And before I go on: Yes, she's still fat. Just not-as fat. Let's call her A Little Less Fat Betty.
SSB gets the least heavy handed, metaphorical subplot about mortality -- but it's also a bizarre (almost ridiculous) one.
We meet Sally's friend, Sandy, who plays the violin, lies about getting into Juliard and smokes in the Francis kitchen. She's 15, and apparently stays with the Francis fam a lot (we also learn her mom is dead -- again, lots of death).
Betty has formed some sort of bond with Sandy, perhaps because she sees a little bit of her vanished life dreams in this girl and perhaps because she wishes Sally was a bit more like her (FYI: Sally has gone back to love-hating her mom as opposed to loving her when she got her period).
When one day Sandy can't be found, Betty goes looking for her in a run-down house that's apparently where the cool 1967 NYC bohemians live, but should be condemned because it's awful and scary (it was hilarious to see Betty her, letting the bohemians know how to properly make ghoulash).
Betty spots Sandy's violin case while Sandy's bum friend aren't cooperative with Betty and her looks of shock at the living conditions.
"We don't like your life any more than you do," one tells a shocked Betty. So summar: Betty married to Henry still, Betty still a bit fat, Betty still unhappy with where her life has taken her.
And unhappy with her blonde hair. After one of the bohemians describes Betty's hair as "bottled," she goes and gets it dyed brunette.
Raise your hand if you ever thought you'd see Betty with dark hair.
Peggy Olson: This least depressing (aka: not about death. Or containing actual death/death references) belongs to Peggy, who seems to have become a mini-Don Draper at her new ad agency. Seriously, girl is confident, even with dealing with a crisis concerning an ad for headphones and concerns people might connect it to recent jokes about Vietnam a comedian made on TV.
Peggy handles everything superbly (and even still calls Stan to talk things out. Awww, she misses SCDP), and is apparently still dating Abe, now with 67 percent more facial hair.
Also, did I detect a little bit of flirting with Peg and the ad agency head who hired her? I assume her plot was to show how Peggy is the only one still young, not fearing death. But I also assume her great life is not all it appears to be.
MORE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE SEASON PREMIERE:
PETE: If you're wondering about Pete Campbell, he's as annoying as ever, even when uttering just a few words. His pronounciation of King Kamehameha made me cringe (seriously, "King Kame-HA ... me-HAAAA."
BAD PORK: Lesson learne: A 1967 luau looks just as touristy and lame as one likely is today.
THE NEW GUY: What's the deal with this new staffer/suck-up Bob Benson (James Wolk) and will we have to spend the whole season seeing people annoyed with him.
BEST LINE: "I don't know if it's the photographers or writers but it really smells like reefer in here" -- Joan. (Answer: probably a bit of both).
LINES I'M TRYING TO GET OUT OF MY HEAD: Betty's very-odd rape joke-talk ... thing ... with Henry about Sandy. "She's in the next ropom. Why don't you go in and rape her? I'll hold her arms down. You said you wanted to spice things up." Betty, no.
Sandy: "People are natually democratic if you give them a chance."
Betty: "Are you on dope?"
MOST DEPRESSING LINE THAT PRETTY MUCH SUMS UP EVERYONE'S STATE OF MIND: "Life will eventually end and someone else will get the bill." -- Roger.