Apr 022013

joan The DoorwaySo, I won’t tell you what year it is, who is sleeping with, or not sleeping with, whom, surprise guest appearances, or anything like that. AMC has released images that clearly show Don and Megan on some kind of vacation (he in a summer suit, she in beachwear), and the above picture, also an official release, makes no bones about the episode’s Christmas timeframe. Pete’s sideburns also pinpoint an era, if not a specific year, and that we don’t have a new actress for Sally is a clear indicator that we haven’t leapt too far ahead.

The Doorway is well-constructed to get us up to speed. It makes sure we at least see every major and minor regular character, however briefly. By the end of the episode, you’ll know the state of the Draper marriage, of Peggy’s work life, Roger’s love life, how well the business is or is not doing at SCDP, and so on. My estimation is that the episode focuses (in order of time on-screen) on Don, Roger, Peggy, and Betty (with a major supporting turn by Sally).

Thematically, it’s extremely dense. The pacing is slow but the two hours fly by, and there was far too much to take in during a single sitting. It’s moody, complex, laden with symbolism, and visually rich. We definitely see how the world is changing, and how that change integrates and interacts with our characters’ internal journeys.

These characters have been pretty dark for five seasons, and that hasn’t changed. In the poster, we see Don looking back at himself, and that inward look begins here. “Are you alone?” was the thought on his mind at the end of S5: Is he?

As of last season, Roger was cut loose from his moorings; no Mona, no Jane. In Commissions and Fees he allowed that his enlightenment “wore off.” Where does that leave him?

We know that in many ways, Peggy Olsen is Matt Weiner’s muse, the character he sees as himself. He’s said this in many interviews, and as we look at Peggy’s journey, learning the ropes as a writer, feeling foolish, struggling with her own ambition and others’ perceptions of her, we are looking at Matt’s journey as well. So, at the end of Season 5, when Peggy split off and joined another agency, leaving her mentor, it felt a little like the moment in Matt’s personal journey when The Sopranos was over and he became the showrunner of his own baby. (I very much doubt Matt put that in there on purpose.) So, watching her parallel development at another agency is thrilling, and perhaps the most optimistic point of view that Mad Men offers.

Tune in April 8 for a spoiler-filled series of posts about The Doorway! Our Open Thread will be up a few hours before the show airs, to give you all plenty of time to speculate.


  146 Responses to “Spoiler-free Review of Mad Men Season 6 Premiere: The Doorway”

  1. I can’t believe I’m looking forward to more…Betty! Whoda thunk?

    I like the emphasis on Don, Pegs, Roger too. No Megan. Or at least less of her. Good.

    I recognize the snowflakes from Christmas Comes But Once a Year. Makes sense an office would reuse decs. Love this detail, and wonder if this strings together other Christmases the staff have shared?

    I usually watch each ep several times, so love that the denseness continues…was there any doubt?

    ….Sounds delish, Deb, can’t wait! ….and thanks :O)

    • I’m with you Peg4Prez! I am very curious to find out what will happen with Roger and baby Kevin. It seems like Peggy knew about Joan’s seperation and of course Don did but Roger doesn’t. Once he finds out Greg is no longer in the picture he will be more insistent on providing for Kevin. Joanie should give him a break. Roger is trying to do the right thing. It made sense to not keep the money while Joan thought she and Greg and Kevin would have a life together but the situation changed.

      • Two Questions. 1) How can Roger give her the money without arousing suspicions. As far as everybody knows, the baby is Greg’s. 2) Would Joan, under any circumstances accept the money?

        • In a sense he already did – voting to extend the 5% non-silent partner share in the firm.

          But really, how hard could it be to give money to Joan on the sly? He’s already done it with Harry, Peggy, and Ginsberg (Stan should be bent about that).

