Don and Megan and Faye

 Posted by on October 19, 2010 at 7:07 am  Characters, Season 4
Oct 192010
 

(Warning: I’ve seen the episode only once, at the finale party, with a couple of drinks in me, so please forgive any misquotes.)

I had this boyfriend. Years before we met, he dated a woman whom I reminded him of. Both of us smart, abrasive, funny, complicated. And then he broke up with her and married his second wife. (There wasn’t an overlap.) When I asked him why he married her, he said “She was easy.” The girlfriend wasn’t easy. I wasn’t easy. He’s since remarried.

I identify with Faye; she’s willful and interesting and in your face and her version of love is to offer realistic, supportive, compassionate advice and a little pressure to do the right thing. She’s not easy.

In the opening scene of Tomorrowland, Faye talked with Don about fixing his identity problem. He was resistant and a little incredulous. She assured him he wouldn’t be alone. She wanted to help things be right and good for him, help him be a good person.

Megan looked into his eyes and told him he was already good.

Faye wanted them to get to know each other. Megan said they already did.

At the finale, my friend Nathaniel said that Don chose Megan because he didn’t want to be with someone who knew who he was. I’m not sure that’s exactly right. I think Don wants very much to be known, but he doesn’t want to have to do the work. He doesn’t want it to be hard.

Faye is hard. Megan is easy.

I thought Faye in the opening scene said everything right, and I was impressed and moved by her. She took a tortured, complicated man, and instead of being dazzled by the romance of that torture and complication, she gently showed him that he could suffer less, be happier, and have support doing so. That she could be not just loving but helpful.

Don said he’d been thinking about Megan a lot, and I’m sure that’s true; he sees her all day, every day. But he didn’t make a move until after this conversation with Faye, and I think that’s significant. Not that he didn’t want Faye to know him, but that he didn’t want painful confrontations. Ever. He had a hard enough time with the one to say goodbye to Faye.

Whoever said Faye is the kind of woman Don has affairs with, not the kind of woman he marries, had a point. Even while he was flirting with Faye, he was dating Bethany in a more formal way. Another marriage type, Bethany was all of the right things: innocent, beautiful, younger, sophisticated, but she was also a clear Betty clone (down to the name). Don has every reason to believe that Megan is Not-Betty. After all, Megan is Maria Von Trapp, an attentive “mother” to Don’s children. (You could parallel the whole Faye/Megan thing to Sound of Music, but I think my sister would be better at that.) When he saw Megan’s reaction to the milkshake, he was startled. What you have to notice is his body language right before she says “It’s just a milkshake.” He’s tensed up. He’s ready. He’s going to jump in and criticize and scold, but he’s also going to soften. He’s going to intervene. He’s in full-on Betty mode. (And let’s leave aside anti-Betty and pro-Betty sentiment for now; the reality is, we know Betty would have been stern if not livid at that spill, whatever her other faults or fine qualities may be.)

So he sees that she can be a completely different kind of mother, Anna rather than Abigail. The ring he gives her is about the mother she’ll be. (And I guarantee you, Don has a fourth child at the beginning of Season 5.) But when you describe a thing, you also describe its opposite. When you reach for the exact opposite of your problem, you still have the problem.

Roberta and I were just discussing this the other day. In astrology, Virgos are often described as neat freaks, and as hypochondriacs with overflowing medicine chests. I knew someone who was the exact opposite: He was an unbearable, Oscar-Madison-has-nothing-on-me slob, and his medicine chest was compulsively empty. It contained a razor and a bar of soap. Seriously. No aspirin, Band-Aids, shaving cream, NUTHIN. And in both ways, that is equally Virgo. (Astrology books will say this: A neat freak, or the opposite. A hypochondriac, or the opposite. Scorpios are oversexed, unless they’re celibate. Libras are fair-minded, unless they’re crazily impulsive. And so on.) Not-Betty is still a response to Betty, or more accurately, to Abigail Whitman. Don is still living out his unprocessed issues.

Over the past four years, I’ve often seen people ask how it was that Betty came to be married to a man she didn’t know. Why did she make that choice? How could she? I think now we know. Don deep in romance mode is not something we’ve seen before. He’s stunned, knocked off his feet, persuasive, and oh-so-loving. Is it romantic? Yes. Is it sensible? Of course not.

Love is a combination of insane romantic feelings (which are very real), and sane life choices. Joan rejected Roger because she values sane life choices, although she obviously has feelings for him. Don wouldn’t know a sane life choice if it sat on his face, and Megan, well, she’s young and dazzled. This relationship is neither doomed nor blessed, it’s truly a time will tell situation. They have an unknown period of time where Megan was the receptionist and they barely knew each other, a month where, working together, they got to know each other better (and while this isn’t intimate, it at least breaks them into one another’s personal style), then they slept together exactly once, then about eight weeks passed with only professional contact, then after a few intimate days Don proposed. That is not a relationship. Bad or good or weird, they enter into the unknown together.

But it’s easy.

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  184 Responses to “Don and Megan and Faye”

  1. Agreed Deborah. He proposed over a milkshake and Anna’s ghost. Megan doesn’t know a thing about Dick and Dick doesnt know a thing about Megan, or is it Myrna? I do see Megan playing the Eve Harrington role…she maybe someone else altogether, and in that regard, they may be perfectly suited after all.

  2. Don wouldn’t know a sane life choice if it sat on his face…

    Hah hah hah hah hah!!!

    God, the post made me realize something so obvious that I’ve never connected–remember all that crap in Shoot about Don having known that Betty would be a great mother–that she was an angel? I never really thought about how disappointing, not to mention reactivating, Betty’s mothering skills have been for Don to witness.

  3. Your observation on the milkshake incident was right on the nose. I noticed Don’s reaction right off the bat and it was as if Megan’s reaction not only startled Don, but immediately diffused him.

    I also loved how Megan also snapped him out of his stupor by asking him to grab some napkins because it was her last dress. Betty would have immediately freaked out on the kids, then would have turned on Don for not helping. Megan confronted the situation with ease, poise, and control – a breath of fresh air that both Don and the kids deserve.

    However, I do desperately hope that Don is honest with Megan about Dick/Don before their nuptials. I might lose any semblance of faith that I still hold for him if he doesn’t.

  4. Thanks for this wonderful post, Deborah. I agree completely with your take on Megan and Faye, and on why Don wants to be with Megan. She seems to offer the chance of creating the happy family he never had–powerful stuff for a man who is so deeply hurt by and ashamed of his real past.

    Also, the notion that someone would marry a person without really knowing them? Completely realistic for 1965–and for hundreds of years preceding that. Still happens in our society today, I think, but not nearly as common–mainly due to the change in women’s consciousness, opportunities, etc.

  5. He’s got kids. Full stop.
    Go back to season 2, when they lost the American Airlines pitch and Don comes home to Betty wanting him to discipline Bobby. And his restraint angers her; she shoves him, he shoves her back just as strong and not a jot stronger.
    And tells her that his father beat the crap out him regularly, and that Bobby is ten times better a kid than he was, and then he goes in and shows only tenderness to his frightened son

    He’s been out with available women with more superficial attractiveness than Megan, but she’s not afraid of children and their surprises. Her first, startle impulse is calmness and kindness. That’s a long way from the worst tell in a life partner–ask a woman.

  6. You know who is hard for Weiner? Carla. To inhabit her life, to make her more than a cut out would be a challenge. So she has no interior world. It’s maddening. I can’t help wonder how utterly humiliated Carla felt by Betty’s attack on her as a worker and as a mother (“Your kids aren’t lawyers!”). I understand that Carla, who needs her job, might hold her tongue in hopes that sense might prevail later. But still. Weiner sounded so defensive in the NYT interview when questioned about the lack of persons of color, insisting on the centrality of Jewish assimilation. But here we have a character that is raising the Draper children and has been an eye witness to the Draper marriage. There is so much possibility there.

  7. @ DivaDebbi — Yes! I am so waiting to find out that Megan isn’t who she says she is either. Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing or that she’s secretly evil, but I’m really interested in her backstory.

  8. This post is why I love this blog. You guys have it going on…
    You’ve aptly demonstrated why so many folks love this show, it really does mimic life. Does Don want Megan because (he thinks) she is easy? You bet. He makes a choice. Does he want self-evaluation (Faye=hard, challenging, competitive, equal) or Does he want easy? (Megan = unconditional acceptance, good mothering skills, malleable, no challenge) How many men make the easy choice and like your friend, Deborah, are very unhappy? The truth is, lots of them. My husband was dating a “Megan” before he met me. Thank God he went with the “Faye”. It hasn’t always been easy for him, for sure, but (I think) he’s happy. Actually that’s a good title for a post, don’t you think? Are you a Faye or a Megan?

    I have to comment on the milkshake scene, Deborah, forgive me. I agree that the incident firmly illustrated the difference for Don between Betty and Megan, but I just have to ask. How calm would Megan be if it was the 10,000th spill versus the first? (Mea culpa, I made this point on another post) I can’t miss an opportunity to defend Betty. Remember, Don likes the “beginnings of things” and Megan’s reaction to the spill was clearly “the beginning of things.”

  9. My small brain is awed by the level of insight offered in your posts Deb. You smacked it outta the park- again. I’m a Libra, and I’m extremely fair-minded with only a few bouts of impulsiveness. The times I’ve succumbed to it though—–Katie, bar the door! Feeling dumb (again) for wanting Don to be with Megan over Faye. Megan shiould’ve been the babysitter with benefits (this is Don we’re talking about here). Faye is a fully dimensional lady who you’d think would have made a gigantic (however inept) effort at being some semblance of a good stepmom for our flawed hero’s sake. I’m a notorious Betty hater but its only because my boy DD in more than a few ways is Just. Like. Her. Barely above clueless level parenting skills, humorless, DD is funny only when berating/dissecting underlings woeful efforts. Obsessed with image. You hate people who remind you of the worst parts of yourself. Oh, God please don’t let Don and Betty cheat on their spouses with each other. Ouch. Ol’ Betts it seems will never let it go.

  10. Thanks for the post and the blog and, even better, the opportunity to vent about this episode. Given what happened, it is natural to seek explanations for why Don chose Megan and ditched Faye, to make sense of the choice based on what we have learned about Don. We try to make the explanation fit the characters and the plot. But I ask the prior question, “Were the writers being true to the characters?” I say no! The Megan romance, and Don’s simpering smile, is not consistent with Don’s character at all. In fact, during the pillow talk scenes I was rolling my eyes and turning my eyes away because I was embarrassed for the show. So Megan is beautiful and good with the kids. Don combs beautiful women out of his hair, and at least some of those (granted, not Faye) are no doubt great with kids. Megan is also bland and uninteresting and only moderately intelligent, and I can’t imagine her going down on Don in a cab. What evidence have seen that she has “Peggy’s spark”? To me, the Disney romance, which was about as believable as the romance in “Cinderella,” is a writer decision that does not remain true to Don’s character, especially not as it developed this season. Don has been maturing into an adult, becoming more complex and three-dimensional. This season has been about taking the hard way, not the easy way. A deepening connection with a formidable woman like Faye, who can go at with him toe to toe (in more ways than one), would have been the natural result. The writers went for a soap-opera shock finale (“Oh my goodness. Can you believe it? He chose her?”) rather than staying true to the characters. Like Peggy, I call bull***t on this episode.

    p.s. It just occurred to me that Peggy’s “Bull***t” might have been a meta-joke on the part of the writers, who must have anticipated that the Cinderella romance would meet with skepticism by the viewers.

  11. If Don is going to marry Megan because he doesn’t want to change diapers when Gene visits every other weekend? What will Megan do with her other spare time? Have a steak on the table for Don to come home to? I don’t think so. Megan made it clear when she seduced Don that she wanted to learn his business. Will she be given a job as a copywriter like Joan predicted? If so how will that play out in the office, especially with Peggy? Don, again, “did not think this through”.

    I agree Deborah, “Don wouldn’t know a sane life choice if it sat on his face”…

  12. As one of 8 kids, who rarely got milkshakes ‘cept visits to Gram’s house, if things were spilled, there was a LOT of screaming…and slapping from time to time. Eight kids spilling/breaking things when every penny counted was used as the reason…and I’ll admit, when my kid was small, I flared up when things were spilled, but I quickly calmed when I saw that look of terror on her face – it wasn’t worth traumatizing her…but I did involve her in cleaning up, so that the NEXT spill, she got on it before I did. :-)

  13. Thanks for taking the risk to get personal and thus giving us Basketcases something deeply affecting to ponder.

    Megan: good with kids — Don has kids
    Faye: not good with kids — Don has kids (and needy kids, at that)

    Megan: aspirational
    Faye: already there

    Megan: seems to ask nothing
    Faye: asks a lot

    Megan: young and pretty
    Faye: pretty, but not as young

    Megan: clueless
    Faye: anything but

    Megan: went to California
    Faye: didn’t get the CA fairy dust on her

    Megan: was there when Don Got the Ring
    Faye: was in NYC, waiting for him

    Megan: doesn’t see the gangster part
    Faye: thought “what we had” meant something to a gangster

  14. Great post Deb -

    I think the scene in MM when Don is talking to the ACS trying to get their account mentions something that I think led me to think right away where the episode was heading.

    He says, ” they are mourning for their childhood, more than they’re anticipating their future, because they don’t know it yet, but they don’t want to die.”

    I actually felt bad for Don because his most honest scenes seem to be with his children. You can argue about his lack of parenting skills to death, but I think his scenes in Cal. were very telling of a man who enjoyed his time with children, and was mourning the loss of his own childhood.

    I also think Don has shown some growth this season. He has been more open about things this season, with himself, his peers, and in his relationships. I have no way of knowing if their will even be a marriage between Don and Megan, but Cal. evokes interesting emotions for Don.

  15. # 10 – I completely agree with your theory on the writer’s anticipation of fan reaction to Don and Megan. Peggy’s line is a perfect sentiment–just go back and read the live thread when the proposal was happening! Hilarious!!

    Nonetheless, I think the writers did a brilliant job of making Don’s head-over-heals attraction to Megan very believable, that THIS man would make THIS hasty choice in THIS place at THIS time.

  16. #6. I agree with MW. Expanding the role of Carla would be gratuitous. 1960′s advertising didn’t include non-WASPs other than the artists — although I guess it could have been more progressive in NYC. I remember no people of color included as members of clubs frequented by Ad Men and their families. Many of these clubs maintain the same type of membership to this day.

