Never Let Me Go

 Posted by on May 8, 2012 at 3:36 pm  Season 5
May 082012
 

Why does Don want Megan at work so badly?

In A Little Kiss, he told her that he didn’t care about work, he just wanted her there because, “I want you.”  But Don has never before had a wife at work. Betty was at home.

So assuming he is still reeling from the failure of his first marriage and wants to get things right this time (his fever dream certainly seemed to indicate that), we still have to wonder: why is it so important for him to have Megan at work?

The fever dream made it clear that he worried about his ability to remain faithful. If Megan is out at classes and auditions, there are large parts of the day and night he won’t be able to see her. Is he still worried about being faithful to her, or is he more worried about her being true to him?

Or is it not about that at all? Does he just want to see her during the day so he feels he has control of her? To see her face in the office, and later at home at night, so he knows, ‘This is right, this marriage is working out well.’

If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was yours. We all know that famous quote.

But I think Don desperately wants to hang on to her. For a man who has always seemed to cherish his independence and autonomy, he seems very, very afraid.

 

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  76 Responses to “Never Let Me Go”

  1. Great post, great musings. I like an additional thought line that I think someone mentioned in a prior post – something about Don’s apparent emotional dependency on Megan. I feel this about Don – that he feels so good when she’s around. That he brightens his space. That without her in the office, he’ll be back to the old dreary very sad depressing life he knew before she came around. I truly believe that, with Megan, Don has (had?) found redemption, or a hint of it, a hope of it. We all know that Don has made for himself an incredibly depressing past, filled with a range of demons and skeletons in his closet. Megan is the first person he’s been himself with (well other than his real first wife (Anna?)). Megan knows all about Don and loves him anyway. And that made his heart swell (like the Grinch’s) in ways he can only begin to grasp consciously. He just knows it feels good, like warm sunlight for the first time in his miserable dreary sad life.

    Take it into the office – it’s an extension of his misery. He felt for the first time like he had something wonderful in his relationship with Megan. He even felt good enough to be preachy to Pete about his marital transgressions. The workplace was becoming fun for Don. Megan made him even better at his job, and made it fun for him, to boot.

    Now, he sees that slipping away and he will be cursed again to live in this solely masculine workplace. Yes, there are women in the office, but the workplace is mostly oriented around male values and perspectives. Megan changed that, softened it up for him, and he liked it. Now she’s going and he’ll be stuck with freakin’ Pete and Roger and all the old cronies. I think he feels his soul will be damned once again.

    I work with my wife, I’m speaking from my own experiences. Projecting, to be sure, but valid I think.

    • I’m not sure that Megan made him better at his job. I think Don has been slipping work-wise this season. It’s like he can only be dedicated to one thing at a time. He either expends all of his energy on his personal life or his work life, but he isn’t able to find the right balance between both. I agree that he has an emotional attachment to Megan. She’s made it possible for him to get the fulfillment he used to get from work from his marriage to her instead.

      • I agree with you. Yes, he’s not necessarily better at work. It’s just easier for him because she’s good at it too. Yes, he’s more interested in her than work.

    • Thanks, David. Yes, I like what you said about how having her around brightens his space and makes work more fun.

      You’re making me ponder another related issue. Does Don really want to stay in advertising? As he said (to Roger), in his day you just chose a profession. You didn’t necessarily follow a dream. (Although Don did have to jump through hoops to get the job at Sterling Cooper, so if not a dream exactly, it was certainly something he wanted very much)

      I always think of what he said in the early seasons. That if he ever left Sterling Cooper, it wouldn’t be for more advertising, it would be for something completely different.

    • In Don’s proposal to Megan before he actually asked her to marry him he said this:

      “I was staring at you and I couldn’t imagine not waking up with you each morning.”

      For Don working with Megan was a perk, but not what really turned him on. It was going to bed each night and waking up with her the next morning. As long as Don receives that from Megan, he is going to be a fairly happy camper.

      But if Megan becomes a big-time star and is constantly traveling on the road, or relocates to the west coast then you can say sayonara to their marriage.

      And of course if Megan cheats on Don that will end the marriage as well.

  2. I don’t think we’ll know until further into the season whether it’s about him needing her 24/7 to make himself a better man, or it’s because he’s afraid that she’ll be seduced by the future.

  3. I think Betty leaving him screwed him up more than people realize. He already had massive abandonment issues before, and after Betty left him it really only got worse. Don wants unconditional (maternal) love, something I dont see him getting if he doesnt first try to change himself,instead of getting someone to change you,like he did with Megan.