          • I’m not sure that Rog was thinking about providing for Kevin Sterling when our Joanie’s 5% was doled out.
            I think Rog will still try to spark something with Red……again. Be rejected, again.
            He will get deeply depressed cause Joanie is his safe harbor, his go-to girl, however chauvanistic that sounds. I think he always thought she’d be there at the end of the day, conveniently for him. Roger can stand being useless in the office a lot more than imagining not being in the good graces of his best girl.
            Rough, rough, waters I predict for the bankroll of SCDCampbell.

          • You know, Joanie isn’t getting any younger. And maybe Roger is not going to see her as the freshest piece of fruit in the bowl now that she hit the satin sheets with the tubby Sultan of Arabia or whatever the fig he called himself.
            She might be the one chasing Roger this season!

          • Giving a one time cash payment on the sly is is very different than a regular monthly payment.

          • Tubby Sultan of Arabia#!$#/&,!@$.
            LAUGHING OUT LOUD.
            Thank you, Susan.

          • Susan: Hey! Pete said, “He’s not that bad” (not as “bad” as Pete, that is).

            RG: Roger is resourceful, practiced. He’s been paying madames (for clients) for years and turning in receipts – a form of laundering I suppose.

            Roger’s pockets aren’t bottomless (especially post-Mona, post-Siegel), but a little stock/bond portfolio nicely wrapped in a trust-for-Kevin? Piece-of-cake transaction shielded by attorney-client privilege.

          • I don’t think Roger was thinking about Kevin at all. He said he wouldn’t stop the partnership but he was not paying for it. In the moment he found out about the “business deal” I think Roger was only thinking about Joan

          • Have we seen Roger alone with Joanie since she closed her deal? All I recall is Dec.7 when he is smashed from remembering Pearl Harbor. She shows him the door and puts him practically in Scarlett’s arms.

            When the divorces are done, will it be too late for them?

            If her mother knew about Roger she would be marching herself and that baby into the polkadotted office and demand a trust fund.
            She would be royally pissed if she knew Kevin is a Sterling and is being treated like unclaimed luggage!

            • It is far too late for Roger and Joan, and has been ever since he said “Maybe I’m in love with you.” She wanted him to be sure, to make a decision, to help her, and instead he made it about him. She was done. She kept the baby against his wishes and essentially chose the baby over him.

  2. THANK YOU!!!!!!!

  3. This makes me so, so happy to read. Thank you!

  4. My first and only question is: What does Don have at stake? Is it his identity, his very life, his marriage, his sanity?
    Im hoping for major questions to be pondered. Cause last year, you know, it was not much of anything hanging in the balance, for the man formerly known as Don Draper.

    • I so agree, Tilden. I hope that this season Don will finally have to actually face himself. In Season 4 he chose to drink instead of facing himself. In Season 5 he chose to play house with Megan instead of facing himself.

  5. What a fantastic review that gave absolutely nothing away! Nice job, Deb – just when I thought I couldn’t possibly any more excited, you went and made me so. Thanks! Come on, Sunday!

  6. Thanks so much Deborah! Can’t wait to read your analysis once we’ve all seen it! I will consider this my favorite birthday present of the day.

  7. I glad you were given access to watching the first two hours of Season Six. I still don’t agree with the concept but yours is by far the best review I have read. Thank you.

  8. Artfully managed Deb!

    Sounds like a great kick-off to the new season. I wasn’t sure about the two hour premiere format before but I think I’m beginning to like it. It lets us fill in some blanks and check in with everyone while allowing for some plot, character and thematic movement too. On the flipside, even though I know I’m getting the same air time as past seasons, the two-parter goes so fast that I feel like I’m getting robbed of an episode!

    Like TK I’m pleased with the hints that this will be a more DD-centric season – whatever his issues happen to be and I like more Betts too. For a character not exactly brimming with redeeming qualities I find Betty to be a fascinating character and fun to watch. Wonder if we get another new Bobby – what would that be #5 or 6?