    Luckily my father was a lot more interested in his kids than Don is. We were sometimes included in evening client meetings (playing the old sympathy “I’ve got a family to feed” card, no doubt) and met many interesting personalities — usually Jewish or Black.

    #12. Mom had a lot of personality flaws, but freaking out of a spilled milkshake wasn’t one of them. Dad probably would have yelped the same way Don did and then caught himself and bought us another. Sometimes this show creeps me out that way.

  17. ‘Not that he didn’t want Faye to know him, but that he didn’t want painful confrontations. Ever. ‘

    Oh my goodness – exactly, exactly! Great post! I think that Don’s proposal to Megan is foolish, but totally in character. He “wants this very much” – wants it to be true, wants to be that man with that lovely innocent woman. It breaks my heart that he’s not willing to live his real life instead of this fantasy. And it breaks my heart that Megan will be even more blind-sided than Betty when this all comes crashing down.

  18. I think in a way, Faye was acting as the wind, trying to get Don to take off his coat. She was forcing him to confront his issues, shed the coat, the lies, the darkness. Megan was more like the sun. Just shining, happily, no force involved. And of course we know how the fable ends.

  19. For whatever itch Don had to scratch that made him want to get married again, ring in his pocket, fantasies of steak on his kitchen table, he also knew in his gut that Megan would be an easy Yes, but, in all likelihood, Faye would not marry Don Draper, as such. Fay would insist that she wouldn’t want to enter into that kind of serious commitment unless Don worked out whatever he needed to in order to become Dick Whitman again, so Fay could feel her marriage was legitimate, and he’s clearly not ready for that kind of exposure/acceptance.

  20. I do think one thing this show has done is to hit the nerve point of many of us who were alive and being children (or teenagers) during this time. Betty is my mom and for years my sister and I just thought this is how Moms are,, and neither one of us had children for years and years. Imagine my amazement when I realized I didn’t have to be my mom, I could be different. Now as I look back on life in the 50′s and 60′s, I see how my Mom felt so restricted by society and by her own beliefs. I realize that work in and of itself, is not a golden panacea, but the belief that there is something else out there and you are free to go after it, that is what keeps you sane. And yes, sometimes I did go Aghhhhh when the milkshakes were spilled, but I didn’t talk about it for days or tell my children how terrible they were. Why not? It just didn’t matter that much, and besides we had a dog who thought it was a special gift to be able to lick food, etc. off the floor. I knew I had options.

  21. Faye has been a good therapist for Don but he doesn’t need a therapy any longer. Now he needs a wife, and here comes Megan. I don’t see why it couldn’t work. Sometime a “love at first time” lasts a lifetime. It’s up to them now (or should i say “up to Matt Weiner).

  22. In response to Comment #1 DivaDebbi, remember that love is blind.

  23. To #4: You’re very opptomistic about people being more insightful about their romantic relationships. As a practicing couples/family therapist for 26 years, I’m unhappy to report that love is still blind. Hope dies hard!

  24. I love this post.

    Another point. Faye tells Don what to do. Take me out to dinner. Have your girls set it up. Come out into the open. All are reasonable, loving and sweet.

    I can understand when given the choice, he isn’t going for that.

    The biggest flaw in Don’s new marriage isn’t Megan, it is that he hasn’t told her about Dick. Faye only found out because Don thought it was all over. It would have never otherwise come out.

  25. I love all of these posts and all of you.

    Wanted to add how bizarre it was to see Don in “Dad” clothes–California casual and knocking on Megan’s door while she was still dressed up from her night out. The age difference was VERY obvious and I Loved the scene.

    And, probably just a restating of all that’s been said here, it may have been “Tomorrowland” but it was still Disneyland. Make believe. Not real. A place where the entire world is paid to make you feel like it IS real. Much like Lane’s Playboy Club experience. Much like Midge’s heroin world of paintings and flattery. Much of how Don’s treated his visits to CA. And as we know, we can’t recreate these places because they’re NOT REAL to begin with.

    Betty’s arc of finding imperfection with Henry/her new marriage could have been a warning to Don. He’s chasing the same brand of perfection, this time called Megan.

  26. Completely agree with #10! Thanks to Peggy for voicing exactly my thought as I watched the show.

    This episode could have been called, “plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose” (loosely, the more things change, the more things stay the same). Don is doing repeating past mistakes because he doesn’t have the courage to recognize that they are mistakes, nor the fortitude to change. It is so much easier to do what one has done before–the pattern of behavior is already set–and wish/hope/think “things will be different this time.” Don is no better than Betty in this regard. So perfect that a trip to Disneyland sealed the deal for the proposal.

  27. Thank you for a great post Deb. I’ve read some very unsatisfactory reactions to this episode elsewhere on the interwebz so reading this was a breath of fresh air.

    I really felt for Faye, though I initially thought she was a manipulator and calculating, I was just seeing the work side of what she does to get results but in her personal life she does seem very compassionate and gentle and I felt so bad for her getting dumped. I also agree with whoever pointed out that though Faye isn’t good with kids, she would have pulled out all the stops to try to win over the kids.

    I could be wrong (I often am with MM) but I think that Megan will MAKE Don allow her to get to know him. He might not tell about being Dick Whitman, but Megan really seems to know how to handle him, remember how she took charge in the seduction scene and afterwards she told him to go home and sleep. She seems to be able, with kindness to get what she wants from him and I think she will be more succesful than Betty in finding out about who he really is. Now I am highly skeptical that this will keep him from cheating, and who knows if she will continue to work or will go the more traditional route and go home but it will be a very different relationship. Of course knowing who Dick Whitman is key in a way to knowing “Don” but I think she will find out about what his childhood was like. In someways, she seems like Sally’s teacher (whose name has flown from my head and will probably come to me once I submit this comment) but without that weird hard edge she’d have occasionally. I really think she will be way more nurturing than Betty could ever be, no matter how much she tried to be kind as we saw in season one, and that will open Don up. At least I hope so. I really want for him to be happy. And though I’m furious at Betty for her petty firing of Carla, and though I’m not crazy about Henry though I liked how he stands up for the little “guy” (Carla here and Sally in the ‘masterbation’ episode) I hope they can patch it up, though I have my doubts, b/c I ‘d like for her to be happy too. Part of me thinks neither Don or Betty really knows how to be happy and they are both tragic (with a small t) characters.

  28. There were several moments during season between Don and Faye that at the first glance looked tender and deep, at least from Faye, but in Don I saw something like necessity, obligation, something along the lines of “she is here and I have to look like this is great”. Especially after he slept with Megan for the first time and went home and there was Faye (if I’m remembering the episode right), and they sat on the sofa and he embraced her and sighed. So despite not rooting for Megan, from those moments I felt like Faye lost him already, like there really was no choosing going on, it was all decided.

    As for milkshake moment, Don looked like a guilty child himself, poised to run as he was expecting Betty’s scene, his reaction somewhat funny and pitiful.

  29. #18 I was thinking the same thing: Gettin’ a little windy there, Faye …

    Not that she was wrong.

    Thinking back to “Hands and Knees,” Don’s glance at the Beatles tickets and unexpected lingering glance at Megan foreshadowed the “Kids are sentimental. Have you heard their music?” observations to the ACS.

    Megan’s one or two allusions to reinventing herself may also be appealing. Elocution lessons, etc. Even though it’s incredibly vague at this point, I think Don relates to this, or at least latches onto it as a justification for a connection. (He also loves her bad teeth for some reason. I’m kind of glad the writers threw that in, for whatever it’s worth.)

    Don choosing Megan was not a surprise to me at all after “Hands and Knees,” but of course I didn’t expect him to propose so quickly. Bad timing, Ghost Anna.

    There’s also always the issue of the time gap between episodes. We never get all the information about how well characters know each other or how much they’ve interacted. (I always think back to Pete’s cryptic comment to Peggy in 1.08: “You haven’t been right once.” It implied that more conversations had taken place than we had seen. Maybe?)

    I don’t think the proposal was a good idea, but I’m resistant to accepting the “Faye was the right choice/Megan was wrong choice” argument. A bit windy for my taste.

  30. I was taken aback by the suddenness of Don’s falling in love with Megan–it simply
    didn’t feel organic to the plot. Their one sexual connection in the office felt tepid and so
    I simply couldn’t believe his saying to her “I haven’t stopped thinking about you.”
    Nonetheless, both Faye and Megan are mother-figures, but mothers with different
    styles. Who of us would not prefer the warm, acceptant mother to Faye’s “Let me
    tell you what you have to do to be grown up?” i have not found Faye a sympathetic
    character; she grates on me. although her success as a career woman is admirable,
    particularly for that time. If Don feels accepted and cherished, might he not be
    able to develop his better self?

  31. I think Megan is good for Don. They look so handsome together–both raven haired beauties. She will be, I hope, a savior for Sally. Sally needs to see that their are other ways to get what you want out of life rather than using manipulations and female trickery like Betty does.

  32. Okay, some of you are going to hate me for making this comparison, but I’m reminded of a similar “easy vs. hard” girl dilemma in season 2 of “Sex and the City.” For those who never watched the show, (blonde) Carrie had been dating Mr. Big off-and-on during the show, but she finally broke it off for good because of his lack of commitment (he didn’t bother to tell her he was going to Paris on business for ~9th months!). Then he unexpectedly returns and is engaged to a 20-something model-esque (brunette) Natasha he had just met in Paris (even though he had previously declared he would never marry again). Carrie and her friends conclude that her life mirrors “The Way We Were”, in which Wasp-y Robert Redford falls in love, marries but ultimately divorces the smart, outspoken and dedicated, aka “complicated” Barbra Streisand and ends up with a “simple” girl.

    Eventually in season 3, Big becomes bored with the “beige” Natasha and has an affair w/Carrie, even though she has a steady boyfriend, and Natasha ends up chipping her tooth while catching and chasing Carrie out of her apartment (Megan’s teeth are prominently mentioned in “Tomorrowland.” So aside from the Francophone, hair-color and teeth motifs, the “simple vs. complicated” girl theme is very relevant and real dilemma in the arts and in real life (much more so than the girl-next-door vs. the femme fatale).

    Anyway, right now, Don and Megan are only engaged. I liked the mention of Megan maybe becoming an Eve Harrington (I was just re-watching “All About Eve” this weekend). Things could happen before Season 5 starts and I think a lot will hinge on if MW thinks Jessica Paré’s ability as an actor to handle such a significant role. (Interestingly, there are many similarities between Jessica and her character Megan http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0664175/bio) Many derided January Jones’ acting in S1 but she’s definitely hit the marks playing Betty now. I think there was some expectation of Suzanne Farrell returning in S4, but Abigail Spencer did not have the acting chops to become a regular cast member. The character introduced after season 1 who has been promoted to regular cast is Lane Pryce, so it’s like you have be an actor of Jared Harris-caliber. I highly doubt they planned Sally’s role being so significant now if they didn’t realize Kiernan Shipka’s amazing acting ability.

  33. I always seem to reference movies when I post…

    Choosing the “easy/simple” girl over the more complicated girl — this is so The Way We Were. Robert Redford chose the simple, young beautiful girl over the more complex and fiery Katie played by Barbara Streisand. The cheating writer (Don/Hubbell) and the smart, abrasive, and opinionated woman (Faye/Katie) come together in love for a brief period of time. But Don/Hubbell realizes it is too exhausting to live up to the man she wants him to be. And Faye/Katie realizes that maybe he isn’t the man she idealized and who will always take the easy way out.

    It does make me wonder… I wasn’t sure that we’d see Faye again in Season 5. But Katie was pregnant in the movie when Hubbell cheated and left her. It is probably a huge stretch, but it certainly would throw a wrench in things if Faye turned out to be pregnant at the start of next season.

  34. Ha ha, Empress, you beat me to the punch.

  35. In the opening scene this ep Don is like a small frightened child even sort of whimpering to Faye about how he did not feel confident about the upcoming meeting with the cancer group. She gives him a pep talk to make him feel better about himself. I guess this was his Dick W personna.

    With Megan he could go back and be the confident in charge, big man on campus Don – a older more established Don rather than the up and coming Don that woed Betty.

    Being Dick is just too hard for him and Faye would always bring that part out of him.

  36. As much as Don claims to be eaten up by his identity problem (especially when G men are lurking in the background), he has no desire to “correct” the problem, such as by seeing an attorney, which is what Faye recommended to him earlier. He would rather take his chances and just keep moving forward, which has been his credo since we first met him in S1. If he and Faye remained together, Faye would probably continue to prod him to take steps to correct the problem, and he really doesn’t want to do that. Don probably also reflected on the fact that Faye has a busy career and does not seem to have a “knack” for kids. I believe this is what Don was thinking when he sat on the edge of the bed as Megan was sleeping — weighing the pros and cons of Faye and Megan.

    I also thought about whether it was truly an impulsive act for Don to propose to Megan. It was impulsive in the sense that he has not known her for long and really does not know much about her. And she knows even less about him. But I do believe that Don’s action was the product of considered thought. In this respect, his actions are different than back in 1960 when he came running into Rachel’s office and urged her to run away with him. He knows things have not been going well while he has been out on his own. He needs a “life raft” much like Betty needed Henry. He wants his kids to have a warm and friendly mother. He wants to come home and find a steak on the table, just like his accountant suggested. Megan will do that for him. Megan seems to me a somewhat more sophisticated version of Suzanne — warm, loving, good with kids, completely into him. She fits the bill for Don, just like Henry fit the bill for Betty, at least initially. So, where I came out is that Don’s actions are essentially no different from Betty’s — just two years delayed.

  37. The arcs of Don and Betty are going in opposite directions. Don is still remaining in fantasy land with Megan and Betty is dealing with a real person in Henry. Henry is showing Betty what a real life is all about. You can’t always be this impetuous child. He is constantly calling her on this behaviour (the hard work). She resents this but in the long run, she will grow up though I think it is too late to be a good mother. By marrying Megan, it does not seem that Don will grow up. Faye would have called Don on his bad behaviour but then would have been helpful in getting him to a better place (again, the hard work). Don chose Megan (the easy way). Though Don changed somewhat this season, Megan will not make him a better person.

    Somehow, I don’t think this marriage is going to be consumated

  38. I think the fear of death is in the background of Don’s choice. Everything Don says to the American Lung Association could apply somewhat to himself. And he’s afriad of his kids being left with Betty and no one else. (This even more so after Carla’s fired.)