  4. Am I cynical for thinking he liked having a playmate and someone to have sex with during the day? He liked the image of him and Megan walking in together as a power couple every morning? He thought in some ways that Megan was his groupie and having her work under him was an ego stroke, especially when she proved to be good at it?

    Don’t get me wrong; I don’t disagree with the reasons people are listing here. However, there’s definitely a streak of Don Draper vanity underlying his feelings.

    • Agreed. But he also has shown such vulnerability with his dependence on her – I don’t remember which episode, but I remember him hugging her belly while he was on his knees and just kind of weeping.

      • When I watched that scene, I thought back to the scenes with young Don and the hostility from his stepmother. Megan represents a mother figure to him in a lot of ways, and not just for his children. The way he hugged her while kneeling at her feet seemed like something a child does when their parents have been gone for too long. Not necessarily a gesture of a husband towards his wife.

        But again, I could be very cynical.

  5. I would totally agree with you up to the sixth episode when Don abandoned Megan in the Howard Johnson parking lot. At the time I called it a huge wake-up call for Don and over the next two episodes Don has been on his best behavior and gone overboard to conduct himself as an adult around Megan.

    As to work, after Megan expressed her feelings that she wanted to pursue acting and no longer work at the firm, Don did three adult things: He acknowledged that he had posed a shadow over the office being not only her husband and boss making her feel uncomfortable while at work, he suggested there were 20 advertising firms that would be willing to hire her and he finally told Megan that she should quit the next day so “we can get you on your way.”

    Does this sound like a man in despair that his wife will no longer be working at the firm? And I want to be clear, we have to distinguish between Megan no longer working at the firm from Megan no longer at home in the evenings after he gets home.

    As for the former, Don was capable for many years to keep everybody at arm’s length and to perform his job exceptionally. What gives one any indication Don will mope around forever and not be productive? It’s a similar situation to a baseball team who has undergone an unexpected major trade in May that shakes up the team. Yes there is an initial shock but things eventually will get back to normal as the new players are welcomed to the team and the reality of still having 3/4 of the season to play sets in. Don is a professional.

    As for Megan, she can now act as Don’s personal advisor or consultant and be his sounding board at home whenever he asks her for advice (eg. music). Sure Don may not have ready access to her expertise at work but is there anything that urgent that can’t wait at least a day? And Megan will respond to Don’s requests for help because first she loves him, second she wants him to succeed at work and third it is advertising money that is keeping her in a lifestyle she has grown accustomed to.

    At home that’s a different matter. How often can Don go home to an empty apartment and not start to feel lonely and perhaps think about straying from his marriage. After all Don has needs. If Megan was smart she would schedule her acting classes during the day. I don’t know the ins and outs of acting classes in NYC in 1966 but were they only held in the evening?

    In other words, I don’t agree with the premise now that Don needs to hold onto Megan at work. That was true in the first part of season five but I don’t believe it is true as we move into episode 9. Don has moved on. If Don and Megan split up it won’t because of Don’s despondency over Megan not working at SCDP, but most likely because of Megan’s desire to move in a completely separate direction from Don in her life.

    • He acknowledged that he had posed a shadow over the office being not only her husband and boss making her feel uncomfortable while at work, he suggested there were 20 advertising firms that would be willing to hire her…

      Yes, I did think about that when I wrote this. But he got so, so mad at Peggy. As Peggy said, it was clear that he wasn’t really upset at her. He was just upset. Could he have been upset that Megan was rejecting his chosen field? Yes, possibly. But if it was simply that, I don’t think he would have lashed out at Peggy so intensely.

      Ashe_phoenix’s comment about Don liking having Megan there as part of a power couple is interesting. I don’t doubt that his vanity feeds into this. But I think there is more to the story.

      He put on a good face when she told him she was leaving. (Of course he had also just awakened and hadn’t really had a lot of time to process it.) I think it’s natural that he told her to leave right away when she said she had been wanting to quit. No point in dragging it out, especially after she’s made up her mind. But just because he accepted it when she first told him doesn’t mean he’s really okay with it.

      • I agree with you. It is important that he did those things mentioned by techno, but what’s stayed with me from this episode is the amazing amount of silent acting by Hamm that showed us he is really not okay with this.

        • Could not agree more…I think that Jon Hamm’s performances this season have been nothing short of spectacular. First, he has been absolutely convincing in playing Don Draper as happy — who would ever have thought that was possible? Second, what he doesn’t say and how he portrays those moments of pain and confusion are so silent and subtle, yet powerful.

          I just don’t understand how it is that he or any of the other actors have yet to be recognized individually with all sorts of awards for their performances; not only Hamm, but especially Elisabeth Moss. At least they have been recognized for their performances as an ensemble.