    • I think there has been a different Bobby each season. If they could get back version 2.0 it would be perfect, he looked like the child actor who plays Gene. Unless there is a new Gene…

      • Jared Gilmore played Bobby for 2 seasons (3 and 4) and then got a leading role in Once Upon a Time. Season 2 we had Aaron Hart, who was absolutely lovely to watch. S1 there were multiple Bobbys, often on-screen for only seconds.

        • So Aaron Hart of the famous quote “We need to get you a new daddy?” I get choked up just thinking about it!

          The Bobby’s don’t get many good lines but that may have been the line of the season . . .

  9. 10 words or phrases that describe the lead-up for the debut of Season Six:

    1) The calm before the storm

    2) advent

    3) The egg before it is cracked open

    4) The resumption of a journey after you have finished your sightseeing and buying souvenirs

    5) where history and memory meet romance and perspective

    6) a bear coming out of its hibernation

    7) the consumption of fine wine knowing the bottle is almost empty

    8) Labor Day before the kids go back to school

    9) The last hours before the launching of D-Day

    10) The anticipation of a first date

  10. I’ve been tantalizing friends with this question:

    “What are doing at 5PM this Sunday?”

    (our time zone is between California’s and Hawaii’s)

    Some know the “right answer”, others are puzzled until I say:

    “I’ll be sitting at the TV, martini in hand, watching the Mad Men Premiere”

    An impromptu premiere party is shaping up nicely. Early arrivers may have to watch some “warmup episodes”.

    (I don’t think we’re going to hang Lane in any of them)

  11. I wish a Happy belated birthday to Deb. And a Happy prelated birthday to Ro.
    Thank you, ladies.

  12. There are two things that sit with me from last season which I wonder if it is foreshadowing for the new season. I think it was on the last episode of Season 5 that Marie said to Don that he should suffer through this one defeat (Megan drunk and depressed that she is not working yet) and then he will have a happy life. Instead he gave in and got Megan the commercial job. And the other was Roger stating his enlightenment had worn off and then he is shown totally naked which I assumed was because he had become enlightened again by himself and not with Marie, as he had wanted. I am looking forward to finding out if and how these carry over. Sunday cannot come soon enough!

    • sr, that is very cleaver of you to connect the comments Marie made to Don about Megan’s defeat! It seems like a forshadowing.

      I often think about the Whitman murders that were mentioned at Pete and Trudy’s dinner party. I wonder if that was a crazy relative of Don’s. It actually did happen. It is mentioned on the DVD extras. Maybe it will be tied into Don’s background.

      Love Basket of Kisses, thank you Lipp Sisters.

      • I’ve wondered about the Whitman connection too. But I can’t help but wonder if Don would even know if he was related (if he was) to the other Whitman, given that Don’s alluded to being from Illinois and Pennsylvania, and had basically checked out of the Whitman world by the early ’50s– and Charles Whitman was born in the ’40s. What makes the potential connection so interesting though is that is more insight into who or what Don/Dick might be. Violent drunk philandering father, depressed suicidal half brother, possible murderous suicidal (cousin?). How do we read the faux-murder of Andrea in Mystery Date, the abandonment and then stalking of Megan in Far Away PLaces, throwing money at Peggy in The Other Woman, or shoving of Betty in Three Sundays with that personal nexxus?

        It can’t be coincidence that Mystery Date reminds that Don is Dick (Richard /Speck/ reference) and Signal 30 reminds us of Whitman (Charles /Whitman/ reference). Mystery Date has Don murder Andrea symbolically (even more so as her dead body in yellow evokes Speck’s lone survivor). The second ep after Mystery Date (and the next after Signal 30) is Far Away Places– when Don violently chases Megan around their apartment.

        • Dick Whitman. That name first uttered early in S1. Do you suppose that Weiner lined that up (for a scene in 1960) with the killings set in 1966? Kept that in his back pocket for 4 TV seasons?

          • I’m not sure I understand your question. I was just replying to the issue raised susan F if Dick/Don was related to the shooter Whitman in some way. I don’t really think Don could know if this was a relative of his family just because of the dates of his checking out of the Whitman world and dates of Charles Whitman’s life.

