Episode 713: 'You Knew We'd Catch Up With You Eventually'

  • by May 12, 2015
madblogCould Matthew Weiner have actually planned that “The Milk & Honey Route” — the second-to-last “Mad Men” episode of this final half-season, with its shockeroo death sentence for Betty — would appear on Mother’s Day?

Who knows what supernatural scheduling powers he has. But that’s how it turned out, leaving us with the picture of three innocent little kids losing their beautiful young mommy — just as she had found happiness by starting graduate school.

How’s that for a non-sentimental kick in the big-girl pants? Toto, we’ve been in Kansas too long.

Actually, much of what happened in this episode felt shocking, like Don getting smacked in the face with an Oklahoma phone book. In what seemed like a bizarre, switched-on version of the Wizard of Oz, Dead Souls division, everyone was Dorothy, newly aware that “there’s no place like home.”



So let’s see: home, money, fathers, mothers, and the number three were also big themes in the show.

madblogPete, the least-loved character, surprises us all by reuniting with Trudy, who has let her hair down, literally and figuratively, and cute daughter Tammy, who got “stinged.” Now the consummate account guy, Pete pulls off his own sting, selling Trudy on the prospect of perfect Burger Chef happiness in Wichita, Kansas. He keeps talking about the “three of us going to dinner,” just like that scene with Peggy, Don and himself beaming and eating at the Burger Chef table in the second-to-last episode of last season.

In a hilarious scene in a much fancier New York eatery, in which Pete’s pudgy, balloon-faced banker brother maintains that his wife is delighted to know that he is attractive to other women, Pete sees that they are both repeating their own father’s crummy cheating behavior. He’s done. He seems to realize that hurting Trudy hurts himself.

Remember that Pete’s dad died in a plane crash, and Weiner seems crazy about planes randomly falling out of the sky as convenient plot devices. We’ll see how grounded the former weasel can remain as a Wichita lineman, who stays on the lines.

madblogMeanwhile, Don is stalling out on his yellow brick road, transitioning into Dick, an Elvis/Kerouac/Jesus figure (another trinity.) Right before our eyes, he’s becoming a blue-collar soul (carpenter, typewriter fixer, Coke machine repairman?) who is good with his hands, and traveling light with a small plastic Sears bag.

Pressured to extend his stay in Alva, Okla., to attend a veteran’s fundraiser, Don/Dick donates pots of money to the guy who sloppily burned down his own kitchen. Burning down the house: that’s a loaded symbol for Don, who has stripped himself of almost all of his worldly goods, including his house, his half-million-dollar stock deal with McCann, and the million dollars he gave to Megan. Thus, it’s rich that he tells Sally that she knows nothing about money.

Turns out that the American Legion Hall actually doubles as the ninth circle of hell — if that’s where the cannibals who pop human eyeballs are sent. And it’s not over, even after the fat lady jumps out of the cake. Actually, Don gets drunk enough to reveal the last scrap of his big lie: that he actually killed his commanding officer in Korea. His fellow as-yet-undiagnosed PTSD victims assure him “You have to do what you have to do to get home."

madblogLater, back “home” on the range, at the motel, Don is in bed, just like Dorothy at the end of the movie, and gets visited by local alternate versions of the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion. Except here they take the form of the three alcoholic vet “hooligans” from the fundraiser, all of whom need new hearts and brains, if not the right kind of courage. They viciously kick the shit out of their fellow vet over a misunderstanding about money.

Don was set up by his young doppelganger, the hustler with “shitty instincts,” whose grammar he corrects. Trying to keep young Dick Jr. on the right path, not the detour he took, Don ends up shedding his last status-y possession, and gives the kid his Caddy.

The episode title is taken from an old hobo term for the train routes with the best food. And Dick/Don’s violent experiences suggest a return to his own brutal upbringing in the Midwest, before his father died after being kicked in the head by a horse. It also alludes to “The Hobo Code,” the first season episode in which whore-child Dick learns from a passing hobo that his dad is not an honorable man. Perhaps connecting those dots will help Don, like Pete, decide not to repeat the sins of the father.