  39. The Megan romance, and Don’s simpering smile, is not consistent with Don’s character at all

    But it is consistent with Dick Whitman telling Anna that he had met a girl named Elizabeth who was beautiful and happy and liked looking at him. He had the same look in his eyes and the same smile.

    #32 Empress Rouge – I too thought of the Sex and the City connection, even mentioned it in a comment I made yesterday on one of Roberta’s posts. And of course, SATC referenced “The Way We Were” a few times–Carrie talked about relating to Katie. She even asked Big why it wasn’t her (he was getting married to) and he said things just got too hard, and [Natasha] was [easy].

    Of course, later on he decides he’s not satisfied with his choice. He pursues Carrie, she goes back to him, and they have an on-again, off-again thing for a while before they finally marry.

    In the Don/Megan/Faye triangle, whatever happens with Don & Megan, I don’t see Faye ever going back to Don. If we ever do see her again, I’m guessing she’ll be pretty bitter. And she certainly won’t be advising any clients to head over to SCDP.

  40. #39: that’s right: Don IS Dick when he proposes to Megan (as he usually was/is when in CA).

  41. #26: Agree with you. Another truism that comes to mind is, “The greatest mistake a woman makes about a man is thinking he will change (or that she can change him), and the greatest mistake a man makes about is woman is thinking she will never change.”

    The “easy versus complicated” woman is such an eternal dilemma, isn’t it? Even with all the strides we have made. Like #27, I didn’t like Faye a lot of the time for the same reasons, and maybe that’s a testimonial to the fact that powerful career women are still looked upon with suspiscion, even if it’s couched in terms of “personality issues.: She was, however, absolutely spot on in wanting a partner who will deal with his issues; in short, to want a fully honest relationship. That’s what it means to be an adult, but being an adult, as we’ve seen time and time again on MM, is hard. (It’s also true in real life, but that’s another story.)

    The sad thing for Faye, however, despite being spot on in her analysis of Don, is that she probably will always tell herself it was because she “failed” the (unfair) “test” Don set up–she wasn’t “nurturant” stepmother material. I think, however much she might outwardly deny it, that will always haunt her, and that’s sad.

    But we may not have seen the last of her; it will be interesting to see, what if anything, develops in Season 5. And btw, we haven’t come round to a full year yet, and at this point, Don and Meagan are only “engaged.”

  42. Has anyone considered that this whole season was about Don changing? So many different things happened to him during the season. He had to come to terms with being a divorced dad, trying to build up (and then almost losing) his company, and really finding out just what he wanted in life. Like what Megan said, she knows Don to be a good person and that whatever happened in the past, stays in the past. Maybe it’s time for Don to move on and get over the things in his past. After four seasons of Mad Men, his engagement to Megan was the first time I have EVER seen him truly happy. I have definitely never head him tell anyone he loved them. Also, many many times that he and Megan kissed, he seemed to be in a more subservient position (i.e. the scene towards the end when she comes in and kisses him…she is on top). I think Megan has more strength than people are giving her credit for. She didn’t get all emotional and upset after sleeping with Don for the first time; she knew it probably wouldn’t go anywhere. Not every woman has to be like Faye Miller or even Bobbi Barrett to have confidence and control of their man.

    Can’t wait for next season!

  43. I’m thinking that there will be a fourth Draper Child too in Season 5.

    But I also wonder if Draper is going to dump Megan in Westchester County. I hope not. I don’t want to see Megan wringing her hands, bored to death.

    As for Carla, I wonder if she will be hired by Don for twice the amount that she got paid by Betty. Hmmm….

  44. Let’s hope Megan doesn’t try to decorate Don’s office like Jane did! One more thing, in 65 I thought women of affluent husbands stayed home. I don’t see Megan continuing to work at SCDP unless it’s for plot development. Would Don really want his wife at the office with him monitoring his every move??! Don is Don and he’s going to cheat again. He’ll probably hook up with Faye for some intelectual conversation and enjoy Megan “Von Trap” for her mothering skills and maybe some French cooking.

  45. Meagan is the anti-Betty in another (and I think very important) way: she is completely in charge of the relationship.

    Betty was needy and demanding, but ultimately a supplicant. If you think of the handful of Don-Meagan scenes in romance mode, they are uniform in Meagan directing Don on what to do. Consider:
    - Prior to their office tryst, Don offers Meagan a drink. She not only declines, but asks him how many he has had. He answers “four” and decides not to have one himself.
    - During their Don stops it, Meagan directs him not to and Don complies.
    - After their first night together in California, Don essentially begs Meagan to let him come back the next night.
    - After he proposes, Meagan has a conversation with her mother in a language that Don literally cannot understand.
    - Meagan directs Don when and how to break it off with Dr. Faye.

    Meagan is easy because she is gently, subtly dictating the entire relationship.

  46. I think Megan is a fine match for Draper/Whitman at this stage of his life. I don’t get the lingering suspicions, by some, that there’s a dark side to her. Weiner has not foreshadowed that one bit, and if Megan suddenly turns out to be Eve or have a split personality in season 5 then I’ll be the first to cry foul! This is the time for Draper to stop being reflective and moody and drunk and enjoy what is great in his life… his kids, his creativity, the talent that surrounds him at SCD&P. Long term, this may not be the best choice, but in the short term, Megan is a gift from God.

    The only failing of Megan (as opposed to Faye) is that if/and when the legal problems of stealing the Draper idendity ever catch up to him, Megan won’t have the life-experience or objectivity to help Don/Dick. (In contrast to Faye’s highly intelligent, i.e. “adult” advice, to turn himself in and seek clemency. If it hits the fan with Megan as Mrs. Draper, she’ll probably advise Don to flee to Canada with all the other deserters…maybe even kidnap Sally, Bobby and/or Gene, so they all can live happily ever after, singing French lullabies through bad teeth.)

    What still bothers me the most (and I’m repeating myself) is that the character of Draper was allowed to dismiss Faye Miller so easily and without some period of reflection. When good people do bad things to other good people, the result is almost always bad… even if that result is a lowering of one’s long-term self-esteem. If Don Draper is truly the character that Weiner has portrayed for 4 years, then he should eventually feel like a complete sh*t for how he ended his relationship with Faye.

  47. Off the direct topic of this post, but I’ve been wondering if Don’s “fear of death” angle to the American Cancer Society owes anything to the approach of the German/Austrian consultant back in season 1, whose paper on this very topic Don literally trashed?

  48. Another OT remark: “msnoop” commentator on Alan Sepinwall’s blog came up with a rather precise dating of episode 13 as occuring on October 9, confirming the Columbus Day dating others had figured due to the Monday holiday:

    “If you use the pause feature on your dvr you can read the headline of the newspaper Lane is reading when Joan comes in to drop off his mail. It reads: President Doing Well. As LBJ was president, it probably refers to the gall bladder surgery he had on Oct. 8, 1965. So it must be Oct. 9 in the scene.”

  49. @ Laura

    I completely share your point of view.
    Don changed in a good way: he stopped drinking too much, and more important, he stopped lying, learned to say “sorry” or “thank you”. Remember in this episode: he told his kids that in fact he is this “dick+anna” on the wall. He also started to say that the ring belonged to his family, and seconds later he said the truth: it belonged to somebody important to him. So Don is not the same old Don…
    As for Megan, well, i’ve always been in team Megan anyway. :-) Can’t wait to see how her character will evolve.

  50. “Don wouldn’t know a sane life choice if it sat on his face…” — or gave him a BJ in the back of a cab? LOL –

    The more I read the posts, and think about the episode, I think that Don’s affair with Faye basically amounted to cheap psychotherapy. In retrospect I always felt that she was talking to him as a therapist, rather than as a lover. It always felt clinical and work-like. Plus he didn’t see her Betty-like explosion when she told someone the phone to “go shit in the ocean!”

    I’m intrigued about Don’s relationship with Megan, we’ll see where it goes.

  51. Don was never going to be in a long-term relationship with Faye regardless of Megan. Don does not want to address his past and Faye would eventually demand that he do something about it. On some level Don knows this. Faye is alsp a constant reminder of Don’s past which is something he wants to sweep under the rug.

  52. I have an odd question -

    The Francis family has now moved to Rye, right? So the kids left their old school in Ossining and started in a new school that is already in session. And they are w/o Carla too. My question – do the kids know about daddy Don and Megan getting married? Makes you wonder with all the changes taking place in their lives, I wonder where the kids will want to stay.

  53. #50, But Don DID hear Faye’s explosive phone conversation when he walked in th office at SCDP. Overhearing that conversation was the main reason he took the next step of asking her out, even after she had previously rebuffed him several times.

    Agree with you, though, about the cheap psychotherapy. In fact Faye’s look and attitude bears a not-so-subtle resemblance to Dr. Joyce Brothers.

  54. Don does not want to address his past

    Although he did tell a little bit of it, willingly, to Rachel Menken. And with no prompting from her. He just volunteered some information.

  55. #52 got it, must tank up on season 4. good catch on Dr. Joyce.

  56. Great post–

    I was hoping Megan would be gone after this season, she’s so boring and childish and DD’s scenes with her aren’t even that sexy–I think he had more chemistry with Faye, or at least they seemed to be equals to some extent. I also think that Peggy and Joan’s response to DD getting engaged might have been an insight into the audience’s response, many of us watching out there were like “oh c’mon”. And I loved Joan telling the story to her hubby about how he was smiling like he was the first man to ever marry his secretary, lol! The exchange between Joan and Peggy was one of the finest moments in this otherwise predictable finale.

  57. Deborah, that’s a wonderful way you have juxtaposed Faye and Megan — hard vs. easy. I’m not sure I totally agree, if only because I believe that in this final episode Faye and Megan were dealing with two different people — Faye with Don, Megan with Dick.

    Faye, knowing he secret if not his real name, suggests to Dick that he unburden himself, but Dick is so used to inhabiting Don’s persona that he resists, as uncomfortable as that is. He then goes to California and does what he always does when he goes there — lets Don go. After the visit to the bungalow, he becomes Dick completely. Oh, he adopts the Don persona from time to time (initially resisting a swim, quacking at the spilled milkshake) but he’s basically wide-eyed, smiling, empathetic Dick — even after he gets back to New York. Except for when he breaks the news to Faye — then he’s Don again (“I don’t know what else to say” – what a classic Draper line).

    Some of written that they thought his pensiveness in the California hotel room was him deciding who he wanted to be with. I think he was deciding who he wanted to be. Dick is winning…for now.

    Of course, the elephant in the room is what he hasn’t told Megan. I certainly don’t have an answer for that, but it without a doubt THE cliffhanger going into S5.

    Final note…last week I expressed reservations about Megan as a fleshed-out character and about the prospects of a Don-Megan relationship. I found the initial office rendezvous between Don and Megan to be incongruous. I also felt that Don and Faye had formed a bond, and that him throwing her over for Megan would feel like really clunky soap-opera writing. Well, somehow Matt & Co. produced exactly the scenario I was dreading, but to my immense joy they did so in a completely seamless way. I totally bought everything that happened. I may not like Don’s choice, but the way the episode was written, I totally believe it. That, of course, is all that really matters.

  58. I’m surprised more people haven’t commented on the cruelty of the actual breakup between Don and Faye. I mean can you imagine going away for a week and finding out your boyfriend’s ENGAGED to another woman? If I was Faye I probably would have had a mini breakdown. Which she possibly did off screen. To think of all the questions that must have been racing through her mind at that moment. She must of wondered if the last 5 or 6 months(?) she was in a “relationship” were a complete lie. Of course it would all make much more sense to her once she realized Don’s fiancee was Megan. But my god, the horror of it all. This is the breakup story to end all breakup stories. Don definitely took the easy way out by choosing Megan. But, Dr. Faye will be much better off now that she’s escaped the black hole that is Don Draper.

  59. Helen Bishop you took the words right out of my mouth. Being a grown-up is HARD. Don is too lazy, maybe he wants to be in la-la land in a fantsy like light-hearted romance after all the heavyness he’s dealt with for who knows how long. DD told Adam that his life only moves forward and any rememberance of Dick Whitman is regression. Don however, always feels the shadowy hot breath of Dick on his neck. Its the reason for his self-loathing and he has to resolve that dilemma. But its too hard. Waaaaaaa! Don is a baby. He only ‘grows’ in baby steps. He deserves a chance at being deliriously happy with a seemingly nice girl like Megan, but the specter of his troublesome past forever haunts. A symbol of it might return somewhere, in the form a candy store clerk.

  60. October 9, 1965 was a Saturday. Is SCDP open for biz on weekends? Considering they haven’t inked any clients since late July it probably makes sense. I like both Faye and Megan. I don’t think Faye was ‘handling’ him with psychobabble, I felt a sincerity and kindness and love in Faye’s tone with Don. IMHO she didn’t talk down to him. Megan is a rom-com light, sweet, with ominous Eve Harrington overtones that I wish are a red-herring. Megan also has a delicate strength which is intoxicating.

  61. I suspect (I’m pretty sure) that Matt Weiner subscribes to the view that (most) people don’t really change. We’re seeing that with Betty already. Sometimes in a crisis, people will change enough to get out of the crisis. Don did that with his drinking. Faye was showing him ways of changing deeper down, to which he was a little bit receptive after the crisis with the government investigation. Now that crisis is over. As Roberta and others have pointed out, that way is hard, and Don does not have the motivation to change. Much easier to fall in love. Megan is different enough from Betty – it appears – that his next marriage won’t follow the same patterns, exactly, that his first marriage did. Her warmth and motherliness will smooth a lot of ways. But her age and different expectations from Betty’s will bring different conflicts with Don that he may be no better prepared to resolve – though, who knows? That’s what the next two seasons will show us. I’m guessing, though, that the final episode of the final season will show Don’s personal life, his second marriage, breaking up (or broken up) again because of his internal problems that he has never resolved.

  62. I have to defend Megan. She is anything but clueless. In fact, I think she has potential to become the super woman many of us aspire to be. She is bilingual, she has taken elocution lessons, she aspires to be more than a secretary, she is a better secretary than the previous one who had much more experience. That doesn’t address her interpersonal skills. She never shows jealously when Dr. Miller (Faye) calls or stops by. She politely makes plans with a former roommate who insults her, but she knows they aren’t really friends. She is modest about her skills with children, which are exemplary. The 10,000th milkshake spill might not go as smoothly, but no way will she pull a Betty. Most importantly, she handles the one-time office escapade like a champ. She meant what she said, when she convinced Don that getting together didn’t have to mean anything. She most certainly did not leave crying. Things went right back to the way they were.

