But Not by as Many Units as You'd Think
Okay we're back! Now we can get to the important stuff. This interview with series creator Matt Weiner is a must read, very interesting and insightful.
A crazy, surreal episode, driven by Don's impulses. But we're all set for next season! Find out why...
Don is taking the kids to California and Carla was supposed to come (how cool of an episode would that have been) until Betty fires her in the most ice cold bitch move I've ever seen, all because Carla lets Glen see Sally. Goodbye Carla! You were the glue of the Draper household, and I will miss you.
Glen still has a bad rap in the Mad Men world from barging in on Betty in season one, but look how awkward and gentlemanly he is knocking on Sally's door before entering. "Are you decent?" Big laugh.
Anyways, since parenting is such a pain in the ass for Don he takes Megan to California instead. We all saw where this was going, but not how far (I was in total denial when commenters on the Basket of Kisses blog called this four episodes ago, and I am still bitter)
In the episode's first scene, at the American Cancer Society, when asked about the New York Times ad, Don admits, "In my heart, it was an impulse, because I knew what I needed to do to move forward." He takes this approach to lots of important life decisions. Marrying Megan is either the stupidest or smartest move of his life. The one noble thing I can pull out of it is that he definitely did it for his kids. When he saw them in the diner, pretty as a magazine picture, Don was sold.
Back in the office Peggy and Ken land the first new business in months. Peggy's pitch was very well-written, she showed a command reminiscent of the old Don. Her and Ken have always made a good team. But, as Peggy observes, "It's not as important as getting married...again." She's reached an epiphany of sorts about her place in the office, and while she couldn't find a friend in Faye, apparently she's finally become cynical enough for Joan. That was a great scene, the one we've always been waiting for, with the two of them laughing and smoking (I love how Peggy smokes when she's upset, and I love how everyone on this show smokes when they're pregnant).
As a result of Don's madness we say goodbye to Faye (who is apparently Jewish, according to Matt Weiner). Don's break up speech was nice and direct for him. You know, as opposed to leaving her tied to a headboard in her own bedroom. Poor Faye. She was another in a line of strong-willed, intelligent women who were just too much for Don.
Oh and Joan's pregnant. Called it, I guess. The show had me second guessing a lot. I'm glad they cleared that up.
Finally we're left with Betty making a play for Don's sympathies. She's been too pathetic this season. I liked her little scene with Don, they always did understand each other. But I feel like her character used to be more complex. They've made her a total child.
My main complaint about this episode was a weird edit that got Don back to New York. I had to watch it a second time to realize Don pops the question their first morning back! Then they march into the office and announce it? Among the comments from my friends were "Is this real? This is crazy! We think it's fake. This is ridiculous." It seems that way at first, but still pretty credible for Don.
-Pete's bitchface when Don's announcing the engagement.
-Roger couldn't have been more happy about Don marrying his secretary. He was eating it up. I hope everyone sets aside their "Roger will commit suicide" predictions. Roger loves himself too much anyways, and he's happy to see the great Don Draper following in his fucked up footsteps.
-Ken's reaction when the partners came sniffing around for his family connections, "I'm not Pete." Pete: "No you're obviously not." The audience at the Bagdad gave Pete a good "oooooohhh" for that one. But Ken separates business and life, unlike Pete (whose baby we haven't even seen yet).
-Harry's wolfish manner with the young model. He's the only guy left in the office like that. Ken's happily engaged and Pete seems to have given up on philandering. By contrast, Harry's leering really stands out.
-What's up with Pete's innuendos? "Foursome's?" "Approach from the rear?" Chill out Pete.
-Megan: "She told me I could never [be an actress] because of my teeth." Ha!
-Product placement watch: one of Anna's boxes was an old case of Beefeater Gin.
-Don being honest with his kids! He's not much of a father, but he has his moments.
-The engagement ring from Anna was a little heavy handed, but I'll allow it, mainly because I think Don took it as some kind of weird omen.
Grenades for Next Season
-Obviously Joan's baby. How will she work? And for that matter, what will happen to Greg? Mad Men is pretty good about avoiding cliches, but for Greg it's either death, shell shock, or severe injury. Any other ideas?
-Don let Peggy down, maybe for the last time. Will she stop idolizing him and start making her own way? Don vs. Peggy would be a good season storyline.
-A very angry Faye knows Don's secret.
-Ken doesn't want them sniffing around his father-in-law but they're going to anyways. (It's Leland Palmer for god's sake, bring him back!)
-Will Henry leave Betty?
-Were you satisfied enough with this season to care? I was.