But back to Betty, who has her own cross to bear. In her own Dark Dorothy moment, after her husband has been given her metastatic lung cancer diagnoses by her doctor, who ignores her (an infuriating indignity that was the custom at the time) she returns to their car. While Henry wonders whom he could sue or intimidate with his Rocky-based power, brave Bets soldiers on, as unfussy as her perfect helmet hairdo. “I want to go home,” she says.

madblogBy this, she meant not only Henry’s dark Victorian pile in Westchester that the family occupies, but also her maiden family’s cemetery plot.

Actions have consequences. Just as Don dreamed that the police were chasing him, telling him “You knew we’d catch up with you eventually,” we knew that statistically, some of the chain-smoker characters had to get cancer. But I never expected that it would be Betty, who isn’t yet 40. (Props to commenter Tom Siebert, who predicted the correct person’s death from cancer.)

And here are the two death harbingers from last week -- which, when I remembered them, threw me for a loop: Roger playing the organ, with its funereal sound, and Don’s goodbye to his ex-wife as he leaves the kitchen where she’s busy smoking and reading Freud, having dismissed his shoulder rub. “Knock ‘em dead, Birdie,” he whispers. Chills!

I go between identifying with Peggy and Sally, so in this episode, I cried my eyes out for a newly mature, generous, cool, non-bratty Sally. So much is being dumped on her slender teenaged shoulders by both Henry and her mother, but she’s not crumbling. Henry makes a surprise visit to her boarding school to tell her about her mother’s secret disease, and Sally’s the one who has to comfort him when he breaks down.

madblogBetty might have been reading about the case of a female hysteric in the kitchen during Don’s last visit, but she is far from that. In fact, she seems oddly euphoric. Painfully holding on to the 1950s era pin-perfect propriety she was brought up on by her own cold, critical mother, she seems to look forward to finding the control in her death that she did not have in life.

I cried for Sally when she appeared in the kitchen, seeing her mom for the first time after hearing the terrible news. Betty, mad at Henry for telling the secret, sees Sally and walks right by her without so much as a hello, never mind a hug. It’s ridiculously frigid, even for the classic refrigerator mama. Most kids would have screamed and bolted, but Sally goes over to comfort her little brother Gene.

That night, Betty gives her non-adult daughter a letter telling her that Henry will be “useless,” and Sally will have the responsibility for handling the funeral arrangements. It’s all about interring the “in tact” body.


Betty even mentions that the sky-blue (heavenly) gown that she wants to be buried in is in a “garment bag” in her closet. That brought back memories of our first example of Betty’s grossly narcissistic mothering: when a six- or seven-year-old Sally put a dry cleaning bag over her head and ran out to show her mother. Betty was worried that in grabbing the plastic bag, the kid had messed up the clothing in the closet. But maybe she has grown, or learned something from her psychology courses, or gotten more generous.

Betty does address her daughter at the end of the letter, saying she'd been worried about Sally before. And then she says "I love you." (Is this the first time she's ever said it?) She ends by telling Sally that her life will be an adventure. Maybe that’s enough for Sally to hold on to.

In the meantime, Dick/Don also looked blissful, a rambling man sitting at a bus stop in the middle of nowhere.

What’s happening next week? I pray that Don gets back to New York and his kids. Maybe it will all end with Betty’s funeral, for which Don will prepare a sizzle reel, reliving their greatest hits, and his performance at the “Wheel.”

But we’re also faced with the grim reminder that three of the women Don has cared about most in life have died from cancer: Betty, Rachel Menken, and Anna Draper.

I hope Don is able to find a home with his kids — maybe even in Anna territory, where he is happiest. In a life that comes full circle, maybe he’ll end up not a furrier, where he started in New York, but as a farrier, shoeing horses. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the head?

P.S.: Barbara, who jokes that she is getting her Ph.D. in Madmenology (see her selfie with Matt Weiner at left) will be interviewed about the last episode of "Man Men" by Steve Smith, MediaPost's Editorial Director, Events, on May 19 at 5 p.m., at MediaPost's APPY Awards Party. Register for the APPY party (at Internet Week HQ, 125 West 18th Street) here.

Barbara is also leading a panel on "The Real Mad Men: A Discussion with Leading Creators and Executives from the Mad Men Era" at the Museum of the Moving Image, on May 13 at 7 p.m.

34 comments about "Episode 713: 'You Knew We'd Catch Up With You Eventually'".
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  1. Arthur Greenwald from Greenwald Media, May 12, 2015 at 10:06 p.m.