            I certainly think the name Dick Whitman was a deliberate naming and not just because of how the name could tie in to Charles Whitman. Obviously, Dick was explained by his mother’s comment before she died. But I often think about Whitman in its parts– man and wit. The man no one gives a wit about. The man who survives using his wits. I like doing that with Don Draper too. Don- to wear. Drape- to cover or obscure. The man who put on a cover. The man who wears a facade.

  13. Season Five closed with Don being asked, at a bar, “Are you alone?”

    In Season Two’s The Mountain King, while doing a Tarot reading for Dick, Anna points to The World card…

    Dick: Who’s she?

    Anna: She’s the soul of the world. She’s in a very important spot here. This is you; what you are bringing to the reading. She says you are part of the world. Air, water, every living thing is connected to you.

    Dick: It’s a nice thought.

    Anna: It is.

    Dick: What does it mean?

    Anna: It means the only thing keeping you from being happy is the belief that you are alone.

    Dick: What if it’s true?

    Anna: Then you can change.

    Dick: People don’t change.

    Anna: I think she stands for wisdom. Once you live, you learn things.

    In an earlier scene, Dick tells Anna, “I have been watching my life. It’s right there. I keep scratching at it, trying to get into it. I can’t.”

    I initially took this to mean that he was saying that, try as he might, actually gaining access to and being meaningfully present in his own life, had proved to be impossible for him. But maybe it goes deeper than just that. Perhaps, in that moment, he had a tiny flash of insight about the ‘reactionary’ pattern and nature of his life so far. On some level, there seemed to be an awareness that he had merely been reacting to who or how he is — simply responding to and within the various circumstances in which he continually found himself. I got a real sense of frustration from him, at not only being unable to be in his own life, but also that he’s been on ‘autopilot’ all along. He has never been in a place where he could define himself or truly be himself. Instead, he’s been limited to playing life on a small and restrictive game board, that he had no real hand or choice in designing.

    I’m hoping that Season Six brings us some major discoveries in the area of how he got to be who and how he is. More than that, I hope this new season also provides some big breakthroughs for him. Maybe he’ll finally arrive at a place where he can become equipped, ready and willing to transcend his ‘wiring.’

    Something like that would be truly transformational for him on all levels!

    • Don thought of Anna as being the one person who knew him but she didn’t really. I don’t think Anna knew how badly Don treated Betty. And she didn’t know he deliberately switched the dog tags.

      • Everybody in Don’s life is in a similar position as the proverbial Blind Men & the Elephant.

        Their “take” on their experience or knowledge of Don is very much dependent on which aspect(s) of him they’ve encountered – and, of course, how honestly/openly he has shared about himself, with each person.

        One thing I’l be watching for in Season Six, is whether they’ll be any ‘blowback’ from what Don shared with Dr Faye Miller about himself. She seemed pretty steamed over the way he ended things with her and if the old adage, “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” is accurate, it’ could be that we haven’t heard the last of her.

        • The correct adage is, “Hell hath no fury like a woman who believes she has been scorned.” There are many women ( and men, too ) who have actually been scorned, but are unaware and have no fury. There are many women ( and men, too ) who have not been scorned, but believe they have. Those are the ones who exhibit fury.

          • My suggestion that we may not have heard the last from Faye is based on how she was screaming in the phone booth in the hall across from the elevators, at a man she was involved with.

            While we only heard one side of the exchange, I didn’t get the sense that the guy had blown her off, but if she was screaming like that at someone who hadn’t, I’d imagine that she’d really give Don a piece of her mind, since he actually did dump her. If she does harbor bad feelings against him, she could easily use his identity backstory against him.

        • I hate to think ill of the lovely Dr. Faye Miller. Cussing out an unworthy beau is one thing. Coldly serving up the cold dish? Quite Another.

