Monday, October 18, 2010

Mad Men - "Tomorrowland"

Joan (Christina Hendricks) and Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) discuss their positions at SCDP.
Photo Credit: AMC
Review by Paul Steven Brown

'Mad Men'
Season 4 - Episode 13

That was certainly sudden. However, looking back at season four as a whole, this did appear to be the end result Matthew Wiener had intended. Megan had been floating around the background for half the season until her key moment of comforting Sally. That was also the same episode that we learned that Dr. Faye wasn't good with children and had no real desire to change that matter.

You have to feel for Faye. She and Don did have a spark and she was there for him through some awfully rough moments this season. She was intellectually his equal and closer to his age. She even violated some professional ethics to get him a meeting with Heinz. The only thing working against her awkwardness with kids. Then Don fell for someone else. Faye does have a point about Don only liking the beginning of things. I wonder if this observation will be prophetic.

Now, to Megan's credit, she's more than a pretty face. She went to college and has addressed her sexual liaison with Don very maturely. Sure, she was attracted to Don, but it was also on a very deep, level. She tells Don that he has a good heart and that he is always trying to be better. Megan's analysis of Don is more instinctual, while Faye may have been more clinical.

Also, it really doesn't hurt that Megan gets along with Don's kids extremely well. If she hadn't won Sally and Bobby over already, her handling of the milkshake spill sealed the deal. Betty would have flipped her lid and yelled at the kids and the entire day would have been ruined for everyone. Megan realizes that kids do stupid things and scolding them about an accident isn't going to help things.

Betty on the other hand would rather respond in a extreme fashion, such as she did with Carla's firing. Betty constantly needs to feel in control whether it means moving out of the house she used to share with Don or getting rid of the housekeeper and nanny that had watched over her kids since they were babies. Glen nails it when he tells her that she doesn't have make everyone else miserable just because she's sad. He's a little weirdo, but he got that one right.

Megan's engagement to Don may have an interesting effect on the two most powerful women in the office, Joan and Peggy. Joan is promoted (though without a pay increase) to the title of Director of Agency Operations. I'm not really sure how that is any different from what she already does, but it certainly sounds like more authority. Maybe the job will come with an office with only one door. It's also worth noting that it looks like she's keeping the baby, but has managed to convince her husband in Vietnam that it is actually his.

Once again Peggy is proving that she can make the sale without any help from Don. In fact, she snags the companies first new contract since Lucky Strike left. It's good news and Don does respond with pride and enthusiasm. However, this is all over shadowed by his engagement to Megan.

If Megan continues to work at SCDP will she get a different job? Peggy remarks that he'll probably make her a copywriter since he said Megan reminded him of her. Also, if Megan is given an elevated role at SCDP, will she come into conflict with Peggy and/or Joan? How will Don handle that?

Another season of 'Mad Men' comes to a close. We got to witness Don hitting some real lows, but managing to take control of his life and begin to rebuild. Similarly, SCDP entered a rough patch, but there seems to be a ray of hope, thanks to Peggy and Ken's wining of the Topaz account. With the selling of the house in Ossining, there seems to be a finality in the relationship of Don and Betty. She hasn't changed at all, and I would be very okay if we didn't have to see Betty Francis again.

Are Don and Megan really meant to be together? A lot can happen during those long jumps in time between seasons of 'Mad Men'. Here's hoping that 1966 or 1967 will be as interesting as 1965.


  1. Hey, thanks for posting these weekly reviews. I've enjoyed reading them and the insight you've provided. It's going to be a long 9 months or so until S5!