    Once again Barbara's analysis is more thoughtful and entertaining than the show itself. I'm glad so many of my friends derive such pleasure from Mad Men but too many of the stories seem unmotivated or contrived. 

  2. Patrick Hirigoyen from The Hirigoyen Group LLC, May 12, 2015 at 10:28 p.m.

    I look forward to Mad Men each week, but not as much as I look forward to the Mad Blog. Will miss these, Barbara Lippert - thank you.

  3. larry towers from nyu, May 12, 2015 at 10:53 p.m.

    The more I think about it the more I think that Don's character will die, but only metaphorically. I think he is going to abandon his adopted persona, and this journey is a slow motion suicide.

  4. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, May 12, 2015 at 11:22 p.m.

    When Betty came into Sally's room to bring the note, she was wearing that white negligee and looked like a ghost angel. But she is right, Henry is nothing but a tool. Her coldness protects her, like shield against the elements she cannot control. 

    It is hard to imagine how, in one last hour, that this series can be wrapped up with so many threads hanging or is that Weiner's gift - to let us, the audience hang and fall. Is Don so self absorbed with whatever he is leaving that he won't return to take care of his children and excuse himself saying Henry could do it better ?

    Please, Barbara, we are going to miss your columns more than anyone knows. Any chance you record stuff and post it here ? I am glad to hear that you will be continuing this discussion. There are pieces of literature that is still discussed and dissected written thousands of years ago. This is one of them, like Death of a Salesman, Weiner style and Odyseus comes home.

  5. Larry steven Londre from Londre Marketing Consultants, LLC and USC, May 12, 2015 at 11:24 p.m.

    Thanks, Barbara for everything. Looking forward to next week's finale. A couple of thoughts: Don wasn't among friends at the "fundraiser." We may have known for a while that Don's background was catching up with him---but by his own actions and behaviors. Didn't you find a night in the hotel/motel at $6 a night or $37  for a week hard to once believe those prices. And a bottle of whiskey was $10 or $20 for Don. Looking forward to a MM party. All the best. 

  6. Jonathan Hutter from Northern Light Health, May 12, 2015 at 11:29 p.m.

    Life throws at you what you have to take. Don seemed to be on some road to redemption, or whatever destiny could await him, but will he really abandon his kids to Henry? I don't think so. He'll have to face reality, and face being a real father, and I think he's up to the task. I think (hope) he can do it without going back to McCann.

    I wonder at this stage who we have seen the last of and who gets one more turn next week. Pete? Joan? Roger? Don coming back to NY brings them all back into play.

    Weiner has been masterful in his character plays. I have pretty much despised Betty from the beginning, but I felt so much for her and her situation, and her ability to face it. Henry's frantic scrambling and reaching for long-shot treatments is borderline pathetic. And while Betty came across as strong, she gives up so much to be that.

    Wish I could be in NYC tomorrow or next Tuesday, but don't forget to submit your column first!

  7. Dean Fox from ScreenTwo LLC, May 12, 2015 at 11:40 p.m.

    Having just lost my wife to metastatic lung cancer, it was impossible for me to watch this episode objectively.  Nevertheless, I came away feeling that this episode was a manipulative, contrived set-up for the penultimate resolution to these characters' stories.  Too bad, but somehow I guess Mr. Weiner knows how to communicate some sympathetic semblance of each character's humanity to us, and we are only too willing to participate.  At the end, I expect that he will leave us with a similarly inscrutable conclusion as in The Sopranos: Cut to black. Finis.

    Thanks again, Barbara, for all of your inspirational, thought-provoking episode reviews.  As others have written, your ideas and analysis are often better than the material itself.

  8. Cynthia Amorese from JAL Enterprises NY, May 13, 2015 at 12:26 a.m.

    "Shitty" instincts, he said. I wondered why Don was so willing to cover for Andy, who didn't seem Don-like enough to warrant his protection. But I also wondered how such a small town could have such a large American Legion membership (which others have falsely identified as VFW members) and how they could all be so damned crazy. I loved seeing Don being "handy" again -- knowing exactly what was wrong with his car was as sexy as when he fixed the sink at Pete and Trudy's house. But I started tensing for a beat-down the second he checked into the motel -- things never go well for him in motels. But I like the way Don handled himself in this episode and also like that he's keeping in touch with his kids. 

