Trudy are planning.


Pete and Paul prepare for an aerospace convention in California. Don tells them that every engineer, scientist, and general will be there "trying to figure out how to put a man on the moon. Or blow up Moscow, whichever one costs more." The two should engage congressmen and promote Sterling Cooper's ability to help their districts land aerospace contracts.

That night, Trudy Vogel lobbies Pete to let her accompany him to California (which he nixes) and to consider adoption. "It's someone else's child," Pete objects. "It's not natural."

Betty Hofstadt calls Don at his hotel. Her father, Eugene Hofstadt, has had a stroke. The two arrive at his house the next morning to find him confused; at one point Gene mistakes Betty for her dead mother.

At the office, Ken Cosgrove mentions Paul's California trip to Sheila White which surprises Sheila because she and Paul had plans to register black voters in Mississippi. "Are you scared?" she asks. "Don't pretend it's not scary," he replies.

Pete and his brother, Bud, examine documents that reveal how thoroughly their father squandered their inheritance. "How long can she afford to live?" jokes Pete about his mother before slipping in a crack about Hitchcock's film "Rope". He later tells Bud about Trudy's desire to adopt.

Back at her dad's house, Betty complains to her brother, William Hofstadt, about Gloria Massey, their stepmother. As the child "who cared enough not to move away," he says he appreciates Gloria for taking on caregiving burdens he would otherwise have to. Gene accuses Don of not appreciating Betty, later complaining that Don "has no people. You can't trust a person like that."

Pete visits his mother, who threatens to disinherit him if he adopts a child, repeating his father's description of adoption as "pulling from the discards." Pete retorts that her "husband spent everything you had. Spent it with strangers," forcing Bud to come clean about their mother's financial state.

Betty and Don stay over at her father's house, Don on the floor beside her bed. She joins him in the middle of the night and they make love. The next morning, as Betty clears her dad's breakfast plate, Gene thinks Betty is his late wife and suggestively asks, "Now that you've fed me, why don't we go upstairs?"

"I don't know how much more of this I can take," Betty later tells Viola, the family's longtime maid. Viola comforts her but advises that her duty now is to her own husband and children.

Back at the Draper house, Don says he's going upstairs to take a shower. Betty tells him he should leave. She needs him, Don protests. "Why?" she asks. "Nothing's changed." They were "just pretending" at her father's house.

Don arrives at the office during a baby shower for Harry. The gifts include Pampers and Lucky Strikes. Joan accompanies Don to his office, where he says he will be going to California, not Paul. He instructs her to send Paul a memo about the change of plans, but she heads back to the party and informs him in front of everyone. Paul calls Sheila to say he's reconsidered: He'll go to Mississippi "arm in arm with you and make a stand."

Pete tells Peggy he's nervous about flying for the first time since his father's death in the jet crash. Statistically speaking, he's unlikely to perish, she says. Pete blurts out that he hates his mother and, though Peggy doesn't catch his drift, alludes to his mother's objections to adoption. "Everything's so easy for you," he muses to Peggy. "It's not easy for anyone, Pete," she replies.

Betty discovers Glen Bishop in the backyard playhouse. He's been there a few days, he says, having run away from home because his mother doesn't care about him. After a shower, he enters the kitchen wearing one of Don's T-shirts.

Later, Glen takes Betty's hand, saying, "I came to rescue you." He has money, and they can flee together. Their conversation is interrupted when Sally and Bobby arrive, after which Betty calls Glen's mother. "I hate you," Glen says to Betty as his mother takes him away.

On a bus to Mississippi, Paul tells the mostly black passengers that from a purely Marxist perspective the markets dictate a colorblind society. "The consumer has no color," he maintains.

Helen Bishop drops by Betty's house to reprimand Betty. Betty replies that nothing happened; Glen is just lonely because Helen is too busy to give him enough attention. Helen admits that she's been a less than perfect mother.

Betty tells Helen that Don isn't living at the house anymore. "I don't even know," she responds when asked if her marriage is over. "Sometimes I think I'll float away if Don isn't holding me down." The hardest part about divorce, Helen contends, "is realizing you're in charge."


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Seasons of Mad Men
Season 1 • "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" • "Ladies Room" • "Marriage of Figaro" • "New Amsterdam" • "5G" • "Babylon" • "Red in the Face" • "The Hobo Code" • "Shoot" • "Long Weekend" • "Indian Summer" • "Nixon vs. Kennedy" • "The Wheel" •
Season 2 • "For Those Who Think Young" • "Flight 1" • "The Benefactor" • "Three Sundays" • "The New Girl" • "Maidenform" • "The Gold Violin" • "A Night to Remember" • "Six Month Leave" • "The Inheritance" • "The Jet Set" • "The Mountain King" • "Meditations in an Emergency" •
Season 3 • "Out of Town" • "Love Among the Ruins" • "My Old Kentucky Home" • "The Arrangements" • "The Fog" • "Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency" • "Seven Twenty Three" • "Souvenir" • "Wee Small Hours" • "The Color Blue" • "The Gypsy and the Hobo" • "The Grown-Ups" • "Shut the Door. Have a Seat" •
Season 4 • "Public Relations" • "Christmas Comes But Once a Year" • "The Good News" • "The Rejected" • "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword" • "Waldorf Stories" • "The Suitcase" • "The Summer Man" • "The Beautiful Girls" • "Hands and Knees" • "Chinese Wall" • "Blowing Smoke" • "Tomorrowland" •
Season 5 • "A Little Kiss, Part 1" • "A Little Kiss, Part 2" • "Tea Leaves" • "Mystery Date" • "Signal 30" • "Far Away Places" • "At the Codfish Ball" • "Lady Lazarus" • "Dark Shadows" • "Christmas Waltz" • "The Other Woman" • "Commissions and Fees" • "The Phantom" •
Season 6 • "The Doorway, Part 1" • "The Doorway, Part 2" • "The Collaborators" • "To Have and To Hold" • "The Flood" • "For Immediate Release" • "Man With a Plan" • "The Crash" • "The Better Half" • "A Tale of Two Cities" • "Favors" • "The Quality of Mercy" • "In Care Of" •
Season 7 • "Time Zones" • "A Day's Work" • "Field Trip" • "The Monolith" • "The Runaways" • "The Strategy" • "Waterloo" • "Severance" • "New Business" • "The Forecast" • "Time & Life" • "Lost Horizon" • "The Milk and Honey Route" • "Person to Person" •