Draper, Draper and Draper. I think Midge said it all last week.
That’s what the company has turned into and that’s Don Draper’s life. From the letter against smoking to proposing to Megan — because she’s the opposite of Betty — it’s all about whatever Don feels at any given moment.
But Dr. Faye Miller is right — Don only likes the beginnings of things.
Betty is the same. She wants a fresh start to get back that spark of excitement. She needs to be liked. She needs to be flattered and wooed, no matter who is doing the wooing. And when Creepy Glenn starts hitting on Sally, Betty has to freak out and … fire poor Carla. (“I don’t want her poisoning the well.”) Good for Carla for standing up to her, although it’s sad that she had to go the way of Sal.
Funny how we start the Season 4 finale, “Tomorrowland,” with Don in bed with Faye saying “I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach” and we end with Don in bed with fiance Megan and her imperfect teeth.
(Her full name is Megan Calvet. We know her mom is French. Actress Jessica Paré grew up in Montreal, so that helps.)
Am I still supposed to believe this season was about Don hitting rock bottom? Between the dating, the professional ass-kissing and now getting engaged to a woman about a dozen years younger than him, I’d say he’s doing just fine.
LOVED the scene between Joan and Peggy, smoking off their frustrations at being under-appreciated. (“A pretty face comes along and everything goes out the window.”)
Joan got an in-name-only promotion and Peggy single-handedly “saved” Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce by signing the first new account since Lucky Strike left. And it was all while Don was on vacation in California.
Then when Don comes back from vacation what does he do, work-wise? Calls up Dr. Miller to dump her, then makes out with his secretary/fiancee.
LOVED pregnant Joan’s phone call to hubby Greg in Vietnam, making fun of Don for the foolish grin on his face, like he’s the first guy to marry his secretary.
(So Greg knows Joan is pregnant, but he doesn’t seem to know how to do math and realize the baby isn’t his. Unless he’s delusional or going along with the fiction because it serves him too. Best line — Joan to Greg: “Yes, honey, they’re bigger.” I knew she wasn’t going to get that abortion. I predict Greg doesn’t make it back from Vietnam and Joan gets closer to Roger, via Baby Harris.)
Megan is 25. She has dark hair. She’s patient. She’s supportive. She’s deferential. She loves Don for who he is (although she doesn’t know anything about him, as he noted). She’s Mary Poppins. She is the non-Betty, just like Bethany was just a Betty clone.
Dr. Miller is too much like Peggy — a tough career woman who questions and challenges him. Don doesn’t want that. Don wants The Ideal Submissive Wife. His lovestruck babble sounded exactly like Roger drooling over Jane last season.
(And now Don is going to need still another secretary. I was joking that the job was cursed like the Defense Against the Dark Arts post at Hogwarts, but maybe it’s true. Just hire Voldemort already.)
But how long will it last? I had to laugh when Don had a romantic moment, telling Megan do you know how many things had to happen to get to this point?
You had to bang Allison, then freeze her out. She had to quit. Then Blankenship had to die. (RIP, Queen of Perversions!) Then Megan had to move from the front desk to the Draper desk. She had to hit on you — while mentioning that she’d like a career like Miss Olson’s — even though you were already seeing at least one other person. (Poor Faye.) Then Betty had to fire poor Carla and you had to hire Megan for the weekend (which sort of turned her into a call girl) because actually caring for your kids is not part of man code. (Besides, “Bobby likes a pretty face.” He’s a Mad Man in training.)
I don’t think this is really what Anna Draper had in mind when she left Don that ring. She wanted him to be happy and marry again, but not within 48 hours of getting the ring.
But Joan is right — they’re all just between marriages.
And how about Harry Crane? There’s another one who only likes the beginnings of things. Does Jennifer know how blatantly he was hitting on the latest pretty face to walk through the door? At least Ken Cosgrove isn’t willing to completely sell out his family. His wife (okay fiancee) is his actual life. That’s sweet.
So this season finale is the flip side to last season’s finale. The Season 3 finale — “Shut the Door, Have a Seat” — was a fast-paced look at the death of Sterling Cooper and the birth of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.
The Season 4 finale was all about the homefront, from Don’s trip to Disneyland with Sally, Bobby and baby Gene to Betty acting like the obnoxious child she is in front of a fed-up Henry Francis.
After this it’s official: “Mad Men” just finished its best season yet. The action and character development were perfectly paced. I can’t wait for Season 5 to start, and I didn’t feel that way after the season finale of “True Blood.” (I’m also rapidly losing interest in “Dexter.“)
Bonus: I effing love zombies. Every time I meet someone handy with tools or other stuff I have no knowledge about I wonder if they’ll make it through the zombie war. I won’t. I’m a goner. I can’t wait for “The Walking Dead.” October 31 on AMC, baby!
Catch up on my “Mad Men” archive here.