    In Pete's story, it's not clear to me that he actually HAS an offer from Lear -- who would take Ducky's word for it? And can he really be a faithful husband to Trudy? Instead of languishing away in Cos Cob, I wish she'd remarried or gone to work -- she showed a head for business that made me doubt her protest that she never enjoyed entertaining Pete's prospects. And Kansas? Connected with Don and the Campbells in one episode? Hmm.

    As for Betty, I was surprised by how much I was moved by her cancer diagnosis. And saddened that she had a big beautiful smile for the young male student who called her Mrs. Robinson, but can't muster any kind of smile for her children and husband. I respect Betty's right to face death how she chooses, but I do hope there'll be some moments of love and openness before all's done. 

    Where to, what next? 

  9. Susan Klein from Oculus Marketing, May 13, 2015 at 2:45 a.m.

    Barbara Lippert has highlighted and interwoven so many rich allusions and insights in these columns.  I would love to see her teach a sociology course in Mid-20th Century American values as depicted through the lens of Mad Men. 

  10. Tom Messner from BONACCOLTA MESSNER, May 13, 2015 at 8:33 a.m.

    AS WAS noted a long time ago, Americans like tragedies with happy endings. Don opens the note he got at the motel. He realizes the only things worth anything in his life are his children. He grabs the next plane back to the East Coast, but is seen going to the lavatory and stopping at the exit door first. He continues on, tells Betty he is there for the kids. He returns to his job and saves the accounts along with Betty who through surgery and analgesics fully recovers.

  11. Patrick Scullin from Ames Scullin O'Haire, inc., May 13, 2015 at 9:04 a.m.

    Thanks, doc, for your analysis. Yes, there are some plot lines that can be hard to swallow, but somehow they are all believable because the characters are so complex and the motivations can be rationalized, even if they don't stick (Pete as loyal hubby? Drunk Don blabbing past sins? It's possible).

    Interesting that Don is shedding all the trappings of his past, the booty he plundered pretending to be someone else, and teaching a young wayward one to avoid becoming what he is. It's the metamorphasis of Don to what–– Dick Whitman, someone else?

    Cannot wait to see the big finish. 

  12. Yale Hollander from Writer/Blogger, May 13, 2015 at 10:17 a.m.

    I can certainly see "American Pie" playing over the closing scene of Betty in her casket, clad as specified in her letter to Sally - the rebellious child paying final respects by engaging in a rare act of filial obedience. Or, more cheelily, perhaps they'll dig back into the Season 3 soundtrack and send her off with "Bye Bye Birdie."

  13. Yale Hollander from Writer/Blogger, May 13, 2015 at 10:18 a.m.

    "cheekily," not "cheelily."

  14. Barbara Lippert from, May 13, 2015 at 10:36 a.m.

    I must point out that in his opus, Mr. Hollander (yeah, bad pun dept) is riffing on a prediction I made in a post to FB: that Matt Weiner will end the finale with Don McLean's "Bye Bye Miss American Pie." It's easily as annoying as "Don't Stop Believing!" 

  15. Cynthia Amorese from JAL Enterprises NY, May 13, 2015 at 11:34 a.m.

    No. Nothing's more annoying than "Don't Stop Believing." 

    Forgot to mention the fan Andy was carrying when he was ready to leave town. Only the most optimistic hobo (or the sort of fool God watches over) would take a bulky electrical appliance on the road. 

  16. Sharon O'Connell from Green Topaz Productions, May 13, 2015 at 11:42 a.m.

    Brilliant as ever, Barbara. I've been a devoted fan of Jon Hamm's work in this series - so much outstanding work by the actors, but Hamm has stunning 'lived' his Don. I did not become an addict to the series until I started reading media thread comments - especially Barbara's. Now...I'm media-distraught at the thought of the absence. I am hoping that the themes tie in the finale, but not really hopeful. The airplane/flying/floating theme needs, and I hate the word, closure. A commentator/journalist (Chicago Tribune) has suggested that Don is really DB Cooper of airplane heist fame (wow!). Don's giving away his cash and his cars ... death? No, I think Betty's death may be enough for the dying series. Don has become more and more 'human,' more gently/kindly human, in this recent episodes. A return to his kids feels in line with these episodes, abandoning though airplane/suicide themes ... Hmm, Weiner's gift may be how he's inspired us to reflect and ponder our way through his world. But much of his world often feels deflated. May he deliver next week. Matthew, we're waiting. And thank you, Barbara.