          • The same thing happened with The Wire. I’d love to see Elizabeth and Jon get recognition. Christina and John Slattery too.

  6. The safest prediction is that it will not unfold in an obvious way. Maybe she’ll become a big star and Don will love the Hollywood lifestyle. Maybe rejection will hit her hard and she’ll beg to come back to the agency where she experienced triumph. I don’t think it’s Weiner is often going to give us something as simple as “Don can’t handle her success” or “Don isn’t hip enough for her” or anything else that seems apparent after an episode or three.

    In other news, those complaining about “The Megan Show” might be getting some ratings vindication. Mad Men viewership has fallen each week since the premiere. Its 18-49 number has been cut in half since the premiere and by 30% since week 2.

    • I wonder how many viewers were lost with the more often inclusion of drugs. And how many people who were outside the margins of pop culture then still don’t have any interest in seeing it or understanding it?

    • I’m surprised to hear about the ratings drop. I haven’t been enjoying the “Megan Show” in regards to the overplay of the Megan character living in “happy land” with non-Don, but I wouldn’t dream of stopping watching this superb show. They are only two of the characters and this is only one of the story lines. There have been other seasons when I haven’t particularly liked a series of episodes with a particular theme — and like others have liked some seasons more than others. There are so many interesting characters and you never know with MW where any episode is going to begin or end; same goes for each season.

      I guess I think of all MM fans as people who are in this for the “whole shebang,” from beginning to end. I don’t think of MM viewers as people who stop and shop and view episodes occasionally. Wonder how these numbers compare to past seasons. Does anyone know?

      • I don’t always keep up with ratings information, but I do wonder if the information above includes people who DVR or otherwise record the show to watch later in the week, people who watch online, etc.

        IMO, with a show that is only 13 episodes (and “A Little Kiss” counted as two episodes, so that’s one less week), people sometimes get a little anxious watching the time tick by and wondering if they are going to see enough of the characters and storylines that they wanted explored. With an ensemble show, we all have our favorites and people we’d love to see more of over the season.

        However, like you have said, for the people that don’t like it, this is only one of the storylines and there are always at least a couple of storylines explored in every episode. (We certainly got lots of Pete in “Lady Lazarus,” as well as lots of Don and Megan.)

        • Viewership always has a direct correlation to our traffic. No one has to tell me viewers are down.

          • Why do you think this happening? I would love to know how you view this.

            • Donna, I don’t know. I have a statistics feature installed in the blog, it tells me page views per day. I have a nice bar chart that shows me days, weeks, etc. I’ve been tracking for years. If we have a 20% spike, I’m going to read the next day that Mad Men had a 20% spike. It’s pretty reliable.

          • This discussion surprises me, because I just read this story at Vulture — breaking down how well MM is doing this year.

            Gary Middleton, can you share your source? (Deb, I’m pretty sure I know yours. 🙂 )

        • Brooklyn Jan, great question. Looking at numbers from the corresponding episodes of season 4, the ratings are extremely comparable. And the ratings tapered that season too, but not as much because it didn’t premiere as big back then.

          What changed this time, I guess, was the lengthy layoff and increased prominence of AMC added to the hype around the premiere, giving the numbers further to fall. Maybe that was the true meaning of the animated plunge in the opening titles.

          • I predict, however, a big spike for the finale.

          • It also doesn’t for people like me who can’t afford cable. I watch 50% of the episodes at my friends house, and 50% online. Also there are up to 5 people who watch mad men together, at my friends’. I don’t believe Neilson can account for multiple people watching from the same set.

        • Mad Chick, the numbers do not include DVR viewing on later days, nor even viewings of later airings the same night, but very generally in TV if “live plus same day” is trending in a certain direction, so is interest in that show.

        • In response to Anne B, my favorite ratings site is tvbythenumbers.com. The article you cite has a different reference point from mine. They say this season’s average number is up from season 4. I said they’ve been trending lower each week since the season 5 premiere.

          Both claims are true. But in regard to theirs, it’s heavily skewed by the record ratings for the season 5 premiere week and some residual fumes thereafter. Mad Men now appears to have settled back to season 4 levels. Which may feel a little less lofty since the zombie show completely changed what an AMC rating could look like.

          • Gary, I watch very little current TV and I don’t want to violate blog policy…but, if you can say, what is “the zombie show”? Were it’s ratings really that good?

            • Tom, we blog The Walking Dead (the zombie show) here, and you can find it in the Other TV menu.

          • Tom, the ratings for Walking Dead are mind blowingly huge. Literally 5 times as big as Mad Men’s in the key 18-49 demo. Competitive with the major broadcast networks.

