Last night was the season 4 finale of Mad Men, episode 413-Tomorrowland. I decided to watch the show with my fellow MMaddicts (Mad Men Addicts) at the Angelika Film Center, which plays AMC’s Rubicon and Mad Men every Sunday night. I usually like to watch Mad Men at home, keeping Don Draper all to myself. But this night was special. So off I went to the Angelika to meet my friend, Alisha (TasteThisAddison) to watch our favorite bad boy, Don Draper.
The Mad Men finale was full of surprises and fresh starts…
Betty’s decision to move from to Rye, NY to separate Sally and Glen, has the house in turmoil. Packing! While Betty is out getting her nails done or doing something useless, Carla is at home doing all the work and taking care of the kids. Glen comes over to say good-bye to Sally and despite her better judgement, Carla allows Glen up to Sally’s room. When Betty returns and finds Glen in the house, she has a meltdown. It become crystal clear that Betty is jealous of Glen’s attention to Sally. How dare he like Sally when Glen had a crush on her! Not only did she freak out on Glen, Betty was furious with Carla for allowing Glen in the house. So furious, Crazy Betty fired Carla! This set in motion a chain of events that left everyone’s mouth’s gaping…
Don planned to take Carla with him to babysit the kids on the California vacation. Now those plans are in jeopardy. Don’s solution: pay Megan double her salary and take her along to California to care for the kids while he was in meetings.
We’re Going to Disneyland!
After a busy day of meetings, trying to obtain new business for his struggling agency, Don arrives back at the hotel room to find baby Gene asleep and Bobby and Sally have learned a French lullaby. (What? I studied French for 3 years in high school and all I can say in French is ‘Where is the library?‘ Like I am going to Paris looking for something to read. And Megan teaches these kids a whole song in a few hours…she’s good! ) Don is really impressed with her way with kids. Something Dr. Faye did not have.
” You said you were not good with kids, but you’re like Maria von Trapp,” — Don Draper to Megan
Don hears Megan returning to her room after an evening on the town with a friend. Don decides it’s time for a late-night visit. Megan feels bad because her friend insulted her about your teeth (Well, she does have really big teeth) Before you can say ‘orthodontist’. Don and Megan are in bed.
Megan doesn’t know the real Don Draper (Dick Whitman), but she believes he has a good heart and her can be a better person. They both realize that their relationship is turning into something more than an affair.
The next day at lunch, Don arrives at a restaurant while Megan and the kids are eating lunch. He is pleased at the happy scene and the nurturing way Megan has with his children. Don starts to get upset when Bobby and Sally break into an argument and knock over a milkshake, but Megan calmly cleans up the mess. Again, Don is impressed with Megan’s calm and gentle manner.
Anna’s house has been sold. Don takes his children along while he signs the papers, when Sally notices the “Dick + Anna 64” painted on the wall. Don tells Sally that his nickname is Dick (sometimes). Anna’s niece, Stephanie had something for Don. Anna left him the wedding ring from the real Don Draper.
Meanwhile Back at the Office
With the reduction in staff, Joan is delivering the mail when Lane informs her, without much fanfare that the partners of the firm voted to give her a promotion (no money, just a title). Now, correct me if I am wrong, but haven’t we seen the SCDP guys pour drinks over little more than a new necktie? But no congratulatory toast for Joan’s promotion? What’s up with that?
Joyce stops by the office with a friend. A fashion model with a story about Topaz Pantyhose firing their ad agency. Peggy jumps on it. She and Ken Cosgrove set up a meeting with the Topaz guys and bring in the first new business since the firm lost Lucky Strike.
Just when you think Matt Wiener has shocked and surprised us enough in Season 4, this next revelation had everyone in the theater screaming at the screen…”No! No!…It can’t be!” Just before he left for California, Don told Dr. Faye how much he was going to miss her. I was so hoping their relationship was THE ONE. Which made me (and probably Dr. Faye as well) that he wanted to further their relationship.
The relationship continues between Don and Megan after their return from California. Then out of the clear blue sky, Don pops the question.Yes…THE question! I thought Megan dreaming. Alisha and I (and the other theater patrons) were in shock. Then I thought about it. Don told Megan that she makes him feel like himself (the self he always wanted to be) when he is with her. But which self? Don Draper of Dick Whitman?
With Anna, he could be himself–Dick Whitman. Even with Dr. Faye, he was himself, again a bit of Dick. But that is not the self he wants to be. He has spent years escaping Dick. In his mind, Don has created the image of the man he wants to be and that man is Don Draper, successful advertising man on Madison Avenue, with a beautiful wife and the perfect family. He thinks he can have that life with Megan. The question is: Can he be faithful to Megan?
He gave her Anna’s ring and announced their engagement to everyone at the office. And out comes the champagne…
Peggy, upset that Don’s engagement news eclipses the news about her new account goes into Joan’s office. Their conversation is funny, but there is an underlying cynicism about women in the workplace. Joan was given a meaningless promotion and Peggy brought in valuable new business, both without fanfare, but a pretty girl gets a rich husband and they start popping the bubbly.
Joan has more news. On a phone call to her husband in Viet Nam, we learn that Joan indeed has kept the baby. (I knew it!). How is she going to explain this to Roger? How is she going to explain a baby with salt & pepper hair and a wicked sense of humor to Greg?
Henry Francis is not too pleased with Betty for firing Carla. Not only did she fire her, but she won’t give Carla a reference. (How is a sister supposed to get a job in 1964 without a reference?) Of course, it’s all about Betty. When he questions her reasons for firing Carla…she wants a fresh start. (Wake up Henry, Betty is crazy!) Betty goes off in a huff to lay on Sally’s little girl bed. What does that say about Betty? That she misses her daughter? We know better than that. Perhaps that Betty has some childhood wounds that have not been healed…but she’s still crazy.
“I wanted a fresh start,” Betty Draper/Francis.
“There is no fresh start, Lives carry on.” Henry Francis
Lives carry on. But what will become of the lives of our favorite Mad Men (and women)? Don and Megan’s marriage? Peggy’s rising career? Joan’s baby? Will Greg survive Viet Nam? So many questions that won’t be answered until season 5 of Mad Men.