I’m still trying to process the finale of Mad Men. As with my other favorite, True Blood, this ending felt a bit rushed and was a little disappointing. As I looked back on that finale, I realized that it was just a set up for it’s next season. As is the case with ‘Tomorrowland’ so I can’t really hate it. Every show that does make it past two seasons has that one season where things feel weird and nothing really connects. You could argue that Mad Men is always like that, and I would throw a whiskey tumbler at you. This was 30 Rock last year, Gossip Girl this year and probably what Glee will be soon. You don’t really care anymore, but you keep watching out of habit. Even the frankly, most boring episodes were still pretty good and kept me coming back because I just had to know what those crazy previews were about.
If you couldn’t tell, I didn’t like Dr. Faye Miller. Everyone that did talks about how strong and smart of a women she was, and she was. But obviously she wasn’t smart enough to see through Don’s BS. It’s okay, girl, we’ve all been dickmitized at some point. I guess what I didn’t like about her is the way she talked to Don, “I want you to do this, and I want you to do that.” I’m sure she had his best interest at heart but it always felt like she was trying to baby him. She isn’t good with kids, but she knows how to treat a grown man like a child. Don tells her that he has a sick feeling about going to California, and she tells him that resolving his past would make him feel better. I do remember him telling her about his true identity, did he also tell her about how he had been taking care of Anna? If anything, this season made me realize how insane it is that these people just jump into relationships with people they don’t really know. At SCDP, things are quiet. Joan is doing even more than she usually did, delivering the mail with a scowl. Lane promotes her to “Director of Agency Operations,” although the title really means nothing because she doesn’t even get a pay increase. You’re right Joan, it’s really not that much of an honor.
In Ossining, The Francis’ are packing to move to Rye. Glen stops by to say goodbye to Sally. He probably waited outside all morning until he knew for sure that Betty wasn’t there. Carla refuses at first, but she lets him talk to her. Glen could very well grow up to be Patrick Bateman, but I think his intentions are okay. Although promising to probably kidnap Sally once he can drive is a sign that he’ll do anything just to have contact with her. Betty comes in just as Glen’s leaving and she yells at him again. “Just because you’re sad doesn’t mean that everyone has to be.” Glen may be a creeper, but he knows what he’s talking about. So Betts decides to take her anger out on Carla by firing her, then insults her as a mother and as a human being. People have commented on the supposed vilification of Betty Francis. Just because she wears pretty dresses doesn’t make up for the fact that she’s plain terrible. I have never liked the character, or January Jones’ acting for that matter. Although the “Betty is just a child herself” became even more heavy handed this year. While discussing the selling of Anna’s house and his house in Ossining, Betty calls Don to tell her about firing Carla who was going to look after the kids in California. This was another excuse for her try to blame Don for her miserable life but it didn’t work. No, you can’t take Carla with you. Now I’m going to go hold my breath until I turn blue!
They had been setting up Don and Megan since they gave her character lines. I don’t get why people didn’t see this, or that Joey was an ass in the beginning and Betty has always been a brat. He invites her to California, paying her an extra $70 to look after the kids. She agrees, and while he’s away she teaches them French. Because you know, she’s perfect! Don takes Sally and Bobby to see Anna’s house and meet her niece Stephanie. Sally notices the ‘Dick + Anna ’65’ that Don painted on the wall and asks who Dick is, although I think she already knew. Stephanie gives him Anna’s engagement ring, something she wanted Don to have. Later after a trip to the Whiskey A Go Go with her friend Camille, Don goes to Megan’s room and they have sex because that’s what you do on vacation in California. There a quick scenes of Don sitting, thinking, making decisions. At a diner, Sally and Bobby fight, which leads to the epic spilling of a milkshake. Megan cleans it up and everyone marvels at how she handled the situation, because you know, she’s perfect! If that had been Betty, she would’ve slapped everyone at the table and then fired the person that made the milkshake.
So it was no surprise that Don popped the question to Megan and her teeth. It annoyed me that he felt okay giving her Anna’s ring. Anna’s ghost only gave her blessing for him to be with Peggy, or at least that’s how I took her lurking around in a haze when Don was drunk.
With the exception of Anna, and maybe for a while Betty, all the women it seems Don really loved were brunette. He announces the big news to Pete, Lane, Joan and Roger who all seem to be a bit stunned. Joan instantly knows the deal, and Roger doesn’t even know who she is. I think in this moment, Roger realized that Don had officially tuned into him. Marrying the secretary just because she’s there, but I think Megan will be less of an embarrassment to Don than Jane is to Roger. Don tells Ken and Peggy the news, which overshadows their news of them landing the Topaz pantyhose account. Peggy congratulates him, privately, and Don tells her that Megan reminds him of her and that she “admires you as much as I do.” Oh hell no.
Peggy rushes to Joan’s office, which lucky for her has been silent since the layoffs, to vent. She’s worried that he might promote her just because they’re getting married. This was a cute moment between the two who had been antagonizing each other since the beginning of the series. Hopefully they will continue to talk and lean on each other, they might be the only two people they can count on in the office.
It’s funny the way that Don thought he could just leave Faye hanging. As brave as he is, he’s also a big scardy cat. Megan tells him that she has called, again and that he shouldn’t wait to tell her. He invites Faye to go out for coffee, but she demands that he tell her the problem is. Sorry Faye, he’s going to marry his secretary who probably isn’t as smart as you but is just as clingy and has a better accent. Don obviously didn’t think about the repercussions of pissing her off. She does know his secret, and could easily get her revenge. “You’re not gonna put an ad in the New York Times saying that you never liked me?” Oh honey, get over it. She was right about one thing, he only likes the beginning of things so he can only be happy with Megan for so long.
Back at his house, Betty is lingering about, mostly because she knew Don was coming. He tells her about the engagement and she fakes being happy for him. “Things aren’t perfect” at her new home, because it’s not a dollhouse and she’s not an actual Barbie doll. As Henry told her earlier, “no one is ever on your side“, so she has the choice to either grow up or soak in her misery.
I don’t think it’s the last we’ll see of Faye, she could very well use one of her father’s connections to hunt Don down. She knows where he lives and works. Don, you dun goofed. I’m sure he’ll be happy with Megan for a while, but I don’t see a wedding happening. There was a promise of Sal in the finale, but sadly he wasn’t around to bitch slap some since into everyone. Bert may really be gone, but I hope he isn’t because he’s usually the voice of reason around the office. Peggy and Ken could be the new driving force of SCDP, they handled the Topaz account well and as Ken pointed out, 30% of the business comes from him. He can be a bit daft at times, but deciding not to involve his personal life with his work was a good decision. If only Pete, Roger, Don and everyone that works there except Peggy and Tight Shirt Stan (who was absent from this episode, maybe fired?) had done the same thing.
I’m interested to see how Joan will deal with her pregnancy with Dr. Rapist away. She’s already starting to show; will she go work at that clothing store again and how will she tell Roger? Will Joyce hook up with Peggy? Where is Kinsey and his beard? How is that guy who lost his foot last season? Did anyone get pears?
So many questions, not enough vodka.