    Megan is a refreshing break from the Faye or Peggy stereotype. You are either a career woman or not, but there is no room for you to have both. I hope next season will explore this can-do type. When they were standing on the balcony of her hotel room, I thought, he’s got a tough choice here between two pretty amazing women. Faye is a terrific woman who will make some other man very happy. I wanted Don and Faye to be together, because I wanted to see Don with someone he could relate to intellectually, which could never be Betty, Bethany, the nurse down the hall, or that crying secretary. I hated seeing him cheat on Faye with Megan. Once we got to see how remarkable Megan can be with more character development, the more I realized, this is not the worst choice he could have made. Hasty, yes, but stupid, that remains to be seen. I feel the haste is justified by Don’s explanation to Megan. The series of things that had to happen were striking and the diamond ring coming to him then seemed to him like a sign. Don is more himself in California and more at ease.

    Don loves his children. The writers haven’t hit us over the head with it, but he can be very attentive. I loved the episode when Sally comes to his office. I think he worries about them living in the house with Betty and her increasing tendency to be violent and distant. Megan can offer a positive influence to his children, a loving wife, and a partner who can relate to him on a professional level.

    Sally desperately needs a positive female role model as she heads into puberty. Betty’s sexual advice is, “you don’t kiss boys, they kiss you.” Megan will teach her that she can get pleasure from physical interactions with boys without it being symbolic of her worth as a woman or that it is a tool to give or withhold in order to get what she wants.

    Perhaps Megan is just what Don needs to start making smarter life choices.

  63. Totally agree with the posters who see Megan as this season’s Suzanne. I believe he was headed in that direction with her, until all hell broke loose. She, too, was “easy,” and nurturing and accepting . . . and brunette.

    Based on my own personal experience, I always felt it was “Dick” falling in love with Suzanne and I get the same feeling about Megan. When Don delivers the line about loving how it feels to be with her because it’s how he’s always wanted to feel, I think that comes from a very deep place inside where Dick Whitman resides. I can see Dick Whitman being totally head over heels in love with Megan. I think Faye Miller was not only “hard,” but terrifying to him on many levels.

    I believe Betty dismissing Carla played into the sudden proposal, too. Don truly adores his children and wants what’s best for them. I’m sure there was some level of comfort for him that they had the stability of Carla after he moved out. Now they’re suddenly in a new city, a new house, and a new school with Betty and NO Carla. Probably made him think “I have to do something.”

    He could easily marry Megan “soon,” move back into the Ossining house (we know he’s not liking that capital gains tax rate,) hire Carla and work toward more time with the kids. I think they would like that. Can you imagine Betty’s reaction to that?

    Thanks #48 for the date check. I knew there had to be some historical reference that would confirm the time frame as early to mid-October ’65.

  64. Great post Deborah! Great analysis.

    Well, I am a Virgo and neither a neat freak, nor a hypochondriac, you could call me a slob but I don’t look like one from outside (people think that I’m really tidy and organized but I’m none of those) However, one could tell from my nitpicking, from my perfectionist approach for other things in life, especially when it comes to work and romantic relationships, I am a Virgo, with capital V. However, I’m kind of impulsive too. When I fall in love, I just dive right in. I am full of contradictions! but still a virgo. So this kind of behaviour – I don’t think it contradicts Don and not because he is a virgo but because people simply do such things. Don has been looking to fall in love again – all this time and the closest he got was when he was with Suzanne I believe – hence the pillow talk scene reminded me very much of his scenes in bed with Suzanne.

    One thing about Megan, we haven’t seen any wrongsoings by her but her reaction after he proposed – I mean calling her mother that instant? What was that? She couldn’t wait for another few hours? She was like a lottery winner who got the top prize. And that made me uncomfortable – I think Weiner threw this in for a reason, to show how young she really is and, I don’t know, how she was really dying to get married? And she’s marrying the most eligible ad man in New York. What a huge success, right?

    I don’t want to diss her, I kind of like her. I had the feeling he was going to choose her over Faye, the moment she hugged Sally but I think Faye has been spot on with all her analyses about Don (she predicted he would marry in a year in the first place!) and I have a feeling that she will be right about how Don only loves “the beginnings”, as well.

  65. #62 Kelli (In defence of Megan…)

    I agree that Megan is the real deal and quite a catch. And although Don’s proposal was indeed impulsive, most of his impulses were good ones. He knows she’s good for him in terms of settling down and trying to be a better, more sober individual. Don is also aware that Sally desperately needs a parental influence like Megan to break the dysfunctional cycle of bad parenting begetting bad people. He also recognizes the need for stability in his personal life so that he can focus more on his professional survival.

    All that being said, Don is not the catch that Megan thinks he is and I’m guessing that she gets the sh*t end of the stick, so to speak.

    btw, I do admire the very deliberate, but patient seductive approach by Megan. It says a lot about her maturity. In August she literally throws herself at Draper, then for two months goes about her business waiting to see what happens next. And when she gets her next opportunity, she plays it to perfection just by being the very best version of herself.

  66. That is not a relationship. Bad or good or weird, they enter into the unknown together.

    True. And it may be weird … but for its time, it’s quite accurate. (My father proposed to my mother in ’62 after they’d known each other for a matter of weeks. They’d had a few dates, one of them formal. Certainly no sex.)

    And it is accurate considering Don’s personality: his impulsivity, his swings between highs and lows. He has displayed at least some of the aspects of a controlling personality before. My experience with these people is that they need to “lock down” relationships with those who make them happy.

    It’s not healthy, but it is true to type.

    And there was ample foreshadowing of where Don was going, early in the episode. He said as much to the American Cancer Society, when they asked him about the letter in the Times: “In my heart it was an impulse, because I knew what I had to do to move forward.”

    So, really, he was already on his way.

    Finally: here’s something we all know about relationships, no matter what era we’re living in. Especially in trying times, we don’t look for what’s good for us; we seek out validation that we already are perfect, just the way we are.

    “Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And you know what happiness is? It’s the smell of a new car; it’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of the road that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing is okay. You are okay.”

    Don and Megan: right people, right time, perhaps even the right match.

    For right now, anyway. :)

  67. Um, sorry, Kelli, but I think there are still many things about Megan that we just don’t know. I will agree she is anything but clueless–but not in an entirely beneficient way. Let’s not forget that it was she, not Don, who initiated the sexual encounter, so yes, if she “handled the escapade like a champ,” it was because she orchestrated it.

    She may not have shown overt jealousy about Dr. Miller, but she was very much aware of her presence. I would call her very savvy indeed–and knowing how to take advantage of a good opportunity when it comes her way–nothing wrong with that. But all those elocution lessons, good secretarial skills–not to mention stopping by “just to check if anything was needed” before leaving with her “friend”whilst wearing an absolutely stunning little black number and then leaving the tv on late at night to let Don know she was “in” are not only the mark of someone who knows the score, but someone who’s ambitious as well. As others have pointed out, there’s more than a touch of Eve Harrington about her, and I think we’re just going to have to wait to see how it plays out.

    And Don may love his children, but–by his own admission to Faye–he has not been a good father, especially since the divorce. Sally’s “visit” to New York was a cry for help, and when faced with it, Don tried to hand off as much of the responsibility as possible to others–notoriously to Faye. Maybe he has been worrying all along about Betty’s increasingly arbitrary and erratic parenting, but until Megan materialized, he’s done very little about it on his own.

    As others have pointed out, it’s no accident all this happens via a trip to Disneyland. And as somebody who’s lived in California for years, I can tell you that as much as I love it, it often doesn’t feel “real,” (although in a very good way :) ).

  68. #59 Delena,

    The cruelty of how Don “let Faye go” affected me. It kicked the brutality of the Allison Episode to the curb, in terms of how he chose NOT to deploy the Draper Charm.

    “You’ve been very. Important. To me.” Excuse me, what? Toss a couple of fifties into a greeting card, why don’t you?

    I doubt that we have seen the last of Faye. One, she was crying when she hung up. Two, she does not suffer losses like this one lightly — and she has invested quite a bit (personally and professionally) in the cause of this one man.

    Three, Don has told her why he was being investigated by the Feds. It was true, what he said right afterward: he really shouldn’t have told her that. But his life’s been a mess this year, and when you count on the competent women in your life to help pick up your mess, what you have when you let one of them go is an angry woman who knows at least part of your mess.

    Faye owns that information, now. She might just use it.

  69. I certainly don’t know what’s going to happen next season, but this talk about the “easy” versus the “hard” and the “simple” versus the “complex” got me thinking. If I was Don/Dick….so much of my life (pretty much ALL of it) is “hard” and “complex”. The whole identity issue, the business itself (so tough even without the other stuff), dealing with divorce with BETTY as an ex-wife! I’m sorry, but the last thing I would want would be to add more”hard” and “complex” to my life. Anything that would help things me more “simple” and “easy” would feel like a god-send to me. Especially one where that relationship has potention to help tidy up some of the other hard and complex things in his life.

    BUT, he’s made so many changes to himself I would hope that he’d deal with Don/Dick with Megan…before the wedding. Think back to Don talking about telling Betty. When would he tell her, on the first date? On their wedding night? Well, at this point the best thing for Don to do would be tell her NOW. If she accepts him now with that out (unlike Betty, as in the anti-Betty), what a catharsis can that be? To be truly himself in this new most important relationship could keep him on the path to being the person he can be.

    But I doubt he will do that. Is it Don’s flaws or his strengths that we watch this series to see?

  70. I have to disagree with #10. It’s totally in character for Don to have picked Megan and to have proposed to her so quickly. He was all ready to ditch his wife and kids and run away with Rachel back in season one. Don, if anything, has mastered the art of running away. He was probably this reckless when he proposed to Betty. What was clever about the finale was that what we had seen previously as Don being open and joyous in the flashback in Mountain King (talking to Anna about how much in love he was with Betty) was shown here to be utterly dysfunctional and delusional. The finale completely opened the earlier scene to reinterpretation.

    And as Deborah and others in this thread have pointed out, Faye was growing rather windy, especially in comparison to Megan.

    Answering the question, “Who is Don Draper?”, I think we’ve seen the answer: the same as he’s always been. This season showed that he is unable to change. And that’s why the new marriage is doomed. The cycle’s going to start all over again.

  71. # 66 Anne B re (My father proposed to my mother in ’62 after they’d known each other for a matter of weeks. They’d had a few dates, one of them formal. Certainly no sex.)

    Because parents ALWAYS tell their kids the truth about their sex lives! :)

  72. “Finally: here’s something we all know about relationships, no matter what era we’re living in. Especially in trying times, we don’t look for what’s good for us; we seek out validation that we already are perfect, just the way we are.”

    Anne B, Oh, how true, ‘dat. I couldn’t agree more. I’m just not sure if what Don told the American Cancer Society about moving forward applies equally to his personal life as his business life. Sometimes I think in relationships that we just pick variations of the same model and go through the same things again and again. But then again, as Faye said “Nobody likes to think they’re a type.”

    Still, can’t help being disquieted that Don is playing this exactly the way he played it with Betty–doesn’t want to spoil the magic by telling Megan about the lie of his past. And as we’ve seen, a relationship built on a major lie like this, richochets and splinters in ways that can’t be predicted when the truth finally comes out.

    But then again, they’re only engaged at this point. And double again, if Don did reveal all, it wouldn’t be MM, would it?

  73. #71, JoanBetty,

    Right!

    And they had sex afterward only six times … which explains each of us.

    :)

  74. #69: sstnt: See you beat me to the punch :)

  75. Ha, hadn’t really thought about it until now, so I looked up what the name “Megan” means.

    From Irish, Megan is “soft & gentle”
    From Greek, Megan is “strong & mighty”
    From Welsh, variation of Margaret, which means “Pearl”

    Interesting….

  76. #67 SFCaramia re: “As others have pointed out, there’s more than a touch of Eve Harrington about her, and I think we’re just going to have to wait to see how it plays out.”

    I don’t see it and would be stunned if the show went in that direction in any way. Weiner and the writers have not given one clue (at least that I picked up on) that indicates some serious dark side to Megan’s character. She has been portrayed as 100% transparent. Mad Men is not Knot’s Landing or some other prime-time soap. They’re not going to suddenly transform Megan into an evil woman or give her an evil twin that is just getting out of some Canadian asylum.

    Weiner and the writers have always been honest (as opposed to deceptive) and at least given us the clues to what will happen. When Megan picked up Sally and gave her a big hug, others(I was clueless) on this board predicted that Don would fall for her. That was a spontaneous act not a planned one. And when Don goes to her room to romance her, Megan’s dialogue is anything but seductive. (What kind of seductress mentions their big teeth to a guy they’re intent on reeling in?)

    Of course, I’m not always right, but if you do have any clues that Megan might be Eve Harrington I’d be willing to listen. But just because she’s an educated woman who took a job as a receptionist/secretary to get a foothold in the NYC business world hardly makes her Eve.

  77. #74 SFCaramia: Just by a moment, great minds!

  78. Didn’t Faye predict, earlier in the season that Don would be married in a year?

    I still view this show in time and place. Presumably, Don was born the same year as my mother, yet aside from being children of the Depression, there are few parallels in the choices they made. Being at the center of the rarified world of advertising in the 60′s has little to compare to middle class suburbia in which I grew up.

    But at the same time the show exists in the flux of the old order vs. the new, West coast vibe vs. Eastern establishment, and the dawn of the age of Aquarius (not Virgo), before it crashed and burned. The choice of Meagan, to me anyway, is the possibility for Don to be carried across the divide, that he had seen as a premonition in California, that is now cresting over his landscape. Catch a wave and you’re sitting on top of the world.

  79. #76 I believe Megan saw what she wanted, and has been researching, learning, positioning herself to get it. That is not to say that her ambitions are evil, or based on anything but what she believes to be pure motivations. But people all the time figure out what they want, and having literally watched others fail at their attempts to get it, watch, learn, play it cool, and make themselves available when the time is right. I just don’t think Megan is a result of fate as much as Don does. Doesn’t mean she’s bad, just means she smarter than her “pretty face” gives it credit for.

