Okay, so this is pretty funny. I was doing my laundry the other day and I (ahem) found myself thinking about Betty in Indian Summer.
Indian Summer is an extraordinary episode for many reasons, only one being the thread in which both Betty and Peggy discover masturbation.
But what also was apparent was Betty becoming aware of the availability of an affair. The air conditioner salesman comes into her home, and she is affected. And you see it, in the fantasy that accompanies the spin cycle. She sees that this is not so far away. She sees, perhaps for the first time, or perhaps it is reawakened (from her earlier days) that she could just do this. That she is one touch away from diving in. And that, my friends, is a knowledge that leaves a woman all kinds of tingly, and terrifically empowering”when a fantasy is suddenly within reach.
Fast forward to Season Two, where Betty comes within flashlight’s reach of a very large mechanic. At this point we aren’t sure–does she even realize how close she’s coming? Does she fully understand this game she’s playing?
One telling moment was in Six Month Leave: It’s a switch you can flip on and off, you know. That line, to Sarah Beth about her attraction to Arthur, showed that Betty’s awareness to the dynamics at hand have been heightened. She’s now thrown Don out. And she’s been thinking about all of it, about how it works, about how these things start.
And so her fling in Meditations in an Emergency was not out of nowhere. It was not something she’d never considered. She got drunk, she may have allowed herself to not fully plan it in her mind, but she was ready and fully informed as to how these things worked.
Don Draper (about the Rejuvenator): From what I understand it provides the pleasure of a man–without the man.