        • On this note, let me say that I enjoy MM more, because of BoK. With the exception of The Daily Show, I don’t watch anything on a regular basis. During MM’s off season, I come to BoK to poke around, but not on a daily basis and I rarely comment. But during the show, I check here daily and I can’t wait for Deborah’s recap and Anne B’s and others musings. I get excited about their posts, as much as I do when the show airs on Sunday.

          • I totally agree. If not for BOK, Mad Men would be a good show and I would watch it, but in no way would I think or ponder, what a great word, the show like I do. It is not unlike the one lit course I had in college. Read the book, think about it, discuss it, listen to others views,,,,what fun! Is this what a liberal arts study is like?

    • I wasn’t able to watch this week and I’m finding that my interest in starting back up has plunged until the Megan storyline is over. I’m not a Megan hater. I just don’t care about their marriage. It doesn’t have any serious dramatic tension. Fighting and crazy sex don’t make it compelling. The tension with Betty was that we knew something she didn’t. Something big and deal-breaking.

  7. I think Don said all the right things but it may be awhile if ever, that he actually feels them. Just like Peggy said, Megan may be one of “those Girls”. Copywriting came very easily to her. Would Don really have been happy setting her up with a competitor. I doubt that.

    • I agree. It would be difficult for him. I think if she had said that she just felt uncomfortable in the SCDP office, he would have tried to support her in choosing another agency. There are challenges associated with that though, of course. People would have found out eventually that she was his wife (I think this is one of those really “small world” industries where everyone finds out about everyone)

      It could have been done, of course. But it’s a less than ideal situation.

    • Diva, it’s very often a total surprise what can make us feel good and why. I love that Mad Men rolls with that reality.

  8. Does MW still want to wrap it up in six seasons? If so, he can flash all the bean counters and their number crunching the long bird. You can’t force people to appreciate quality, especially in a world where quality is ever-becoming a foreign concept.

  9. As for Don’s apparent “dependency” on Megan…I’m with Joan (and Shakespeare) on this one. “There is nothing new under the sun”. Joan accurately pegged the reason Don got married when he did, we in the audience know why he chose Megan over Faye, and nothing good comes from marrying your ideal of someone, rather than marrying the whole person, warts and all. Don/Dick was only truly loved in this way by Anna. Megan starkly differs from Betty, Mona starkly differs from Jane. Roger wanted a freer, more youthful and open woman…be careful what you wish for, Roger. (Took an acid trip to realize it, finally). Of course Don wants to right the wrongs that sunk his first marriage (the secretiveness, the adultery, caging/cooping Birdie, etc.)–Don did go through quite a bit of soul searching last season. But are Megan’s sensibilities compatible with Don’s? I say it’s an unbridgeable gap.

    • Definition of sensibilities:

      Moral scruples; sensitivity about moral or ethical issues

      I find Don and Megan extremely compatible. Both are apolitical and live for the moment. Don is a better dad because he is married to Megan. Both love living in NYC and are content with currently being childless. Megan understands Don’s work and understands Don likes it very much. Just because she is not engaged in it now herself doesn’t mean that she doesn’t want Don to succeed in it. But she can still be Don’s sounding board from time to time.

      Since the end of episode 6, Don has basically given Megan free rein to do whatever she has wanted. Megan even acted surprised that Don didn’t get drunk when he came home after she left the office. Megan can pursue her acting career to her heart’s delight fully knowing Don’s wealth will support her during times of ongoing rejection, which even Megan told Don she expected.

      What you call an unbridgeable gap I would call a period of adjustment that many couples have to go through in their marriage. Both confessed their love for each other. I just don’t see an irreparable divide, at least now.

      Of course if Megan ever cheated on Don or vice versa or if Megan ever became a big-time star that would change the equation.

  10. I have to admit, I was one of those who was surprised that Megan was still working with Don when we started S5. I thought he wanted her over Faye because she was good with the kids and wouldn’t ask him the tough questions, and would be happy to stay home and put steak on the table.

    But yeah, I think inasfar as he wants her there at work, it’s for a few reasons. One, he doesn’t trust himself not to stray without her there. Two, he doesn’t trust her without himself there. Three, he’s increasingly culturally isolated and disengaged from the clients, and Megan provided ready insulation from both.