  80. This might be a case of easy vs. hard, but I think there’s also an element of stable vs. risky. (And of course there’s a connection between the two.)

    Don takes enormous risks. Last week most people thought he was a genius lightyears ahead of his time. This week most people thought he was the idiot of the century. Same exact behavior.

    Both the ad and the proposal were equally impulsive, with equally unforeseeable results. (Ironically, both were risks in the interest of future stability.) A guy who makes last week’s decision is the same guy who makes this week’s decision. I wonder if it’s possible to separate the two.

    By the way, last week Peggy was the one who really “got it,” and this week she was the one who *really* didn’t get it.

    (Poor Dr. Faye *really* got the shaft in both cases.)

  81. #79 Bridget re: “#76 I believe Megan saw what she wanted, and has been researching, learning, positioning herself to get it. ”

    When I met my (now) wife, she was not yet 21 and I was almost 30. She was adorable and I was attracted to her but I didn’t want to get seriously involved with someone so young, because you’re never sure if someone that young might grow in a different direction. But we did see each other every few weeks, mostly to see a movie or play and I was impressed with how insightful she was. After we were engaged, I found out that before we went to see a particular movie, she would “pre-screen” it so she’d be my at my level when we discussed it. She even read the screenplay of Mamet’s “Glengarry, Glenross” before we saw the movie version.

    So, yes, I guess I could have claimed entrapment, but I was very flattered by her dedication and how smoothly she pulled it off. And like Megan, she was never impatient or frustrated if I had other plans.

  82. This is Mad Men. Who are you kidding? It’s doomed.

  83. #82 Mike D.: True, the odds are long on MM, but not insurmountable. For example, Pete & Trudy.

  84. #82 re: “This is Mad Men. Who are you kidding? It’s doomed.”

    Funny and reminds me of a comment by Jessica Pare, who plays Megan, when she found out that in a future episode Don Draper was going to propose to her (a propman visited to measure he ring finger). She said that (after the measurement) when ever she got her part of the weekly script, she kept on expecting to fall down an elevator shaft!.

    But Pete and Trudy are still together, 5 years later, in spite of Pete fathering Peggy’s baby in season 1, seducing the Scandanavian nanny from down stairs in season 2, and resigning his father in law’s Clearasil account in season 4.

    Sometimes love conquers everything… even big horse teeth.

  85. Yeah, but Pete’s not Don. Despite all the predictions of people thinking Pete would use that rifle on himself, he’s not self-destructive. Don is.

  86. #76: “(What kind of seductress mentions their big teeth to a guy they’re intent on reeling in?)”

    One who’s testing the waters by bringing up a supposed flaw before her would be suitor does, and who is subtly charming the pants off him (after, btw leaving him slack-jawed only a few hours earlier when he took in quite an eyeful of her in a hot little black dress) by appearing disarmingly humble, that’s who. :)

    And btw, those “big teeth” have so much symbolism, I’m not going to even go there. Having been through 4 seasons of MM, I know it’s no accident MW and the writiers have focused on this details and that it’s figured prominently in some of the ways the scenes were shot–and lest I erroneously be accused of criticising Jessica Pare’s appearance–which I’m not–I just want to say for the record she’s absolutely beautiful and this “imperfection” is merely adds to her allure. But I also think there’s a reason this “imperfection” is being played up, and it’s in the service of things we just don’t yet know.

    I’m not saying that it’s wrong to be ambitious, use your charms, whatever. But I also don’t buy lock, stock and barrel that Megan is as pure as the driven snow, either. I thoroughly understand how her “simple” aspect–especially in a world of complicated and demanding women, appeals to Don, and why he thinks she’s such a good “fit” with the circumstances of his life right now. But I just don’t think we know enough about this seemingly “simple” woman to suspend an element of doubt. I want more information.

    And btw, Eve Harrington started out being completely sweet and lovely too at the beginning of “All About Eve.” :)

  87. #86 SFCaramia re: “And btw, Eve Harrington started out being completely sweet and lovely too at the beginning of “All About Eve.”

    Now you’re sounding as cynical as George Sanders in that very movie! :)

    (btw, the scenes between Sanders and B Davis (Margo) may be my most favorite in the history of cinema.)

    And I agree that Megan/Jessica Pare is gorgeous, the fact that they actually play down her looks (IMO) is a clue that they’re going for something different. (The actress does have big teeth, but I never realized it until Megan, herself, pointed it out, and then that’s all I noticed.) She looks great in period costume, hair, etc, but Faye, although older and less statuesque, was far sexier and showed far more curves in her tailored business suits. (Again, IMO) Aesthetically, I was more attracted to Faye then to Megan, although I suspect, in real life, Jessica Pare is conventionally more attractive than Carlo Buono.

    I’ll accept your point about the symbolism of Megan’s big teeth as possible small clue to something nefarious… like Megan deserts Don and the kids to run in the Kentucky Derby?! :)

  88. “Now you’re sounding as cynical as George Sanders in that very movie :)

    Thanks! George Sanders absolutely stole the show in “AAE” (when Bette Davis wasn’t ) :)

    AAE is one of my all-time favorite movies. And just in case there’s someone who didn’t know, the scene between said cynic and a very young Marilyn Monroe is the icing on the cake in a movie that’s already five stars.

  89. Random 2 degrees of separation between Mad Men and All About Eve… George Sanders was married to Zsa Gabor, in fact he was husband #3, right after her divorce from husband #2…..Conrad Hilton.

  90. #62 Kelli

    I think you make some interesting observations. I’m not convinced Megan is the “easy” one. I think she has more nuance than many of the female characters with Don. I think Faye would never have been a choice for Don because as #5, Steve, pointed out, he couldn’t have seen her as a mother to his children. With Sally, she seemed without a smidgeon of any natural mothering instincts in her body. Don definitely saw this, and in convincing Megan to come to Disney even says “Sally loves you”. This matters to him. Certainly, later, he could imagine the trip to Disney with Faye, and know that it would not have been anywhere near the same.

    I do feel like we were shown Don and Faye with more passion. Yes, Don gazes with feeling at the beautiful Megan sleeping, but there were certainly no lamps being knocked over during sex. So is Megan an “easier” sexual partner than Faye & less demanding sexually?

    I also thought that Don’s proposal to Megan, in bed, was very similar to how Roger proposed to Jane. Eerily similar.

  91. Cara Buono looks very different as a brunette, by the way. And it’s getting harder to find pics of her brunette (in recent ones, she’s blonde) but here is a YouTube clip that I found of her talking about a movie.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmVT572dLqk

  92. With regard to Kelli’s comment in #62: I don’t think Megan is “clueless,” either. I will say that some of the things mentioned (elocution lessons, etc.) strike me more as good social etiquette skills than anything else. (And she’s from a French-Canadian background, and then moved to New York, so I’m not so surprised that she’s bilingual)

    Betty too was bilingual (remember her flawless Italian which she picked up during her modeling days!) and despite her flaws, always seemed to me the kind of woman who could put others at ease at a dinner party. I see Megan this way too.

    I don’t want to denigrate Megan, but IMO even with the skills and qualities mentioned, she doesn’t necessarily come across as a “complex” personality. That could change in time as we learn more, of course, but my instinct is that she is, in fact, more “easy” than complicated.

    I think she comes across as a good, caring person, also poised and lovely. All of these are great for a wife/homemaker in the ’60s. Which I feel is what Don is looking for right now. (I know there is a possibility of her becoming a copywriter, but that remains to be seen.)

  93. P.S. Anne B. (re: your comment in #68): possibly Don would have done better in a face-to-face meeting, but I can totally understand Faye’s reasons for not wanting it. When a guys has been ducking your calls, and then says “I need to talk to you” (but not at the office), it’s never a very good sign. :(

    Austin (#90): Yes, the proposal to Megan was similar to Roger’s proposal to Jane. I remember that Jane seemed shocked and for a moment I didn’t know if she was going to say yes.

  94. I actually think it was very good writing to have Don choose Megan. This post analyzes why. But also, Don is a love addict: http://www.recovery-man.com/loveaddict.htm.

    He’s in love with image not substance. That’s why he’s in advertising.

  95. #94 MarlyK re: “He’s in love with image not substance….”

    But I do feel that Megan had/has substance. Her instincts and care for the kids are real. Her striving for self-improvement are real. Her commitment to SCD&P is real. All this may or may not prove to be enough for Don, but it is substance.

    I contrast that with his falling in love with Betty a dozen years prior, when I think he was just struck by he beauty as well as her position in the social order. To have Betty was to give Don/Dick credibility.

  96. I think that’s true as well about Megan, David. I just think that their relationship does not have substance. He may not even be interested to find out about who she really is (in fact, he’s not.) He wants her as his wife because she’s good with kids (which, let’s face it, is a big deal) but he doesn’t seem interested at all in what she wants or how she sees herself. And, hey, maybe this will be the source of Megan’s eventual dissatisfaction.

  97. #91 Cara Buono is stunningly beautiful as a brunette!

  98. #96 MarlyK re: “He may not even be interestred to find out who she really is..”

    Again, I think Don has a very good idea about who Megan is, because she has been written as an open book. Before their first intimate encounter, she tells him where she’s from, why she’s in NY and what she wants to achieve. She’s one of the least duplicitous characters I’ve ever seen written. Don, (and the viewers) have been given no reason to doubt what she says.

    Perhaps Don is fooling himself thinking that someone so straightforward (trying not to describe Megan as simple) will hold is interest, but I think Don (when he’s not seriously impaired by alcohol) has proven to be a good judge of character. He can read the minds of clients as well as read the minds of women.

  99. #97 re Cara Buono… yes she looks great as a brunette. I have never seen her before, and my apologies for referring to her as “Carla” Buono.

    It is a long shot that she’ll reappear in season 5, unless it’s a Peggy connection. Faye doesn’t seem the type of character to give a man a second chance to trash her.

  100. Well, David, we’ll have to see. I don’t think Megan is necessarily a duplicitous character nor did I mention this in particular. And I disagree with you about Don being a good judge of women, at least insofar as the ones he gets involved with. I agree with Deborah that it’s not coincidental that Faye knows who he really is and asked him to face reality and then he ends up choosing Megan.

  101. #96, I don’t think Don is only interested in Megan because she’s good with kids. He only has the kids two weekends a month, and there is no such thing as joint custody yet. It’s an important, but a secondary consideration.

    Don likes how he looks with Megan, and he likes how Megan looks with his family. It’s harmonious, teeth not withstanding.

    I am not the least bit shocked at how quickly Don proposed. I always thought it would be someone who hit him with the “lightening bolt,” as in the Godfather. Megan seducing him saved him the trouble of doing so. That sped things up and the trip was the catalyst for the proposal.

    Vive la Megan! Vive les nouveau famille Draper! Allez plus vite a L’UES ou Connecticut.

  102. I hope that Don doesn’t have a bad effect on Megan. I am not sure Don is a great judge of character with women – Don thought that Betty would be a great, loving mother. Betty seems to have been sweet and warm and all of that when she and Don met and fell in love, same as Don and Megan. But Betty wasn’t a good mother and there was nothing in her background that suggested she would be. Don didn’t know Betty. He just thought he knew her, or as Don says, he projected onto Betty what he wanted/needed her to be. Betty failed, and of course Don was horrendous, and it ended in disaster. Don doesn’t know Megan yet. So we’ll see.

  103. What would be totally in keeping with Don is if Megan does turn out to be really great and he still loses interest in her because, guess what? She’s a human being. If I’m skeptical about this union is not because of Megan but because of Don’s self-absorption. Until he faces reality, he’s not going to be able to have an honest, long-lasting relationship with a mature adult woman. But, hey, that’s IMO.

    Btw, I totally think that the way Megan handled the spilled milk is a huge moment. But I’m saving those thoughts for a post of my own. So you all are going to have to wait.

  104. #21 Nico
    Faye’s mistake was that she played the role of Don’s therapist while being his girlfriend. As a professional psychologist she should have known this could never work. In fact, Faye didn’t succeed in either role — Don ran away from her as a love interest, and now is convinced (basking in Megan’s admiring gaze) that he doesn’t need help at all!

  105. #102 Marylou re: “Don didn’t know Betty.”

    Actually, that was Dick that didn’t know Betty. Once Dick became the suave, debonair Don Draper ad-man, he learned how to read women.

    Everyone is allowed a mulligan from their youth! Notice how he veered away from Bethany Van Nuys who just might have been a Betty-clone.

    If Don had ended up proposing to Bethany then I’d be on board with those claiming “Don doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing!” But Don knows Megan. He entrusted his kids to her.

  106. My office pals thought Betty was deliberately waiting for Don, looking to test the waters with him, (particularly after Henry’s furious rebuke). I thought she did want to have some closure with him, thus the set up, but I didn’t think she was fantasizing about a reconciliation…Did anyone else see it as they did?

    As an aside, Don’s still referring to Betty as “Betts”, an affectionate nickname, post divorce, included even in scenes that he is furious with her, never rang true to me.

  107. #103 MarlyK re: “What would be totally in keeping with Don is if Megan does turn out to be really great and he still loses interest in her because, guess what? She’s a human being. If I’m skeptical about this union is not because of Megan but because of Don’s self-absorption.”

    I agree 100%. If Don can’t be happy with Megan Von Trapp, then he’s beyond redemption.

    One prediction is that Megan gets the kids a whole lot, in spite of Betty getting custody. Perhaps Betty needs some time away… Italy, Reno(again), asylum, rehab. Take your pick. It was a rough season for Betty, and the irony of all ironies is that in her fit of pique she dismissed Carla and opened a giant window of opportunity for Ms. Calvet to win her ex. If not for that boner, the season would have ended with Betty and Don smiling at the Ossning house sharing the bottle of CC, and the scene fading away to “I’ve Got You Babe.”

  108. I think the goal of having Faye brought into the show was to serve a couple of important roles. First, she is the one who outlined the overriding theme of this season, “It’s all about what I want versus what’s expected of me.” We would see this come to fruition with Don’s choice and what I still find to be an amazingly hostile reaction from so many fans: he chose who he wanted versus whom it was expected of him to choose.

    Also, I think Faye served as a key figure in the dual-focus/mediation character development of Don and Betty. Psychiatrists became important parts of their lives this year. Both responded to them in the destructive ways we’ve seen their characters behave over the seasons. Don slept with his psychiatrist, who played such an important part in his growing this season. Betty sought psychiatric treatment by “consulting” with her daughter’s child psychiatrist. Don eventually became more of an adult, and I believe, at peace with himself. Betty became even more child-like.