        • How much time has elapsed from when he came home from California engaged to Megan and the end of season 5? It is at about one year, right? I think if Faye was that spiteful she would have made her mark already.

          • sr, if you look on our Episode Guides, we have a date for when each episode took place. You don’t have to go into the recap, it’s there on the list of episodes per season.

          • There was 9 months between end of s. 4 and the first ep of S. 5, which started around Memorial Day. the last episode is late January-ish or maybe February of ’68, if that helps.

          • S4 ended on October 15, 1965 abd S5 started on May 30, 1966 Memorial day. 7 and a half months apart.

          • Thanks, Tilden!

            And I totally forgot the date guide. Thanks!

        • I think Faye would have been quick to move on. She had a lot of insight and had worked hard to attain her position in the professional world. Faye seemed to have good self-esteem, she could do much better than Don!

      • It is true that Anna knew only a small amount of Don. But she seemed to wholly understand and accept him. It was truly unconditional love and in that way, for a long time, she was the only one who knew him.

      • Anna B,

        I agree about Anna not truly knowing Don and him keeping her out of the loop w/his mistreatment of Betty is one of the many reasons.

        It may go back to Don not liking being judged. If he only presents the best side of himself, then Anna will not judge him since that’s all she sees.

    • I am also always struck by that scene with Anna in The Mountain King. I really feel like it’s the key to the series, but I’m not sure what door it’s going to unlock. Either Anna is right, or Don is right, and he won’t change, and he will be doomed with this notion that he is alone, and no one can penetrate that aloneness.

      And I agree, Anna really knew very little about Don Draper, even though she knew so much about Dick Whitman. People say Peggy is like Don’s Anna, but I think it’s more Megan, in that both of these women primarily see the good side of Don, and fall for the open, happier Don….that also comes with a dark, often times demeaning, demon fueled Don. You can’t just show your best self to a person, and expect to feel satisfied in that relationship because you’ll be constantly in fear of letting a very real side of yourself, the damaged, dependent, angry side intrude. And that’s a lot of exhausting work. I feel like Don might become exhausted this year.

      • Nordic, brilliant insights here!

      • Comparing Anna to Megan is a great idea, makes much more sense than to Peggy. Peggy really did know Don, can’t imagine Anna ever yelling at him and telling him off. I see Don and Peggy’s relationship as being like brother and sister, she looks up to him but is aware of his flaws. Megan has tantrums but they are based on what she wants, she really doesn’t know Don or try to know him.

        • I totally agree about the brother/sister relationship. They fight, they’re aware of each other’s flaws, but when it really counts, they will be there for and defend each other.

  14. Sunday couldn’t come faster! Even though I have to pick up a shift at DISH that night, I’m still going to watch the premiere of Mad Men. I can watch live TV and my DVR recordings on my phone because I use DISH Anywhere. So although I won’t be at home, I can still get my Mad Men fix!

  15. Can’t wait to see it! And I, for one, hope the Draper marriage is strong. I also can’t wait to see how the company is doing — did they get Dow Chemical and a 2nd floor? I hope this season focuses significant time on ad campaigns and getting new accounts like they did in the early seasons.

    • We know they did get the second floor. One of the final moments of the season was everyone standing in a line with thier back to the camera. Joan marked an X where the staircase was going to be. It is unknown whether or not Dow is a client.

  16. I predict in Season six SCDP will have a banner year(s) unlike season five and that the themes will be centered on how the cast members react to “the great leap forward” and the idea as proposed by Don at the end of season five of “more happiness.”

    The theme “Is this all there is?” will creep into the conversation. According to wikipedia, it was recorded in the late 1960’s. I wouldn’t be surprised if Weiner used this song at the end of one of the episodes.

    I think I have a pretty good idea where the storylines of the cast members of Peggy Olson and those who work at SCDP are heading but I have little idea where MM is headed with either Betty or Megan.

