It’s painful to watch Don Draper circling the drain, but I’m appreciative that the Mad Men writers aren’t afraid to play with the dynamics. After all these years, the show still feels fresh.
When Megan’s agent calls Don to see if he can talk some sense into her, he hops on the next flight to LA. At first she’s happy for the surprise visit, but when he gently coaches her on dealing with rejection, she loses it. Of course, she had already lost her mind when she kept demanding new auditions and hunted down a director in person. (In today’s Hollywood, would Megan be the type to ruin herself with too much plastic surgery? What lengths will a crazy actress go to for a role?)
Once Megan’s anger ignites, she unleashes a fury on Don that we haven’t ever seen before. She knows he hasn’t been calling her from work and insists he’s having an affair. She was his secretary after all and knows his ways. When he finally admits that he hasn’t been working she is unsympathetic. She tells him to leave and ends the marriage.
Okay, I want to take a minute to discuss this. I know Megan isn’t a crowd favorite, but I always liked her as Don’s wife. She was light and airy, youthful, and more importantly, called him on his shit. She forced an honesty in Don that Betty never did and I think their relationship gave Don dimensions we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. I think the lighthearted moments between Don and Sally are due to Megan’s influence. So yes, I’m Team Megan. Haters to the left.
Team Betty-ites will be happy to see her interest in motherhood renewed. When she volunteers as chaperone for Bobby’s class trip to a farm, we get to see a fun side of her. She smokes on the bus with the kids and makes comments to Bobby about his teacher’s slutty attire. How fun! When no one wants to drink warm milk fresh out of the cow, Betty jumps in and drinks it straight from the bucket with a smile. Oh, this is delightful! I hope no one messes it up, by say, trading Betty’s Very Important Sandwich for a bag of gumdrops.
Damn you, Bobby! How could you be so selfish? Welp, the day is ruined as is their relationship and possibly motherhood. Forever.
Back at the agency, the insults keep coming. Peggy’s not getting any CLIO nominations even though she’s doing some of her best work. Michael Ginsberg (who I just freaking love so much) is getting recognized, however. And Harry Crane still isn’t getting the respect (or computer) he deserves. Harry’s arrogance in the office cracks me up. I’m kind of surprised that he hasn’t been fired by now. Peggy, too, since Lou is an immature, threatened dirtbag of a man.
Okay, back to Don. He’s attempting to get his life back on track. He takes a meeting and gets a job offer. He brings the offer to Roger and the two finally have it out. Roger tells him to come back if he wants; he can start Monday. Yay! But when he shows up Monday it’s a series of really awkward interactions. No one knew he was coming. No one knows what to say to him. No one knows he still works there. And where the F is Roger?!
Eventually Roger shows up, drunk and all casual, like, My name’s on the door, baby. I don’t need to run nothing by nobody. Of course, the partners are pissed and they have a heated discussion. In the end, their decision to keep Don is financial. (Um, hello? He’s a creative genius. Why doesn’t anyone remember that? He has one emotional meltdown in front of a client and now he’s an untouchable? Freddy peed his pants at work. Roger threw up oysters in the office. Ken brought in a riding lawnmower that led to a coworker losing his foot. I mean, shit happens.)
They simply can’t afford to buy out his shares. But his return to work is conditional.
1. Don is not allowed to be alone with clients.
2. When he does speak to clients, he must stick to a pre-approved script.
3. No drinking.
4. He has to sit in Lane’s old office.
5. He will report to Lou. Fucking Lou!
Failure to abide by these rules means Don forfeits his shares. This is SO INSULTING. He ponders for just a moment before saying, “Okay.” I shriek. Mr Betty gasps. And then Jimi Hendrix closes out the episode.
What did you think?