    Megan is the fresh start for Don that only became possible because of Faye.

  109. #106 re: “My office pals thought Betty was deliberately waiting for Don, looking to test the waters with him…”

    Agreed, with the key phrase being ‘test the waters.’ I missed all of that on the first viewing, with Betty very obviously pretending to be confused as to what day it was. (I thought it was linked to Don’s lost weekend earlier in the season when he slept/screwed/drank through Saturday into Sunday.)

    I don’t think it was just a case of wanting closure. Look at the huge smile on her face when Don remembers there might be a bottle in the cupboard… as well as her volunteering to Don that everything wasn’t going that great in her life. That’s not the kind of thing you volunteer when you want closure. Henry Francis tells her you can’t start over, while Don tells her, “so things aren’t that great, you’ll move again!” What a contrast and you can tell Betts has missed that.

  110. Thanks David O., I did see that smile (and wondered if she planted it there just to see if Don would still do what he always did). Yup, she may indeed have been testing the waters…and couldn’t possibly have anticipated Don’s news that no doubt, hit her like a sucker punch.

    We don’t know if the kids know yet, but I do think they wouldnt mind Megan as a Step Mom a bit. Sally is going to need something good in her life…new school, no Carla, no Glenn, ongoing Betty issues and rest assured no Dr. Edna, with Carla out of the picture to chauffer from Rye to Ossining. Plenty of bumps ins store. So much for a clean slate Betts.

  111. My heart breaks a little for Faye. Remember how cautious and reserved she was at the beginning? And after she opens herself to Don, makes herself vulnerable to him, and then even pushes her ethical boundaries for him he falls in love with Megan Von Trapp over a weekend. Bah. I don’t see Don and Megan knocking over lamps or discussing anything of substance and I bet he regrets his choice within 6 months.

    Smart, sexy, blondes rule. Don’t forget it!

  112. Here’s my take on the “milkshake” scene –

    I think we’d all agree that Betty tends to see the actions of her children in terms of how they make her look.

    Whenever the kids do (or don’t) do something, it’s her own personal “Pavlovian Bell” and her response is immediate, instinctive and predictable: “How does this reflect on me?”.

    It’s the same with Don. His “bell” has been to react to Betty’s reaction – which we saw when Sally spilled the milkshake. Don is not unlike the “big cats” at the circus. They know their routine and they go right into it, whenever the tamer’s whip is cracked.

    Megan’s approach to handling the milkshake spill short-circuited the programmed responses – of Don and Sally and Bobby – and this is a good thing for all concerned!

  113. A couple of thoughts on this.

    Deb this is a superb analysis of what Don is doing! I think more women than not have at one time been a “Faye” who lost out to a “Megan”. I sure have. I was able to articulate it to “Don”. I told him he did not want a challenge or an equal intellect in a partner. Although he said otherwise, the truth was that he could only really handle “low hanging fruit”. Who wants to work for it? So sad for Don. Any growth I attributed to him this season was so discounted with the proposal. Someone else said it, but I, too was embarrased to look at him grinning and saying all that “forever” stuff to Megan. She acted appropriately for her age. The things he said and did regarding Megan in Cali were like what men say during sex talk. It is not meant to be taken seriously and in the light of day many times the man acts as if it never happened. (ie: you’re the best; please be mine; I love you. Errrrrp!).

    #6 Kay I said before in a post that I’d like to see Carla’s character developed. I agree that MW missed a prime opportunity to incorporate a person of color into the story. I was even thinking that it would have been very interesting for her to have gone to California with the kids. Since it makes no sense to cut her out completely, I hope and believe MW will bring her back in some capacity. Maybe that’s why we see Henry get involved. The nextg few years in history held some significant developments in race relations that cannot be ignored. Carla could have really added something more than token presence.

    Someone earlier mentioned “The Help” as a good read. I read it. It is wonderful. It’s set in the ’60′s. It should be very relatable to MM fans. A great read!

  114. There have been some comments about the timeframe of the episode reflecting a Monday Holiday being observed for Columbus Day.

    According to the Wikipedia post: “The Uniform Monday Holiday Act (Pub.L. 90-363) is an Act of Congress that amended the federal holiday provisions of the United States Code to establish the observance of certain holidays on Mondays. The Act was signed into law on June 28, 1968 and took effect on January 1, 1971.”

    Prior to this law going into effect, Columbus Day was observed on October 12th (which was a Tuesday, in 1965), so that wasn’t a “Monday Holiday”.

    - source …
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniform_Monday_Holiday_Act

  115. Maria von Trapp!

    Full disclosure, I love the Sound of Music and I love that Don Draper watched it (it premiered in 1962)

    I thought of the Sound of Music immediately after watching this episode. Faye is Elsa von Schradier, the one who was there for Georg von Trapp after his wife died. She was the one who got him out of depression and made him feel like a human again, but Maria was the one who got him to connect with the children he loved but was so distant with. While Elsa like Faye is terrible with children. Don is very similar to Georg as he was so depressed and we know one thing about Don is that despite all his faults he really loves his children like Georg he does not always know how to act around them he does try to do his best.

    I wonder how much the movie influenced Don. I know many people who watched the movie wished to have Maria von Trapp as their mother. She was an idealized mother and someone like Don with his terrible childhood really wanted. Don uses his childhood in the form of nostalgia for work. The singing, the kids, the spilled milk shake, Dick Whitman really wanted Maria von Trapp not Elsa von Schradier not only for his kids but for himself.

  116. #111 I whole heartedly agree except for one thing; Fae’s a blonde like I’m the easter bunny.
    I re-watched today and picked up a couple things I had missed. First, Don really really likes Fae, and while she would be the wiser choice, love is not wise. Or a choice, sometimes. Two, Henry was sitting on the famous fainting couch when confronting Betty. She made a move to take a swig of his beer, and he snatched it away from her, barely able to conceal his utter contempt for her at that moment. Third, when on the balcony, Don put his arm around Megan and attempts to pull her nearer, and she kind of plants her feet and resists. Interesting. Fourth, Betty was TOTALLY waiting to “accidentally” bump into Don. Checking her makeup and twiddling her thumbs untill he showed up. Batting her eyes and admitting things “were’nt perfect” whilst pouting , when no one asked her how her new piece and she were doing. I don’t think she was dipping a toe in so much as she was kinda hoping to reingite some action here. Lastly, “she reminds me of you.” uuugh. I went through a period where I was told by several male aquaintances and friends that they wanted to marry someone exactly like me. Someday. Someone that’s not you, but you-ish. Followed by a streak of boyfreinds who actually did marry the very next girl. I mean the very next girl! For about 5 years, no shit. I used to tell anyone who cared I was the kind of girl who made a guy want to take himself out of circulation as quickly as possible. To be truthful, I wasnt in love any of them, but it’s one of those things that’s both flattering yet irksome to hear. Even if you’re not looking to get married anytime soon.

  117. Faye MUST come back in S5 if only so we can see her reaction to finding out Don’s marrying Megan!

  118. #6 Kay
    Next season I really want to see Carla as Pete and Trudy’s nanny. Pete and Trudy arrive home from a social dinner with a client and there’s Carla with the baby, no explanation given, and we’re left to assume that Don referred her to them. OK I know it won’t happen, but I like imagining it.
    My problem with Don rejecting Faye and choosing Megan is that he’s MARRYING her. Not dating her casually, not dating her seriously, but jumping right into marriage. After watching Roger do the same thing and having been hurt himself by doing something similar with Betty, how can he make that mistake? I’ll be interested to see if he calls off the engagement now that he’s back in the real world (meaning not California).

  119. Forgive me if this has been mentioned before, but there’s something about this episode that reminded me of the Cary Grant/Deborah Kerr film “An Affair to Remember.” When I heard the title, “Tomorrowland”, this movie immediately came to mind. There are some common themes such as two people falling in love quickly while on vacation or maybe breaking up with the person who looks good on paper for the person who is a more comfortable fit. But there is also a song in this film, first sung by Kerr and then by a group of children called “Tomorrowland.” Kerr, like Megan, is Maria Von Trapp. She’s great with kids, great with Grant’s beloved grandmother, gentle and “easy” compared to Grant’s stern fiancée back home.
    Part of the lyrics of “Tommorrowland” are “Tell me how do you get to tommorrowland? Close your eyes, make a wish, and you’re there.”
    I think that Don wanted to arrive at some kind of “tommorrowland”…a land with a warm home and a loving family. He longs to be part of this group rather than an outsider. His sudden proposal was kind of a “close your eyes, make a wish, and you’re there” moment.
    The part of me that loves “An Affair to Remember” hopes that this “tommorrowland” works out. But this is Mad Men and this is Don Draper, not Cary Grant so…

  120. Okay, I watched the end of “Hands and Knees” again to see the weird-at-the-time cut from the Beatles tickets to Don looking pensively at Megan.

    Two observations:

    First, Faye comes to Don’s office to check up on him post-panic attack. Megan buzzes the office right in the middle of the goodbye kiss. Nice touch.

    Second, Faye says to Don, “We’ll figure out what to do. I promise.” She knows about Don’s true identity and proposes working to resolve the dilemma. As Faye leaves, Megan enters. She knows she made a mistake by filling out the security clearance herself, but she has no idea about Don’s identity or the fact that it was nearly exposed. She says, “You see, everything worked out.” In other words, the problem is already solved. No additional work required.

    A review of the season should reveal more support for the central argument of this post, which is a smarter observation than I initially realized.

    P.S. #116 “Fae’s a blonde like I’m the easter bunny.” :D

  121. Totally want Faye back. She does not know who/why she was suddenly dumped. You are not talking about an airhead here. She will kill to get back at DD if only to find out WTF. If the scriptwriters are not going “soap opera” on us, they will get over this “Megan the perfect Mommy” crap and allow mother nature to take its course.

  122. # 121. You nailed it Rod. I can’t believe all these posters keep drinking MW’s kool aid … these characters are absurd figments of imagination … not real people. I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire Megan thing turned out to be one of Drape’s erotic dreams … and he has tons.

  123. Spit-take of the year: “Don wouldn’t know a sane life choice if it sat on his face.” ROFL.

    I don’t think Megan is Betty so much as he’s chosen her for pretty much the same basic reasons: she doesn’t ask questions, and she has always put him first. Betty wasn’t always so tightly wound; she got that way over the years, and the breaking point seems to have been when she found out Don was spying on her through her shrink, right at the same time Francine put the bug in her ear about Don’s cheating. When we met Betty, she was as sweetly compliant as Megan is now. Don could do no wrong in her eyes.

    But if he doesn’t tell Megan exactly where he got that ring before walking down the aisle with her, both of them are in for a world of hurt. And given that Megan stated that she went to New York to pursue the arts, and that she has copywriting ambitions, it’s hard for me to believe she really wants to be Suzy Homemaker, at least not for long.

  124. Oh, and another thing: I didn’t have a hard time believing he would choose Megan — it’s certainly in character — but I did have a hard time believing the sequence of events that led up to it happening this fast. (And I kept thinking of the “Dammit Janet” song from Rocky Horror when he proposed — “And here’s the ring to prove that I’m no joker!”)

    Specifically, I find it hard to believe that Carla, having been through what she has in that household, would send up any boy to Sally’s room, let alone one she knows Betty has it in for. It would have been much more believable for Carla to have called her downstairs, and then he and Sally could have gone outside, which wouldn’t have gotten Carla in hot water.

    And I also find it hard to believe that Betty would just pop off and fire Carla the way she did — not giving her a reference, not letting the kids say goodbye. Yeah, yeah, I get it, she’s immature, blah blah freaking blah. But that’s not immature, that’s sociopathic. I sometimes wonder if there’s some Glen Gordon Caron/Cybill Shepard/Moonlighting feud going on between JJ and the writing staff, for them to make her character such a hatebag. Maybe by next year they’ll give her the full-on Frank N. Furter treatment, and she’ll be a murderer and a cannibal.

  125. Team Megan Reporting For Duty.

    Don Draper/Dick Whitman made the right call. The milkshake scene brought to my mind a line by Franz Kafka:

    “A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul.”

    Granted, we’re not talking about a book. We’re talking about a young woman who has such a heart-melting warmth and easy rapport with both Don Draper and his children that it makes sense to me that he would be utterly captivated by her.

    After watching this episode one time, I thought the fact that Don hadn’t yet told the kids that he was marrying Megan was an example of Matt Weiner leaving himself some wiggle room in how things would progress in season 5. (Maybe the engagement would be called off….)

    Now, I agree with Deborah. Season 5 will open with a very pregnant Megan Draper.

    I also predict that Season 5 will feature Roger Sterling learning the truth about Dick Whitman/Don Draper and that the ramifications of that will be enormous.

    (Don will have already told Megan about dual identity before they marry, and she will have accepted the news will cool aplomb.)

    As for someone’s earlier expressed dread of Don and Betty cheating on their spouses with one another, I don’t foresee that happening until season 6 or 7.*

    *Unless they both get a little tipsy.

  126. @Anne B it’s nice to know that someone else was as affected by the Don/Faye breakup as I was. When I started visiting message boards after the finale I expected to see a lot of outrage of Don’s hideous dumping of Faye. However, it’s barely been mentioned by most fans. I wonder if that’s because many people disliked Faye, or if we’re all just so used to Don’s bad behavior towards women. I mean, I actually shuddered during that breakup. It was absolutely nightmarish.

  127. Faye’s intelligence and instinct for self-preservation saved her in that breakup scene. I’ve been there myself and my boyfriend “wanted to take me out to dinner” to break it off. Who does that? Well apparently more men than I knew. I guess they think being in public avoids emotion which they want to avoid like the plague. Shows how much some of them know.

    On Faye being blonde – she makes the effort and I like Cara as a blonde. Good enough for me.

    Finally, I hope she comes back for S5 if for no other reason than the opportunity for plot tension.

  128. I’m not sure wether or not this interview of Matt Weiner has already been posted but here it comes: http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-alan-watching/posts/interview-mad-men-creator-matthew-weiner-looks-back-on-season-four
    I think that it’s very interesting, espectially when he says that the question “who is Don?” is not for the audience but for Don himself. In this season, he had to figure out who he really wants to be or who he is.