    But if I were to guess here is where I think MM will take these two characters:

    a) Betty

    Betty reminds me so much of my own mother who spent the 1950’s in a blissful state but as the 1960’s moved along she became more aware of her own situation and her own environment and did not go along with the flow as she once did.

    We all know Betty was brought up in a traditional setting, lived her marriage to Don Draper in that same traditional setting, and like a lot of women of the time remarried because the thought of living alone was unthinkable. Plus of course she had three young children to raise.

    I could see Betty challenging Henry more and not being so submissive but of course if she is a widow that could change the entire dynamic. Would MM write Henry out of the script? But assuming Henry is still married to Betty or not dead I could see Betty being more socially conscious or becoming more active in Henry’s work or fundraisers or charity work. And by becoming more “politically active” she will be able to meet more people and have more to involve herself in.

    And one of the themes MM could explore is how Betty juggles her time outside the home with raising her family.

    I know this sounds melodramatic, but I could also see Betty plotting to destroy the Draper marriage if MM wants to go in that direction. That does seem a bit far-fetched but it’s possible.

    b) Megan Draper

    First off I don’t think MM is going to show Megan as a famous Broadway or Hollywood actress. Sure some time would have elapsed since the end of season five but MM has always imho tried to bridge the gap between seasons in a believable fashion. Anybody with a modicum of knowledge about acting knows it takes years in the wilderness “to make it big”. But it doesn’t mean that MM can’t show that Megan is on the rise either.

    Think back to the end of season 3 and then the first episode season four. There was a consistency there with Don moving into his new apartment and agreeing to the divorce to Don spiraling downwards at his work by giving a poor interview to the writer for Advertising Age. And the first half of season four showed Don’s spiral downward capped off with Don waking up with a woman he could not remember meeting.

    So based on this same formula I can see Megan’s storyline playing out in one of 4 ways:

    a) Megan becomes successful in TV commercials and as Don’s wife does most of her work for SCDP and thus re-enters the SCDP milieu and works closely with Harry who is in charge of TV promotions. She comes to the realization that she’s rather be a working actress pitching products rather than an unemployed actress feeling sorry for herself. If anything the end of season five showed us, it is Megan does not do very well when she is not active and I don’t think she wants to return to being drunk in the middle of the afternoon and lying around the house all day. If Marie Calvet did anything, I think she woke up Megan to the reality of her marriage to Don: He would do almost anything for her but she risked losing him if she became a burden to him or caused him to lose focus at work.

    b) Megan eventually works her way back to her original job as a copywriter after realizing she almost lost her marriage to Don with TV commercials being a sideline rather than her main focus. The reason for this plot line would be to replace Peggy as a female presence with clients. If the MM writers don’t go this route they will in all likelihood have to introduce a new female cast member. If the writers decide to go this route, Megan would have to come around to Don’s way of thinking of “No one chooses where their talents lie” and become more accepting that the world of advertising like it or not is where she will make her bones.

    c) A third possibility would be to focus a lot of attention on Megan’s life outside her work to show how she reacted to the radical political and social changes that were happening in the late 1960’s and how this might affect her relationship with Don who as we know is apolitical.

    It’s quite possible MM could just show her as a competent working actress/pitchwoman without questioning her competency and talents as they did in season five. MM tends to want to break new territory each season.

    d) And of course the wild card is if Megan gets pregnant. How can you predict something like this? Obviously if it happened it would change everything.

    • Now to my predictions for the cast members at SCDP and Peggy Olson:

      a) Bert Cooper

      I think this will be Bert’s last season at the firm. He will probably die in the office as Ms. Blankenship did in season four.

      b) Scarlett

      If she still around I could see her taking Peggy’s spot and being a junior copywriter.

      c) Harry Crane

      I see Harry divorced from Jennifer and trying to fit into the new “mod” culture by dressing and acting the part.

      d) Pete Campbell

      Could PC and Beth Dawes find each other again? I think that is quite possible.