    Now, suddenly, without her working there, exactly what do Don and Megan have in common? Don will probably be bored to death talking to her and her theater/film peers about acting, and Megan probably won’t be as available for client dinners as she used to be. If he’s afraid it’s all going to go down the tubes, there’s probably good reason for it. The younger creatives (Peggy, Stan, Michael, and whoever replaces Megan) will help keep him connected to youth culture, but when it comes to Don himself coming up with the boffo ideas that clients love, those days might be over for him, other than a few squirts here and there. And he’s probably terrified of being found out, of people realizing that he’s not the Glo-Coat guy anymore.

    • As part of Don’s advertising wisdom here is a dialogue between Don and Roger in season 2 episode 1:

      Don: “Young campaigns don’t necessarily come from young people.”

      Roger: “The clients like the thrill of young talent.”

      Don: “Clients need to understand their success is based on standing out, not fitting in. It’s a fad.”

      Roger: “Isn’t it possible that the recently weaned have some unique perspective-joy, enthusiasm?”

      Don: “You’re talking as if they’re some fresh version of us; they’re not. Young people don’t know anything, especially that they’re young.”

      Don is a survivor. And he has a wife who is plugged into modern trends. And Don in The Suitcase told Peggy, “You give me ideas, I give you money.” (explaining why he got the credit for winning the Clio award for Glo-Coat).

      • Don said all that stuff about young people in 1962. Everything was different then. Heck, you could even say Don himself was different then. I don’t think contentment with Megan has dried up his creative juices; I think it’s the other way around, that falling in love with Megan happened at least partially because he felt like he wasn’t getting it done creatively and needed “new blood” in his life. (What was The Suitcase all about? Yeah, that Don didn’t want Peggy to go out to her birthday dinner, because he couldn’t come up with a good idea without her presence, and Peggy knew it.)

        • I don’t see Don losing his mojo at all. But I do see Weiner and the producers not paying as much attention to the advertising business as they once did and thus have not given Don as many opportunities to shine recently.

          And Don’s attitude about young people is as relevant in 1962, 1966 or 2012. I love the line “Young people don’t know anything, especially that they’re young.” That’s a variation of You don’t know what you don’t know.

          There are two types of people Don’s age (40). Those who think they know it all and refuse to realize the world is changing and remain in the horse-and-buggy era and those who realize the world is changing, that they still know as much as they ever have and will take steps to fill in the gaps between what they know and where the world is headed. Don is following the latter course.

          • I love the line “Young people don’t know anything, especially that they’re young.”

            Techno, I love the line too, but I think Don was partly right and Roger was partly right. Sometimes the younger generation does have something special to offer, as Roger said.

            IMO, Don was feeling a little too bitter to admit it. (It didn’t help that he knew Duck had been instrumental in all of this) 🙂

        • I think Don was half-right with what he said about young people in that episode. He was heavily persuaded to hire someone and Kurt & Smitty came across fairly blank (not very knowledgable) in that initial meeting, but I think Don did get a fresh perspective from Smitty later on in the Martinson Coffee campaign. “We don’t want to be told what to do…we just want to be…” It certainly worked for the client!

    • Now, suddenly, without her working there, exactly what do Don and Megan have in common? Don will probably be bored to death talking to her and her theater/film peers about acting, and Megan probably won’t be as available for client dinners as she used to be.

      What you said about being bored to death gave me a flashback to Season 1’s Babylon. Don went to see Midge, only to find out that she and boho Roy were en route to hear more bohemians wax poetic. “I think I’ll stay here,” Don said.

      (Of course, clever Midge enticed him to go with, “I’ll wear a skirt…and nothing else.”) 😉

  11. Don is driven by the fear of rejection.

    There were 2 very important and connected revelations from ep 6 and 8. MW ended his commentary for Lazarus by referring to Ep 6, Far Away Places: “He offered her orange sherbert ice cream. It was his favorite and she doesn’t like it.” The ice cream had a deep meaning for Don- one of the few things from his childhood that he could fondly look back on. In Lazarus, Megan admitted that she doesn’t have a passion for advertising and that she wants to leave the office. This is important to Don, because the office is a part of his life that he wanted to share with her. But Megan has again rejected him.

    Don doesn’t take rejection very well because it causes him to remember the shame and rejection he experienced as a child. He feels vulnerable. And, when Don feels vulnerable, he drinks. I don’t think it is a coincidence that this episode featured more scenes of Don drinking than we have seen in quite some time. And when he drinks, bad things happen.

    With Megan out of the house at night, how long before Don begins to feel lonely and then seek companionship ? This will not end well.

    Don and Megan seem to have opposite views of what they want out of marriage and we are starting to see them going their separate ways. They will be together for a while longer, but I think we are seeing the beginning of the end.

    • Why Mad Men is such a great series is that folks can take completely opposite takes from an episode.

