Don Draper is cornered, what does he do? Run of course, and run he did. For the umpteenth time, Don was faced with a difficult decision and didn't know what else to do other than get the hell out. There's a catch: running doesn't work all the time. This time, something bad actually happened to him. A twosome of crazy hitchhikers offer him phenobarbital which he accepts and ingests while driving. I guess this is part of the different era part of the show. I would never pick up hitchhikers especially at night, while Don would not only pick them up, but all take their drugs and go to a motel with them. He ends up bloody and robbed, so maybe this is karma biting him in the ass for running off. Who knows where he was going or what he was doing. Either way, in the back of my brain, I was thinking "haha."
The episode started differently with 3 different glimpses. Peggy is in bed with someone, Betty is on a couch with a weird look on her face, and Don is lying flat on the ground at a hotel. I think starting episodes like this either with a flashforward or in medias res is always cool to see when not overused. It could be tempting for producers (not the ones for this show) to use it a little too much since the inherent effect is added mystery and expectations.
We can't believe how far Peggy has gone, from a secretary to copywriter, but she wants more. Duck continues to court Peggy and Pete to work for Grey, sending them presents. They agree to send them back though I would never send a free present back even if it was for sending a message. After learning Don got the Hilton account, she ask to be on it and Don basically tells her "GTFO!!" (in a somewhat more civil manner) She meets with Duck to discuss the opening and asks to be copychief, but it's clear that's not happening. Right when Peggy went to meet with Duck, it was pretty clear he was the one she would sleep with and it happened. All you can do is shake your head. I think this brings her at least one step closer to Grey, but hopefully Don can reel her back in before that happens.
The creepy pregnant woman belly feeler Henry Francis is back and the signals between he and Betty are pretty overt. Betty is part of the Junior League who wants to do something about saving the environment, but Betty didn't really care and neither did I. She uses this as an excuse to call Henry who agrees to meet with her and take a hike. That doesn't happen, but instead recommends a fainting couch which Betty buys later and spends her time fantasizing about him on.
Don's reluctance to sign a contract most likely stems from the fact that signing his name would set in stone that fact that he is Don Draper and he works for Sterling-Cooper. He is no longer the guy that can do whatever he wants and is now tied down. He spends his time lashing out at people, and rather meanly I would add, running, and in the end, signing at 7-23-1963. I suppose it could mark the death of Dick Whitman as Alan Sepinwall stated though I didn't quite see it that way. If Don really wanted to, he could still ignore the contract, rip it up, or do whatever deceitful thing Don does.
Sally's teacher Ms. Farrell is back and Don is looking at her all the time. There is an eclipse and the children are using cardboard boxes to look at it. I think the implication is that everything is obscured like what the moon does to the sun in an solar eclipse. Don has no clue what to do with the contract, Betty has no clue what to do with Henry, and Peggy has no clue what to do with Duck.