Thursday, October 21, 2010

Another Season Ends

My take on the Season Four final episode of Mad Men is: Who knows. The ambiguity is bigger than in previous years, because Megan is an unknown quantity. Aside from the depiction of suddenly falling in love as massive mutual narcissism, the door is wide open for next season (a painful 3/4 of a year from now) and the only guidance we have is Executive Producer Matthew Weiner's dictum that Mad Men is a show about people not getting what they want.

What's tricky here is that I don't sense the audience favors Megan. We're all a bit pissed at how Dr. Faye Miller nursed Don Draper back to health only to be cast off when the younger, more kid-friendly, bombshell appeared, as if out of nowhere. We suspect that Megan had a plan all along that sprang first when she offered Don a no-strings-attached office encounter. We don't believe she could possibly be as good as advertised. Even if she is a Canadian.

So here's some possibilities for things going wrong thanks to Don's impulsive proposal:
  • Megan follows through on her desire to be like Don and Miss Olson and moves into copywriting where, again as the prettier younger model, she gets an unfair amount of approval leading to Peggy finding her position threatened. One friend told me Megan seemed very All About Eve to her, and in this scenario Peggy has to keep looking over her shoulder.

  • Megan becomes Betty II, trapped in housewifery, anxious about what she's given up, even getting a little manipulative with the kids.

  • Betty melts down further and Don has to take custody, leading to Megan actually being the perfect little plot device. Then go to the previous point for what happens next.

  • Megan actually is all those things Don thinks she is, and more. Smart, empathetic, maybe she goes off to get a law degree, etc. And then she is killed in a horrific and avoidable accident. Don is never the same again -- shattered, no trust in the universe, back to old Don Draper (drinking, women) with a vengeance.
And what might you think will happen?

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