      I never saw Megan leaving the firm as a rejection of Don at all but instead a desire of a young woman to pursue her own course. And if Megan had wanted to continue in advertising, she would have taken to Don’s suggestion that she join a rival firm. Instead she wants nothing to do with the industry at all. How can you then say she is specifically rejecting Don?

      And furthermore Megan gives not even a slightest hint that she wants to leave Don and take her father’s suggestion to embrace the struggle. Instead the impression I got if anything is that Megan knows which side her bread is buttered on and wants her cake and eat it too by remaining a loving wife to Don, at the same time pursuing a career as a professional actress.

      And finally name one concrete word spoken to each other which even remotely suggests Megan is rejecting Don. In episode 6 that was in full evidence but we are talking about episode 8. I just didn’t see it in either Megan’s or Don’s words in bed or out of bed.

      And you bring up Don’s drinking. Didn’t Megan express surprise that Don did not come home drunk? Could it be a sign he did not feel personally rejected by Megan that he came home sober?

      And as to what Don and Megan want out of their marriage it is basically the same thing: They want love and be loved and live in the here and now and they don’t want any BS along the way.

      Did you notice that Don told Roger, Megan is very sincere? And we know Don can also let Megan know what is on his mind. Remember episode 1 and 2 where Don told Megan that he was not happy with the surprise party and why he wasn’t happy. These are two people who deal with each other as honestly as a husband and wife can relate to each other. If Megan felt like rejecting Don or Don felt rejected by Megan it would be on the table. This is a couple who cannot hide their true feelings for each other.

  12. It will probably be on You Tube, if it isn’t already; but everyone who is a fan of the show needs to view the Jon Hamm “Ask A Grown Man” video. A link has been provided by the marvelous folks of BoK. Thanks so much ladies! And if anyone out there knows or meets Jon, please let him know how great it is that the massive success he is enjoying is not going to his head. It reaffirms my cynical heart to see someone so deserving be rewarded.

    • Sorry… I meant it “disarms” my cynical heart to see someone so deserving be rewarded.

    • “slow your roll”. I am hysterical! Thanks for the youtube info

    • BTW, this video was mentioned in the “pop news” segment of Good Morning America this morning

      • It also made the “what’s trending now” feature on the Today show this morning

  13. There are two contrary sayings:

    Absence makes the heart grow fonder vs. Out of sight, out of mind.

    For those who feel Don and Megan will drift apart, the idea is that because they will see less of each other that they will grow apart. But could Don end up seeing more of Megan than he did of Betty?

    And could both Don and Megan benefit from their time apart by missing each other more and not getting complacent about their marriage? And could they both begin to value their time together more because they are not together 24 hours a day?

  14. In the introduction the question is posed whether Don is worried he will remain faithful to Megan. But could Don be like any other red-blooded man be more concerned about whether Megan will remain faithful to him as she ventures into a new world and meets various types of people involved in the entertainment industry and on the periphery?

    As for being afraid of losing Megan, episode 6 revealed the extent of that fear but over the past two episodes he has reconciled to the idea that Megan is not about to leave him. Has Megan given Don any hint that she is about to leave him? I don’t think so.

  15. Yes, the quote says to set something free and hope it comes back. But, who wants to do that? Who has the guts to give away something dear? “Better” to hold onto it and make sure it can’t ever get away.

  16. In light of what happened at the end of episode 6 Far Away Places with Don hugging Megan’s waist for dear life after confessing, “I thought I had lost you” right after Megan said she had to go to work (at SCDP) could this have been a sign that Don had learned his lesson about challenging Megan’s right to work or her autonomy to do what she wanted (the source of the original argument at HJ) and that Don’s appreciation of how close he came to losing Megan in episode 6 had become a huge-wake up call to him?

    And in light of that, after he was awakened by Megan in the middle of the night, did Don revert back to the old Don and strive to be his controlling self and tell Megan she didn’t know her own mind or did Don act like the new Don fully cognizant that he has to be understanding and support Megan in her work endeavors unconditionally? As we know Don chose the high road and the latter course. And by taking that chance or opportunity Don had Megan’s love for him validated and it allowed him to show her how much he loved her.

    I know viewers see this episode as the beginning of the end for Don and Megan but solely from episode 8, I just don’t see it. Megan tells Don, “I love you. You’re everything I’d hope you’d be.” And Don recommends that Megan leave the firm right away so “we can get you on your way.” Now are those the words of a couple who are about to split up?