  17. Tom Messner from BONACCOLTA MESSNER, May 13, 2015 at 1:17 p.m.

    Funny reflection there. IN THE SUMMER of '64, I shared an apartment with three guys. One brought a small electric fan from home. Couple of weeks into the stay, it fell from the window three stories down. It still worked when brought back up. A/C was only in the movie theaters/

  18. Cooper Burrack from Golightly, May 13, 2015 at 1:57 p.m.

    Any chance the last episode will jump a few years into the future? Didn't that sometimes happen between seasons?

  19. Jonathan McEwan from MediaPost, May 13, 2015 at 2:53 p.m.

    Great write up. With so many characters going in so many directions and only one episode to go, I find myself worrying that we may have seen the last of any character whose story was left at a reasonable end point. Could it be that we will never see Peggy, Joan, Betty or Pete again? When he showed up all crazy at Trudy's door, I felt I'd missed something, later it nagged me that "the something" had been left on the cutting room floor to bring the episode to a close more expeditiously. Has Weiner simply been tying each story arch up with a bow? And is Mad Men finally over only when Dick Whitman sheds the last of his Don Draper guise and finally accepts himself as he really is?

  20. Rob Frydlewicz from DentsuAegis, May 13, 2015 at 5:53 p.m.

    How frightening to live at a time when Sally had no way to contact Don to tell him about Betty (shudder, life in the days of primitive forms of communication!).  I don't think we'll witness Betty's death because as an earlier commenter suggested I'm thinkng the show's going to jump ahead five or so years.

  21. George Parker from Parker Consultants, May 13, 2015 at 6:27 p.m.

    Barbara... Barbara... Whaaa... Whaaa? When you assume the "Professorship of Mad Men Studies" at Columbia, you will be able to look back and aknowledge that your unmatched weekly razor sharp analysis of what has become over the years little more than an afternoon soap, which although initially taking place in a New York ad agency, could now be happening in a Des Moines, auto repair shop. However, I must stress, I enjoy reading your weekly analysees, even though I stopped watching the show several years ago. Best wishes to Professor Lippert.
    Cheers/George "AdScam" Parker

  22. Timothy Hackett from Kings Canyon Marketing Group, May 13, 2015 at 8:26 p.m.

    Betty's bliss is that she will never have to see her aging self in the mirror. 

  23. nancy slome from one to one, May 13, 2015 at 8:49 p.m.

    Such an insightful write up (as always), Barbara!!!

    Actually, I was under the incorrect une'er standing that  this past Sundsy's episode was the last. So believing that to be the case while watching, I was actually satisfied -- knowing Don was headed wherever (like the diner scene in The Sopranos final episode; cue "Don't Stop Believin'"), Pete had some type of reconciliation w/Trudy, Sally will be okay, etc., etc.

    Oh, but thank goodness I was wrong! 

  24. Dyann Espinosa from IntraStasis, May 13, 2015 at 9:39 p.m.

    Too difficult to sustain my interest in all the myriad characters and hints and incidents over seven years. Now I'm content to get my MM info synthesized, and with revelatory observations and wonderfully vicious remarks or descriptions, by Barbara Lippert. A much more civilized means of communication, especially as I can read it with a glass of wine, and not get lost like I would if I was watching, texting friends, rifling through old magazine/newspaper articles, desperately trying to piece together all the labrynthian paths taken-or not so as to try and understand what is going on. Cheers!

  25. marnie delaney from doodlebug, May 13, 2015 at 11:21 p.m.

    Seems like things and characters are becoming more direct.  Don't know if this is just a reflection of the times or perhaps an opportunity for the characters to strip away pretense so that perhaps we can change our minds about who the good and bad guys are.  For whatever reason, it's nice to see a wee bit of nobility here and there.  Happy Betty surrounded by light, a is still attempting to control what she can with the help of her too-quick-to mature daughter but now adding the I love you - and not blaming anyone.  I would have punched that Dr, BTW. It's hard to believe Peggy can top her joyous skating and insoucient entrance to McCann but I hope she does and can imagine she will.  Don gets his hands dirty and Pete begs to reconnect with his newly down-to-earth ex-wife as he contemplates a job where he can be a star while he learns how to be a family guy.  I hope he really gets the job - he seems well suited.   All in all it was really fun to have more surprises and I hope the last episode continues to surprise and delight us - as much as do your analyses, Barbara.