      Unlike Don, Pete’s idea of a successful life is NOT more happiness but managing his pain better. And I could see Pete using his new apartment in the city to attempt that. I see Pete and Trudy ending up in divorce court by the end of the series or by the end of season six. Some of same themes which MM explored with Don in season two we will now see played out with Pete.

      As for Pete’s time at SCDP I can see him also making a great leap forward and being recognized as a dominant force in the advertising industry. He is definitely in the ascendancy in his career.

      e) Roger Sterling

      The theme of Roger coming to terms with his mortality was explored in season one when he had his two heart attacks. I think in season six MM will revisit the issue and Roger will live in fear he may suffer another heart attack. Would he attempt to reform and not drink or smoke as much? Would he try to live his private life as there is no tomorrow? Could we see the resurrection of Roger Sterling as a force in the advertising industry again as he realizes he doesn’t have many productive years left?

      I think a lot would depend on how depressed Roger got and whether he had something to live for, especially if he had a new girlfriend that he really loved.

      I think in season five we saw how depressed Roger got. Would MM want to go down that road again in season six and expand on his road to self-discovery or would it perhaps want to plant the seed of hope in Roger?

      The writers of MM could take Roger in several different directions. It will be interesting to see what they come up with.

      f) Peggy Olson

      I don’t think it takes a genius to figure out Peggy will be on the cutting edge as one of the first prominent female copywriters in advertising and that she will blossom and come into her own. She will dress better, look better and act more confident. But she will also have her eye on Don and SCDP because those are her roots.

      I’ll be interested to see if she is still with Abe in season six. Last year I predicted that Peggy would become more socially conscious if she remained with Abe and that of course could affect her storyline but by the same token they could drift apart or break up due to Abe wanting to get even more serious about “changing America” while Peggy wants to pursue her career and seek materialistic pleasures.

      g) Joan Harris

      I see Joan only remarrying if she meets an older rich guy who promises her the moon. And that is quite possible. Who could this rich guy be? A client? A friend of Roger’s? Someone prominent in advertising she met at an advertising get-together.

      Otherwise Joan will put her nose to the grindstone as a partner. She will take full advantage of her new income bracket by moving to a more expensive apartment. I could see her living in a penthouse in NYC. And MM would probably show her hobnobbing frequently with the rich and famous.

      h) Don Draper

      How can anyone predict with utmost accuracy what Don’s storyline could be? The MM writers could go in several directions but since I have to put my own neck on the line in this post here is what I think could happen:

      1) Don is either very, very good when he is on his game (landing Heinz) or very, very bad and off the reservation when he isn’t (the weeks he spent in California in season two). I think MM will show the former as Megan in season five has given Don permission to rededicate himself to work. All along I have said the one great advantage Don has by marrying Megan is that he doesn’t have to feel guilty that he is neglecting her or live in fear she will divorce him by working too much. And Megan realizes this as well as long as she does not become a burden to Don.

      2) Will Don cheat on Megan? Megan figures if Don is super-dedicated to work he won’t have time to. It’s when he has too much free time on his hands that he begins to stray. Will this theory hold up? My bet it won’t. But it would have to be some super-attractive, glamorous dish to make Don stray. As Joan said to Peggy in season five, “That’s Don’s type of woman.”

      3) While Don is seeking more happiness in his work and his home life, I could see the theme of the beginning of season two coming back where Don goes in for a physical and he realizes he’s not as young as he used to be. In season six, Don will be in his early 40’s and in the late 1960’s that was considered middle age and MM may want to explore what happens to a former Casanova when he hits “a midlife crisis.”

      4) You don’t have to be a genius to figure out “the Dick Whitman theme” will return and affect Don’s mental attitude and stability. At the end of season five we saw Dick seeing visions of Adam in the dentist’s chair and at the office. Could this theme send Don completely off the rails? I guess anything is possible but I see it more as a detour on the road rather than a permanent roadblock.