    If you remember the Don in season 1, he wasn’t feeling well when he was home, reluctantly building a doll house for Sally’s birthday… Now he really enjoys sharing time with his kids.
    Someting is happening but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr.Draper?

  129. #119 LuLu – What a brilliant catch. I remember that song in An Affair to Remember and the storyline IS a parallel…I wonder if THATwas the Tomorrowland referred to in the MM title?

    #115 Lizzy – great comparison to the storyline of The Sound of Music! I just wonder if Don and Megan will have their happy ending.

    There are some brilliant basketcasers out there.

  130. If we are looking forward to at least two more seasons of Mad Men, let’s face it:
    we’re going to have to see Don Draper continue to be the flawed anti-hero he’s
    been so entertainingly till now. But is it too soon to ask where Matt Weiner wants
    Don Draper/Dick Whitman to end up? Is he going to let him grow and deepen–?
    (and I think Megan could be just the ticket for that) Might Megan insist on pursuing
    her professional ambitions while being Mrs. Draper? I hope so.

  131. The first thing I thought when Don took out the ring was, “Bobby can’t have a dead man’s hat, but you’ll give Megan a dead woman’s ring?”

    Granted, I’m a child of the ’70′s rather than the ’60′s, but neither my mother nor my friends’ and cousins’ mothers thought that wrestling matches at the dinner table were fine and dandy and nothing to worry about, whether something got spilled or not.

  132. OMG Melissa – Hysterical. We have got to post a “Best Basketcase One Liners” – Hilarious!

  133. #128: Don really enjoys spending time with his kids when it’s fun, easy…or there’s a woman to corral them and keep him dealing with the emotional heavy lifting. Even though Betty was/is a notoriously bad parent and her carping at Bobby in Season 2 was vicious and out of proportion to the “crimes” of a 4 year old, she was right to call Don on being content to let her be the disciplinarian and the lack of time he spent with the kids. And even though he realizes Betty’s fault’s and excesses, he seems to do little on calling her on them–which is devastating to the kids because it leaves them with the idea that no one is in their corner. Except for Sally’s “visit” to New York when he took time off from work to entertain her, we don’t see him spending a lot of quality time with the kids when they are there–they’re usually plopped in front of the tv. And, except for the time when Ms. Blankenship tactlessly announced to the whole office that Dr. Edna was on the phone, have we ever seen Don interact with her?

    I’m not saying that Don’s basic instincts as a father aren’t good; he seems to innately be warmer and less demanding towards his children than Betty. Or that under the right circumstances, which is undeniably part of the reason he’s marrying Megan that he couldn’t be a better parent–and I totally agree with Deb there’s going to be a fourth little Draper, and soon. But by and large he’s been an absentee father, even during the whole time he was married to Betty. In many ways he’s not that different from the ethos of the time–fathers were far less involved with parenting than they are today. It’s that, compounded with his own complicated emotional issues that make him, IMO, a less than great dad, no matter how many goodies like Beatle tickets and trips to California he pulls out of his hat. Just sayin.

  134. I can’t help but wonder about Megan’s career ambitions. Sure, she talked about wanting to work in Creative, but we don’t really know yet how strong that desire is. I can’t imagine Don wanting her to keep working, especially since the image of her as a benevolent domestic goddess seems to be what clinched the deal for him.

  135. I think that could very well be a bone of contention. If Megan’s forced to stay home when she has career aspirations, she could become another Betty living in a gilded cage, with a possible divorce. OTOH, Don wasn’t totally upset when Betty briefly returned to work and told her he didn’t care if she didn’t always have clean socks for him (am paraphrasing here), but perhaps that was because Don knew the whole modeling job was a setup anyway. Then again, they’re rich, Carla could come back to take care of the kids and Megan could go happily off to work to fulfill her ambitions. But that could very well have its consequences, too. The “Feminine Mystique” is going to be in full force, and as we’ve already seen with working stalwarts like Fae, Peggy and Joan, the second wave of feminism is gathering strength right around this time.

  136. #4 Bornin1949 — exactly. People — for love or practical reasons (or both) — often chose a life partner they did not know well. They got married, made a commitment, and planned to stay married. They looked back on 50 or more years of marriage and saw the trajectory of a life lived through tragedy and betrayals and pain and also great joy and happiness… it was of-a-piece.

    This was the way it was done. The idea of divorce was anathema — it was ostracizing (Helen Bishop). It represented failure.

    And the *institution of marriage* — that was what people married. That institution and all that it represented to society. They did not necessarily some particular man or woman.

    I don’t think it’s at all unbelievable what happened with Don and Megan, and the fact that they have probably every reason to hope and believe they will make it.

    And Don looking out the window at the end of the episode? Didn’t (doesn’t) every single about-to-be-bride and -groom think about what she or he had just decided to do and wonder what the future will bring?

  137. I’d love to see Carla back but I think, like those who vanished before her, she’s gone. Commuting into NYC to take care of the Campbell baby? And if they do move to Greenwich, that’s also too far from Ossining for her to commute.

    Carla is with Sal, Paul, Duck and Allison now.

  138. #136 GoodSally re: “Didn’t (doesn’t) every single about-to-be-bride and -groom think about what she or he had just decided to do and wonder what the future will bring?”

    Absolutely, and I didn’t interpert that scene as a sign that Don might be having buyer’s remorse. Just that as an older man marrying a younger women, he just has taken on a large responsibility to take care of her in certain ways. Up until that point he was so enamored with his honey that he was thinking of all the great things she would bring to his life, but now he was reflecting on the onus put on his shoulders.

  139. #137 jizzy55 re: “Carla is with Sal, Paul, Duck and Allison now.”

    At least Carla isn’t with Ida Blankenship and has a fighting chance!

    I’m surprised at how little speculation is being offered over the possible return of Bertram Cooper. When Mad Men first appeared on the radar, over 3 years ago, one of the main reasons I tuned in for the premiere was because Robert Morse was in the cast. I had never heard or scene of Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Christina Hendricks, Vincent Kartheiser etc. I did recognize John Slattery from somewhere, and the name January Jones was familiar, only because of it’s uniqueness.

    No doubt the inclusion of Morse was done to have at least one ‘name’ actor to snare in viewers like me. Now that Jon Hamm is a household name, I guess he became expendable.

  140. #138 David Ogilvy, thanks. My remarks about Don looking out the window are mostly in response to the many that I’ve read on several different BoK threads that mention Don looking out the window meaning he is thinking “what have I done?” and therefore there won’t be a wedding or it will all go sour quickly.

    We keep infusing 1965 actions with 2010 mores, not to mention interpreting through our own lenses because of our own stuff. Which is what fictions asks us to do, I suppose.

  141. # 136 and # 138. I say nonsense. Don just had exhausting sex with Megan. He should have been fast asleep snoring. His “eyes wide open” stare and the pan to the window unmistakenly forbode yet another shattering of illusions for Mr. FantasyMan. Draper is what he is.

  142. #141, how do you know Don just had exhausting sex with Megan?

  143. Exhausting sex??? Really??? I feel zero sexual chemistry between Don and Megan… Is she the Mommy he never had too? I will eat crow, with a fork and a knife, if Megan isn’t pulling an Eve Harrington. Happy with the big house in the burbs? I don’t think so…she wants a career. Pregnant in season 5? Possibly, but she may be the one who brings us back to the abortion suite, sooo sorry Darling, “I miscarried…we will have others”. I LOVE the idea of Don getting played.

    Don’s treatment of Faye was cowardly and cruel. His parting words to her were, “I will miss you”. He waited days to make this awkward call after returning. Faye, had enough pride and self preservation to make him cut to the chase and spit it out. Of course we will see Faye in S5. She will have her revenge, one way or another.

  144. Reading these comments also makes me think that from the scenes this season, Don has a thing for passionate, albeit a bit wild sex. No way he’s getting that from Megan–seemed he did from Faye (knocking over the lamp) and the prostitute knowing what he wanted. Megan might be what he wants for family and his children, but she won’t be enough for him.

    He will be bored and there will be others–a leopard and spots-etc. No that I mind–that’s one of the things I like about Mr. Draper…

  145. #144 Stephanie re: Don likey wild sex!

    I agree that could be a big reason for trouble between Don & Megan in season 5. Don may be in love with Maria Von Trapp but, in the end, he longs for Lili Von Schtupp!

    #143 DivaDebbi re: Megan as Eve Harrington

    Jessica Pare, as an actress, doesn’t have the depth to pull off an Eve Harrington. I suspect that at the end of season 5, you will indeed be eating crow with a fork and a knife…. maybe you’d like some of that Mrs. Buttersworth Rum on it? :)

  146. #145 David Ogilvy: “Don may be in love with Maria Von Trapp but, in the end, he longs for Lili Von Schtupp!”

    Hahaha! Which makes me think of The Sound of Music parallels:

    Don is marrying the equivalent of Maria after being in a relationship with the equivalent of The Baroness Shrader — who is a good person, in love with Georg von Trapp, even though she is stiff and unpracticed with his children, and they do not like her.

    Hmmm…. Maria teaches the children to sing, just as Megan teaches Georg’s — er, Don’s — children to sing.

    I could go on.

  147. I guess the “Sound of Music” wouldn’t be so endearing and wonderful to watch if Captain von Trapp was out banging another socialite each weekend–before and after Maria.

    Watching Don cheat on Betty–lots of viewers didn’t mind, they just upped their dislike of Betty.

    Watching Don drop Faye–some people mind, some people don’t. Don and Faye weren’t married, and she didn’t seem ‘right’ for him.

    Watching Don drop Suzanne–some people minded a little, but others were glad to see her gone. And Suzanne always knew Don was married.

    But I’m curious what will happen to the audience if/when Don cheats on Megan? Will they find some sort of fault with Megan? Will they blame the “hasty marriage”? Or will the audience suddenly turn on Don?

    Who knows…

  148. #147 Lady K re: “Will the audience suddenly turn on Don?”

    Don was pretty pathetic and nasty in the first few episodes of season 4, and the audience (posters on this board) expressed dissaproval and dismay. Don hired pro’s to come and slap him during sex; came on to Anna’s niece; got into a wild weekend of sex with a waitress (after the Clio’s) and forgot to pick up his kids; puked his guts out at least a couple of times.

    IF he ends up cheating on his toothy Princess in season 5, then I’m sure he’ll have to answer to Team Megan.

  149. Faye’s performance in the bedroom struck me as exactly that – a carefully calculated performance.

  150. #148 David.

    I agree with you that Team Megan will be hard on him IF he cheats. :)

    Hey, maybe Megan is tougher than I realize and she’ll happily run off with Ted C to get her revenge. Or maybe she is capable of transforming Don and the kids.

    I am still trying to process how I feel about everything, but what has been confusing me is “why are the people on Team Megan so happy to see them get engaged?”

    I guess it boils down to “can Don be saved by a woman?”

    I think that people who are happy to see them engaged probably believe that Megan can “save” Don. I don’t mean to be condescending, or anything, I just have a harder time believing that.

    But I suppose–if MW wanted to mess with the audience and me–he would make Don cheat a lot less. :)

  151. #159 Lady K re: “why are the people on Team Megan so happy to see them get engaged?”

    Simply because in a series that has a score of conflicted, duplicitous characters, it’s actually a pleasant reprieve to have such a simple, delightful character introduced into the main plotline.

    Of course, I do fear that it’s a lot like throwing a lamb into a lion’s den. Can you imagine what would have happened if Maria Von Trapp had taken the “Hot Tub Time Machine” to mid-60′s Manhatten?

  152. #142, how do you know Don just had exhausting sex with Megan?

    3 reasons. I would in his position. The look on sleepng beauty’s face. He’s Draper.

    # 143, Exhausting sex??? Really??? I feel zero sexual chemistry between Don and Megan…

    We are not interpreting your projected sexual feelings. Are we? He is The Don … and he always swings his sword. He broke lamps with someone he didn’t even care for… give me a break, puhleeze. But I do agree that Faye will/should beat up on the “predator.” I sense a ground swell building in her favor. It must be the other gal’s teeth. They don’t seem to fit with her goodytwoshoeidness.

  153. She’s too madonna and not enought whore–she’d better step up her game to hold onto him. I think the whole polyanna thing will get boring QUICK for DD in the bedroom–hell even Betty knew to put on the black corset for him that night in the hotel (altho I don’t think he could ah–perform then, lol!)

  154. Maybe because the series is set JUST before my time on Earth, I always watch it thinking about this being the early years of the people I know as elders – not necessarily MY elders, in my family, because Mad Men people are several pegs more glamorous, rich, and worldly – but I see these stories as the historical mid-century stories: early broken marriages that grew from shifting times and social expectations, the two or three stabs at different businesses over a lifetime, the heartbreaking newish ability to divorce, of REAL, current-day 70/80somethings.

    I think because of that perspective, I look at all, say, Don’s fears, inability to grow, chances that slipped by because of his fears, as the sadness in an older gentleman’s eyes, as he tells you that he’s done things he regrets, more than once. I feel like this show, to MW’s immense credit, is an almost anthropological dissection of an earlier culture, whose results we already know. Massive consumerism that eats the globe, universal ennui and dissatisfaction that leads to more and more alienation. We have the results of these lives living among us, with us…we’re just looking back on how it happened.

    The “disappointment” I feel for Don making such a cliche move feels almost naive, in that the whole premise of this show is to reveal the “actual” people behind these cliches, making the cliches both the the starting point for the storytelling, and the endpoint for the story.

  155. Q: What is Don’s number one priority in life?

    A: His kids. (Granted, he doesn’t always behave as if they are, but in his heart, they are.)

    His preference for Megan over Faye is completely understandable to me, especially when we add in Betty’s increasingly irrational behavior to the mix.

    I have a hunch in Season 5, Roger will somehow cross paths with Faye, and she will tell him all about Don. That’s when the excrement will begin really whirling about aeronautically.

    • People say their kids are their #1 priority in this abstract way. Don doesn’t live his kids’ importance. He doesn’t make a lot of time. He goes on dates when he has visitation. He doesn’t change diapers. His priority is seeing they’re taken care of, not being face to face with them.

  156. # 155, That’s when the excrement will begin really whirling about aeronautically.

    No way. Don has repeatedly expressed his disdain for Roger as a “do nothing” and a F*** Up. Draper has de facto taken over the firm and Sterling has no power with or without Fay. Scatologically, Don thinks Roger is a turd. So it doesn’t matter how much of the stuff is flying around.