  26. Sally Edelstein from Sally Edelstein Design, May 14, 2015 at 10:44 a.m.

    I'm not sure which I will miss more...Mad Men or your wonderful and insightful  analysis each week. Thank you Barbara Lippert.

    The  story line between Betty and sally was particuarly poignant. As another Sally Beth, I too had to eventually bid my own Betty goodbye. Though  my own mother would live decades longer than Betty Francis, as a teenager I witnessed the slow demise of the Happy housewife, and Betty 's death could serve as symbolic of that.

    1970 sounded the death knell of the idealization of the happy homemaker. The job a generation had diligently trained for became obsolete. Marriage let alone motherhood was not a high priority for the woman's libber.

    Under the glare of the woman's movement, I watched as the job my own Mad Men era mother Betty -along with millions of her generation -had devotedly performed, suddenly become devalued. Scrutinized and trivialized the happy homemaker characterized as being trapped in a menial service job for which she didn't get paid, receded in relevance, replaced by the new liberated career girl. R.I.P. The Happy Homemaker

  27. Laura Popper from Laurapoppermdpc, May 14, 2015 at 12:45 p.m.

    Another insightful and funny piece about Mad Men. Sorry there is only one more Lippert Take to go.

  28. Gary Rosenberg from My In-House Agency, May 14, 2015 at 5:37 p.m.

    Wouldn't it be perfect at the end of the last episode to see a "what they accomplished or what they are they doing today?" snippet of each character so that we truly all get a measure of closure.

    Barbara, thank you so much for your devotion to this blog -- your analysis has made a terrific show even better, and as many have written, your reviews will certainly be missed.

  29. Larry steven Londre from Londre Marketing Consultants, LLC and USC, May 14, 2015 at 5:46 p.m.

    Barbara, two ideas for you for future columns. Or two at least.
    One column, ten years after the last MM show or approxiamtely 1980.

    Blog and post about what was advertising life, like. Discuss upcoming mergers, account changes, important advertising figures, creativity, media, etc. I remeber seeing David Ogilvy at two Advertising Club of Los Angeles functions. Plus Hal Riney and many others.

    Second idea or column: ten years from today: What will advertising be like. You and others can comment on agencies, clients, diversity, technology, creativity in all areas of an agency, the media world. 
    Just thinking that would be interesting and fun. All the best. 

  30. Dyann Espinosa from IntraStasis, May 14, 2015 at 10:51 p.m.

    Barbara, Larry steven Londre's suggestions made me think-didn't you work with Goodby Berlin Silverstein (or Goodby Silverstein & Partners)?
    To me, that agency (among a few others) paid homage to the Mad Man era, and in their case, particularly Howard Gossage.
    In other cities, perhaps new agencies had closer ties to more regional "Mad Men" or whatever was most influential in their sphere.
    I wonder if you think those were really times of major sea changes in the media industry?
    Then toss in the tectonic cultural movements, wars, politics and deaths that had a worldwide impact...

  31. Cynthia Amorese from JAL Enterprises NY, May 15, 2015 at 12:23 a.m.

    Dear Dorothy/Barbara -- Is there an accessible archive of all your MB posts on Mad Men? I'm watching the MM marathon, being drawn in as much as originally, and wishing I could revisit your commentaries as well.

  32. Seth Oilman from MediaPost, May 15, 2015 at 10:45 a.m.

    @cynthia  For now, you can access all of Barbara's reviews under Archive, found at the right hand side of this page closer to the top.  Please contact me at if you need any further assistance.

  33. Steven Threndyle from media tent, May 15, 2015 at 12:39 p.m.

    Betty's death is no surprise, it had been foreshadowed when Betty received the cancer scare somewhere in season four or five, I believe. And of course someone had to die, given all that smoking. I always thought it would come back to finish her off.

  34. Dick Dillon from Innovaision, LLC, May 16, 2015 at 11:58 a.m.

    In an unusual break from the normal historical accuracy of the series,  we find a phone book in a motel in a tiny OK town which is substantial enough to be used as a weapon.  Given the location and the era,  this phone book would more likely have been the size of Newsweek (the final issue).  It's even likely guests would have had to go to the office and use a pay phone! Better they should have used the Gideon Bible. 

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