    Instead from Don’s point of view, he has become an adult towards taking Megan’s work life seriously and for Megan she can now face a number of rejections which she knows will be forthcoming knowing her husband still loves her and supports her unconditionally. Of course, the more cynical among you will accuse Megan of acquiring herself a sugar-daddy and trying to have her cake and eat it too. And the same folks believe Don is simply putting on a good face and really is deeply unhappy or despondent over her decision and now feels abandoned.

    Imho, their relationship will always come down to the words Don said just prior to asking Megan to marry him: “While I was staring at you, I couldn’t imagine not waking up with you and seeing you everyday.” If that ever comes to an end then yes I believe you will definitely begin to see signs of the old Don re-emerging. And in turn that will drive Megan further away.

    • Don’s not a slave driver, I don’t think he would ever tell someone, “You must stay in advertising, it’s the only way to go.” We haven’t ever seen him act like that. He’s decisive. Which I think is why he told her to leave right away, since that’s what she wanted to do. As he said, she obviously felt pretty urgent about her decision, since she woke him up in the middle of the night. He didn’t see any point in having her stay on for a few more weeks if her heart wasn’t in it. (Also, when she said she’d train her replacement, he said “Train?” and didn’t seem to think she was necesarily qualified to do that.)

      For my part, I don’t necessarily see this as the end (you said “viewers”–I assume you meant to say, “some viewers.”). It could be the beginning of the end. Maybe not. I think it’s early still, and I certainly would think most people in their newly wedded state would try to stick it out longer than this.

      Sure, he said that wanted to wake up with every day. Is that so strange, though? She’s young and beautiful, as well as being kind and displaying maternal instincts on the California trip. I’m sure he felt he same way when he first met Betty. I definitely remember his sparkly-eyed scene with Anna (Season 2), when he told her he’d met a girl, “Elizabeth,” who he wanted to marry. This is not to say that he necessarily will fall out of love with Megan. However, it is not strange to feel so intense about someone at the start of a relationship. You certainly think, or hope, that it will last forever.

  17. Maybe because he was bored there. The power couple image didn’t exist back then. Don and Megan mostly seemed like they were playing house. Like Roger said Don was on a vacation and he and Megan were having their fun. I think when Megan had that success with Heinz she realized acting was more important to her. Don did keep bringing up having a baby with Megan so maybe he wants to go back to suburbia with another beautiful wife. It seems like he misses that stability. Their house in the city has no personality.

    • It’s funny you said that about their house. I think they’re actually in an apartment, because that’s what you mostly see in the city. If I recall, Don gave his address once or twice this season (one time was when talking to a cab driver), and it was on the Upper West Side.

      Anyway, it’s funny you said that about it having no personality, because I’ve noticed it too. When Don and Megan are in the main room (the living room of their place), it just looks so big. I live in NYC, and you really don’t see rooms that big often. It’s a great selling point of course (most people in the city are crying out for more space), but their room looks too big. It just looks so empty.

    • Don could not have made it clearer this season that he hates the suburbs and doesn’t even want to VISIT there, which feels like suicide to him, much less live there. There is zero chance that he misses that life.

  18. My thoughts were that of course Don is upset that Megan has left SCDP; this is a major change in the dynamic of their relationship. They MET there, courted there (albeit, briefly), and started their married life while working together there, not to mention finding a wonderfully surprising affinity for creative success as an advertising power team. Things were just getting off the ground, from Don’s point of view, and now it’s all ending. That will take awhile to get used to, and anyone would need some time to mourn the loss of such a perfect situation. Don may be going through the stages of grief, even though he also wants genuinely to support Megan in her new path. I think it’s only natural for Don to feel this way, regardless of whether he is all about seeing her face every day or suffering fear of abandonment or worried that he’ll go back to womanizing because he’s back alone in the hard cold masculine workplace or he won’t see her all the time to remind him to keep in line, which are all also valid points that have been made. Mostly I just think that change is hard and the unknown can be scary. They’re starting down a new road and having to establish new routines as they discover how this new dynamic will unfold. Can their marriage survive the test of change? It’s a valid fear and enough to make anyone worried and upset. But this too shall pass if their bond is strong enough – I hope it will be! As someone else posted, who knows, it could end up a good thing, bringing new experiences into play and working out new forms of compromise and give and take, which promotes relationship growth, IMHO. I’m just sayin’. I applaud you for supporting your wife, and as for being anxious about the outcome of such change, I feel ya, Don!

    • Also: what if, plain and simply, he just misses her?

      • Too simple! 😉

        No, I think he will miss walking through the door with her in the morning and leaving with her in the evening. He likes that routine.

  19. I’ve read the term “power couple” about Don and Megan more than a few times lately. I’ve also seen the statement that Megan is some sort of marketing or advertising “star” lately. And I’m really wondering why some people have made the leap from one good idea from Megan (that we’ve actually seen) and one little advertising skit done by Don and Megan — into Megan is an amazing copywriter and Don and Megan are a power couple/team.