  157. Yes, Rod, but I don’t think Roger Sterling really has had enough good reasons to really hate Don and explode at Don.

    Is Roger sometimes a bit jealous of Don’s success? Sure. Was he feeling moody about the Clio? Yes. And does he wish he got some of the looks girls give Don? Sure. Does he feel bad when he senses Don doesn’t respect him? Sure (but he knows there are some reasons for the disrespect.) Did he get it after he made the move on Betty? Oysters! But Roger knows making a move on the wife is not cool.

    But Roger served in WWII, and he had a VERY strong emotional reaction to the Japanese because he knew young men who died. I do not think Roger would take kindly to Don’s desertion. Nor would he take kindly to Don impersonating somebody “higher up.” On top of it all, Roger is the one who hired Don, and he could wind up looking very stupid for falling for Don’s story and believing Don.

    So I don’t think the fireworks would come just from Don disrespecting Roger, I think that Roger could explode if he learns about some of Don’s deceptions.

  158. “She’s too madonna and not enought whore–she’d better step up her game to hold onto him.”

    Betty tried that, and he pushed her away. Don likes his Madonnas and whores separate.

  159. @152 Rod Drapery: “I say nonsense. Don just had exhausting sex with Megan”. You surmised they did, and I surmised they didn’t (no evidence of sweat drenched sheets and ashtrays piled high), but “we are not interpreting my projected sexual feelings”. We will just take yours as gospel, OK? :)

  160. The number one thing in Don’s life is Don. Hands down.

  161. # 157, I think that Roger could explode if he learns about some of Don’s deceptions.

    That could very well be, but the dynamic has shifted. A big “so what.” Don has gained power at Roger’s expense and the old patriarchy is now in decline if not entirely reversed. So it doesn’t really matter if and how Roger’s feather’s are ruffled. Sterling has become minor and Cooper is out of the picture. Even Joan has rejected RS. My guess is that Season 5 will emphasize the new world order and I’m afraid Roger will not have a big part to play which is a shame because he’s my type of fun-oriented guy.

    # 159, We will just take yours as gospel, OK?

    Touche. But its MW’s gospel. He created the Don Monster. You know, the type that likes women and always wants to bang them. The last fade out in the Season 4 finale reminds me of the remark attributed to Warren Beatty: “Whenever I meet a hottie, I just know some guy is tired of f******* her.” Draper is that guy. Don’t blame me. Thats how Dr. FrankenWeiner designed him.

  162. So if Megan is Eve Harrington, who’s her Addison DeWitt?

    (For those who haven’t seen the film, that’s the theatre critic who’s on to Eve — because he catches her in a couple of obvious lies — and makes her pay through the nose for his knowledge.)

  163. @163 … this may help thoses who want to know all about Eve:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId

  164. Has anyone entertained the possibility that Megan is a gateway to a massive account? Sure it’s more likely Don is unraveling and wrestling with his childhood but I think there’s a chance he knows a little more about Megan than we do and there’s a cash cow at the end of this whirlwind courtship. As for Faye, she was not a longterm option the moment Don saw her go off on her last boyfriend in the phone booth.

  165. Don seemed to accept Betty in both roles, Madonna and whore. Don thought Betty was the loving mother that Don never had. Don saw Betty as the perfect, sweet, adoring housewife and mother – at least until Betty’s disilluisionment, mistreament by Don, and her own issues changed that. Don also enjoyed Betty sexually – remember Rome?! Don was thrilled to see Betty dressed to the nines, flirting with him like he was a stranger, they were making love morning, noon and night.

  166. #166 “Has anyone entertained the possibility that Megan is a gateway to a massive account?”

    That had not occurred to me. Imagine if Megan brought in huge business somehow and got herself promoted over Peggy?! Oh, gee.

  167. Why would Don see Betty as a “Madonna”? Surely, the only religion he’s been exposed to was his stepmother’s hardshell Fundamentalism. Those folks don’t hold with Madonnas.

    And I didn’t see any hint that Don thought of Megan as a cash cow. He seemed pretty damn sincere with her–perhaps foolishly so. Just maybe the marriage will work out OK–at least for most of next season. So we can see Don focus his powers on continuing to build the agency–client by client–instead of hoping for ONE client to magically solve all problems. I don’t mind elements of soap opera, but we’ve got more characters than Don who have private lives. Let’s see what they’ve been up to!

  168. Don responded to Betty in Rome when they were on a break from their real lives. They were both pretending to be other people.

    But when Betty dressed in sexy lingerie for Don in the new York hotel, it turned him right off. And when she begged him to tell her what he wanted in bed, he got very uncomfortable and wouldn’t discuss it with her.

    Don saw her as the Madonna type because she was a nice girl from a good family, his wife, and the mother of his children. No, he probably wouldn’t consciously use the word “Madonna;” that’s the word we as viewers use to describe the archetype. Catholics may have coined the word, but the archetype exists outside of religion and religious culture.

  169. #170 Melissa–which episode was it that Betty asked Don about sex–I can’t remember that and want to go back and watch it :).I Like the idea that Italy worked because they were both pretending to be other people.

    And I agree with the other posters that Megan and Don just don’t seem to have any chemistry. I hope they don’t end up married–poor Don will be so bored trying to be good and make a go of that marriage…

  170. All of this onjecture is fantastic and the reasons why we are all captivated by the phenomenon known as MM. I could forsee Megan’s intrusion into the story ine immediately several episodes prior when her elongated mannequin likeness was framed through Don’s office door and that was before tantrums and milkshakes and french lessons. My thoughts go to the last scene of Tommorrowland. As Sonny and Cher announce a new day on the moning radio is DD, like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, relying on hope that this will indeed be a new day or another repeat which he has been powerless to transform? Does is he really know if he is in control?

  171. “But when Betty dressed in sexy lingerie for Don in the new York hotel, it turned him right off. And when she begged him to tell her what he wanted in bed, he got very uncomfortable and wouldn’t discuss it with her.”

    Don did not seem at all turned off. He had recently (was it the same day?) had that checkup and been prescribed high blood pressure meds; we didn’t hear the doctor give him any info about the side effects (this was before the patient empowerment movement). On top of this, Don had also had quite a bit to drink. There may have been numerous reasons he didn’t want to discuss it when Betty said (something like), “Just tell me what to do, Don,” but one of the reasons was definitely that he was embarrassed at not being able to “perform.” (Yes, this is the only time we’ve seen this happen to Don, but with his habits, it’s not the only time it’s happened.)

  172. I’ve been a big fan of this site for quite some time now…this is my first post!While watching the finale, I had such an uneasy feeling right from the start. I know many people have been strongly Pro-Faye or Pro-Megan.. Arguments can be made for why both womean are good/bad for Don. As soon as Faye hung up on Don, my stomach dropped…and I realized OMG I was Faye!!

    Without getting into too many specifics, I was in a long term relationship with someone for almost 7 yrs who I loved unconditionally. I, too, received a phone call and, out of nowhere, he tells me he not only fell in love with someone else…he was engaged. (Imagine my horror watching a reenactment on my favorite show!!). Literally 4 days beforehand (much like Don & Faye), we were together, him professing his love and devotion to me before he went on a trip, telling me he’d miss me. Needless to say, I was completely devastated.

    I don’t care if you didn’t like Faye the character, or thought she wasn’t right for Don, nobody can deny what he did to her was truly horrible. He roped her along until he had his “revelation” that he was in love w/Megan. Like myself, Faye was rejected for a younger, newer model- someone who seemed less complicated. It remains to be seen if Megan is Don’s counterpart mentally. In my opinion, Faye probably made Don look at himself too much, and challenged him to confront and embrace his past…whereas Megan seemingly accepts him w/o knowing the truth.

    Many men get intimidated by women (like myself) who speak their minds and aren’t afraid to make their partners look at themselves. I have been a Don supporter from Day 1, but the way he ended things with Faye was appalling. Again, even if you don’t like Faye, you have to agree being on the receiving end of that phone call had to be horrific. You could feel her heart crushing (as did mine). She knew he had issues, knew about his past, yet didn’t run. And yet Don proposes to a woman he barely knows (sound familiar?!) with a ring that he can’t even tell Megan the whole truth about.

    I’m a firm believer that relationships that start on shaky ground (meaning Don’s relationship with Megan began by breaking up another relationship) generally don’t last. Again, speaking from experience, no one deserves to find out you’re not only being dumped on the phone, but that the person you’re getting dumped for is suddenly their fiance.

    Don’s relationships with stronger women (Rachel, Bobbie, etc) mostly have ended once they saw thru his facade. Again, Faye saw Don’s facade crumble, but stayed AND supported him. Yet, as with my ex, he ran away to someone who was an easier option at that time. Let’s see what happens when the very “agreeable” Megan sees that facade start to fade away.

    Let’s just say I still haven’t been able to rewatch the phone call scene! I always fast forward thru it- it’s a painful reminder when basically the same thing happened to me.

  173. To #174–SueC: the break-up Don does on the phone with Faye is a nightmare,
    no question, and anyone who has been on the receiving end of that has to be
    suffering post-traumatic stress reaction. But Faye NEVER felt to this viewer as the
    woman Don Draper was going to end up with. And those of us who have seen
    the films WHEN HARRY MET SALLY or 500 DAYS OF SUMMER have to realize that
    we never know what is in the heart and mind of the Other. The guy says–I’m not
    ready to get married, and BOING! he suddenly meets the woman he can’t say NO
    to. Men and women rarely say exactly what’s in their mind about someone they’re
    dating–they fudge, they’re diplomatic, they utter generalities. It’s not just
    Don Draper–it’s just about everyone.

  174. SueC, so sorry to hear about your being dumped by your bf of 7 years by phone. That is cold. He sounds like a cad. I felt for Faye, b/c that is really, really hard. At least in Don’s favor he did try to do it person (though only coffee) and it was only a few months, but still very bad form and not very nice. People can be so cold sometimes.

  175. SueC, some men just suck.

    In Don’s defense (not that he deserves it), the relationship with Faye lasted less than six months, and he tried not to use the phone.

  176. Deborah, you’re right; their relationship was much shorter than mine, and he did attempt to meet her in person. For me, it was an outer-body experience watching something that happened to me (not exactly the same) unfold on tv lol!

  177. I enjoyed reading this old thread. I don’t agree with many of the posts, but that’s what makes a horse race.

    Don has had many lovers, but has only fallen in love a few times. We don’t know how many of each (Bobbie hinted there were lots of the former), but I’ve only seen three of the latter.

    Betty, whom he was mad about. But he didn’t really know her, nor could he ever show her who he really was, for fear of losing her.

    Suzanne, whom he wooed, despite the danger, but he wasn’t really free then.

    Megan, whom he got to see on a daily basis. It’s a bit absurd to see how some viewers object to the suddenness of his decision. How much time had he spent around Betty when he decided she was the one for him?

    He had seen Megan be caring and compassionate to Dottie and Allison in the emotionally traumatic focus group, (that Faye thought went very well!) Remember, Megan opened the door on Don, Faye and Peggy and asked, “Is she (Allison) okay?” Faye said, “Who?” Peggy lied, “She’s fine.”

    When he saw how she dealt with Sally in her emotional crisis, he was grateful. She became his secretary, which meant they were brought together at work, day after day, in a very stressful time, and he soon realized his feelings for her (see the end of Hands and Knees).

    He never fell in love with Faye. Yes, she’s great in the sack, but her people skills are questionable, and Don does question them sometimes. I think there’s something to the Aesop fable she tells, too; she’s the wind to Megan’s sun. Don didn’t decide to tell her about his past. He did it out of exhaustion, after a panic attack, believing that he was dying of a heart attack, and that he would be exposed presently.

    It’s amusing to see people comment that there’s no chemistry between the betrothed, or sexual energy. Mad Men doesn’t really show the sex. If you can’t read the obvious post-coital bliss on the faces of the actors, you’re not paying attention.

  178. Tom B: whoa. It’s not absurd. And we are all paying attention.

    If Don had asked Suzanne or Faye to marry him, we would not have been surprised. Don asking Megan to marry him took most viewers by surprise; it wasn’t set up in the throughline. I can look back and see the moments you mention, but they are not between Don and Megan.

    After the long downward spiral, Don suddenly saw how perfect Megan was for all his needs: to be married (and all thd caretaking that implies), to have a thinking companion at home (and maybe at work), to have a home where his kids could visit, to have stability, and to help him create “some modicum of control” over his life. Now he can move forward.

    He, too, is in love with love, just as Megan is. They are both grabbing for happiness and the idealized notion of marriage.

    Suzanne wouldn’t have done it this way. Nor Faye. But I’ll bet Betty did.

  179. GoodSally, thanks for the thoughts.

    I would have been surprised if he had married Suzanne before Betty divorced him. He didn’t want to break up the family, even if he was unhappy, for the kids’ sake. I was hoping they’d pick up where they left off after he was free, but she was happy in her work in Ossining, and they’d both moved on, I guess.

    Marrying Faye would have surprised me, too. After she heard his deep dark secret, and came by the next day to check on him, he pushed her off, saying he had better be alone that night.

    Sally would have been surprised, too! She flat out asked him if he was going to marry Faye, and he said no. Then: Is she your girlfriend? No.

    One think Bethany said about building relationships echoes through the season: “It takes intense, prolonged contact.” The highly charged atmosphere at a struggling agency can get intense at times, which is why Allison ultimately found it impossible to continue in her job after their “mistake”.

    Don and Megan started their work relationship in a moment of personal crisis for Sally, which Megan dealt with in a way that showed her endearing human qualities. As they moved through the DOD scare and the loss of their biggest account, the fallout including Glo-Coat and the feeling the agency was going down, Don was falling in love with Megan, and as Stan remarked, the “last days of Rome” atmosphere of the corporate crisis meant “The energy is… very good.” Good for Don and Megan.

  180. Tom B: I also wondered why Don didn’t call Suzanne after Betty kicked him out. He seemed in love with her and happy.

    So I made it up: I decided it was too hard for him, living in the city, and her in Ossining… or that she’d left Ossining… or that he was embarrassed to call her after how he left her in the car that night… or that he did and no-go, or…

  181. There would have been problems with Sally, and Betty if he’d jumped back in with Suzanne, too. And he wasn’t ready right after the split. He was already changing too many things at once; it made him a little slap-happy…

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