Fetty Wap's "Trap Queen" is an absurdly fun and catchy song, an ode by the rapper to his Trap Queen. But as much as Fetty's Trap Queen may make him happy, fulfilling all of his emotional, physical, and spiritual needs for the few minutes before the song ends, the object of his affections is not the prime instance of the Trap Queen. That would be Betty Hofstadt Francis.
As playable by the mysterious, withholding, and deeply unknowable January Jones, Betty is one of the best characters on Mad Men, which makes it all the more devastating that, as of the penultimate episode of the series, she is the only one to be on the receiving end of Chekhov's smoking habit. Betty Draper. She is pushed and pulled and held in place by massive societal forces that lead her to a life of appearances and housework, but has enough privilege to be the recipient of anger from those who are not as comfortable. She is a Difficult Woman and the embodiment of the spirit of "Trap Queen."
Fetty Wap uses the lyrics of "Trap Queen" to define his ideal partner-in-crime -- a stripper and quick learner who's just as much of an uncaring badass as he is -- but he doesn't realize that they're actually more applicable to Betty Francis. Here's why:
"Married To The Money, Introduced Her To My Stove"
Betty is barely in the Mad Men pilot, and when she appears her very existence is used as a "twist" to say something about her husband: he ignores his wife, who he treats as more of an archetype than a human being. Don is frequently absent during the first few seasons, so Betty is, essentially, married to the money that takes care of her material needs. With her primary responsibilities bounded her duties as the queen of the home, she is forcibly introduced to the stove via the domestic tasks required to maintain her role as a wife. Betty is the best Trap Queen she can be, even after being put into a profoundly unfulfilling position by the patriarchy.
"Showed Her How To Whip It Now She Remixin' For Low"
By the time Betty marries Henry Francis and becomes a political wife, she takes her anger at Don and turns it into a focus on status and appearance that effectively advances her husband's career in exciting ways -- a full queen, willing to engage in serious arguments about Vietnam (even in front of dinner guests). And her second marriage is tense, but sweet -- Sally describes her and Henry as "the Dynamic Duo," because in addition to being a Trap Queen Betty Francis is also Batman (sorry Henry, you are Robin), setting goals and getting Lambos. More importantly, she is also an absolutely terrifying, delightfully frosty ex-wife, and an infinitely better character. When the show shakes up the status quo after the Draper divorce, it's the rare remix that benefits from tension within the squad.
"Man I Swear I Love Her How She Work The Damn Pole"
This image speaks for itself.
"She Ain't Wanting For Nothin' Because I Got Her Everything"
Once she gets remarried, Betty's story goes from one of Mad Men's blunter explorations of ennui and attendant psychological effects of having everything you want (perhaps the most important theme of the series) to one of its subtlest. With everything provided for her, she still tries to make something for herself in a world that has denied her the opportunity--where Joan and Peggy have work and Megan has a successful creative career, Betty has always done what she is told. But in the end, she does something for herself and goes back to school, acknowledging once and for all that she is worth the investment. The closest Fetty's Trap Queen comes to establishing her own identity is taking over most of the frame in the whip. Betty reads Freud. Come at her.
"Everybody Hating, We Just Call Them Fans Though"
Yes, we get it. You don't love Betty. She is a bad mother much of the time, and deeply emotionally stunted and stunted upon. Now get over it -- you are supposed to hate Betty, which not only explains why she is vastly more fun as an ex-wife, it also means that finding her irritating plays into the show's hands. As narrow in range as January Jones often is, she's still perfect at the kind of flash that Betty is supposed to carry. (How does she not have a lifestyle blog with readers named Fanuarys?) And when she gets the biggest acting moments of the penultimate episode, first receiving her diagnosis and then dealing with her daughter, Jones knocks it out of the park. Confused by how a decidedly not-great actress totally wrecked your shit? Too bad.
Struggling against a lifetime of societal pressure and a decade that upends all of her expectations for her existence (not to mention cancer), Betty maintains poise and startling levels of hidden depth and competence. She has proven herself the original and ultimate Trap Queen. We're not ready for Sunday.