    It seems also, that as often happens, the more these ideas are thrown out in posts, the more acceptance there seems to be that these two things are “true,” when we don’t have enough evidence to support either supposition.

    Megan was a junior copywriter who was on the job for a short period. She did coupons, then she had one great idea that saved the day with one client. She liked to sit in Don’s office when he wasn’t there even though she had her own desk.

    Don and Megan liked to walk into and out of the office together. Their stride, their (apparent) confidence and their good clothes, glossy hair, height and good looks gave them the “look” of success. It does NOT translate into actual success though, nor is there evidence of anything much more than looking the parts of actors playing the role of a couple who look good walking into and out of their office. It takes a lot more than that to actually BE a “power couple.” It takes time, lots of successes that a lot of people know and talk about. None of that is happening here, now, with them. And in any event, it’s now over, the office part at least.

    • Good points! Did Megan actually have her own desk? It seems Megan was always either sitting at Don’s desk or sitting at Peggy’s desk. Stan and Michael each seem to have desks in Peggy’s office. I haven’t figured out where Megan was supposed to sit.

      • In this last episode it appeared that Megan’s desk was now the desk, or in the same spot, as Peggy’s desk was before. And that Peggy was standing in front of another desk that was across the room from Megan. That was the first time four desks were shown in that office, and I’ll have to check the scene to confirm that. Upon until this last episode, Megan had sat at a table in the common room with the others, or sat at Peggy’s desk (once) and at Don’s (many times). Weird dynamic about where she sits and why.

    • I’ve read the term “power couple” about Don and Megan more than a few times lately. I’ve also seen the statement that Megan is some sort of marketing or advertising “star” lately. And I’m really wondering why some people have made the leap from one good idea from Megan (that we’ve actually seen) and one little advertising skit done by Don and Megan — into Megan is an amazing copywriter and Don and Megan are a power couple/team.

      Of course you are right. It’s not that they are a power couple necessarily–only that they look that way. As you pointed out, they do look good together, and there’s also the additional cache that he’s one of the partners and she’s his wife. (By that token, if Jane had continued working at the office after she and Roger got married, I think they too would have had a “power couple” look, even if they weren’t actually so powerful.)

      As for Megan being an amazing copywriter–you’re right again, that has not been proven. I think as Megan herself said, she had some beginner’s luck. Down the line, she probably would have expressed more good ideas–but it’s hard to know, as we didn’t see them. I think Don was tickled and impressed by how well she did with Heinz, maybe a little too much. I rolled my eyes a bit (just as I’m sure Stan and Ginsberg did), when Don said, “I’ll ask Megan.”

    • “And I’m really wondering why some people have made the leap from one good idea from Megan (that we’ve actually seen) and one little advertising skit done by Don and Megan — into Megan is an amazing copywriter and Don and Megan are a power couple/team.”

      Because Peggy saw Megan’s work on a regular basis, even though we didn’t, and she raves about the amount of talent Megan has for the work. That was the whole gist of her getting angry with Megan in the bathroom about her being dissatisfied working there: Megan is super talented and Peggy thought that she was taking that talent for granted. This is part of good story-telling and of being an audience to the story being told… everything won’t be expository; one has to make logical inferences without needing to be shown or told every step of the way.

    • I completely agree with your points Brooklyn Jan. They’ve had 8 episodes to show Megan has talent, but her contributions were ambiguous at best. Episode 1 she’s working on coupons and Peggy says good job, but in that ep it’s hard to tell if she’s being sincere to just accommodating her boss’s wife. Then Peggy says, “Well, she’s pretty much been my junior on this.” Okay. Great. It still doesn’t give us an outright declaration of amazingness. Why is a person who had one good idea suddenly becoming an affront to everyone who’s had success in advertising? I just don’t get it. I don’t get it. I think the boards have been able to connect the dots and fill in the blanks better than the show.

      And I think someone remarked that Don was actually the better actor when Don and Megan did their Cool Whip sketch in his office.

  20. I cannot for the life of me figure out why Don is thought of “possessive.” Sure he likes her working at the office and wants her to be around for his own pleasure but can be it seen as Don wants “exclusive control” over her whereabouts. I just don’t see it that way. He just feels better when she’s around.

    • I don’t see it either, fwiw. I also don’t understand why so many seem to think he yearns to go back to Betty or any facet of his old life with her, when he so obviously doesn’t. He makes it clear nearly every chance he gets to prove/state the opposite of that.

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