      5) And will Don still be married to Megan at the end of season six? As I wrote several times in the past: Don needs Megan to help him raise his three kids when he sees them every other weekend. The only reason Don would divorce Megan with this issue in mind if she one day refused to help him any longer or if she moved out of town so she was not available to do so. But I think Megan knows which side her bread is buttered on.

      Of course what could affect Don’s decision is whether Megan continues to give Don great sex. If she doesn’t that obviously would change the dynamic.

      If you remember it was Betty who wanted the divorce. And I think between Don and Megan it will be Megan wanting the divorce if it comes to that. And I can see only one reason it would come to that: adultery. Would Don cheat on Megan? If I were Megan, I would dedicate myself to keeping my man happy. if not, anything is possible.

      • Bob, did you formerly post under the name “techno”?

        • Ruthie- you are a mind reader.

        • Yes, Mrs. Draper’s (not Pare’s) agent is back!

        • Too funny. I’m eleven hours late to the party but after about two paragraphs of bob’s megan speculations, I thought the same thing (but would not have been able to remember the “techno” handle so quickly). But yeah, techno was BoK’s one person Megan Draper fan club. And was seemingly paid by the word, if I recall. If bob’s not techno than they should at least meet for a drink.

          Anyway, in terms of Megan herself I bet she becomes a moderately successful ad actress whose career MW doesn’t give as much screen time to as he did last year (in establishing her ambitions). Her marriage with Don, I suspect, will become rockier and rockier, though I wouldn’t be shocked if she’s around till S7E13. Would still like to see her have an affair or two behind Don’s back but don’t know if that’s in the cards.

          Nice to see some of BoK posters’ names, btw. Here’s to a solid S6.

          • Your speculation on Megan seems right. I too don’t expect her to disappear altogether, but certainly this marriage will be well past it’s honeymoon phase.

        • Exactly what I was thinking. Worse luck.

      • Still, “Bob”, I’m going to reply.

        Going from the trivial to the less so, but still trivial:

        Scarlett? Was she one of the imbeciles To which Lane alluded when Joan dropped by with baby in two? If so, we should discard (her working as a copywriter) pending evidence that she is up to Draper’s standard.

        Pete/Beth – I’d love to see Beth again and imagine that an affair twice consumated might not be so easily ECT-ed away.

        Roger HAS a new woman-friend – who is fun, undemanding, has drawn a hard line about ONLY being fun, and is mostly absent – thus will not grow too familiar and remain fascinating. (I’d love to see Marie again)

        I’d like to see Ginsberg develop his chops more – but stay peripheral to the central characters.

        • There’s never been any evidence that Scarlett is creative. She’s very decorative, though.

        • Yeah, I loved Roger and Marie’s chemistry. Would be ironic if they hooked up full-time and outlasted Don and Megan.

          • A sentimental sucker like me is always pining for some character from the past to resurface and make me all misty eyed. If Rachel were to ever appear again, my heart would come oyt of my chest.
            But, alas…………..
            The Don Draper Show being the grim program that it is, and its motto being MOVE FORWARD we won’t get wishes fulfilled. Who wanted to see Paul again? We all die for dapper Sal, but Stan is a more satisfying character for me.
            Change, is neither good or bad, it just is. It can be greeted……………Aaahhh, whatever.
            More Ginzo pretty please. And more new characters like him.

          • Reply to Tilden about the return of past characters:

            Now that they don’t have to worry about Lee Garner, Jr anymore, they could rehire Sal. Of course, with the rise of photography in advertising as discussed in S3, the need for artists was reduced.

          • Reply to Tilden: In my fantasy baseball version of Mad Men, Season 6 and 7 feature Megan disappearing and Sal and Rachel coming back as central characters. 😉

          • BRAVISIMO Elizabeth! You must be after the hearts of Tilden, Anna B., Madmanda, myself, and a myriad of BOKers who have refused to fall under the “intoxicating” presence of one Megan Calvet Draper.

            I’ll certainly trade Sal, Rachel, Connie Hilton, Dr. Faye, or Freddy for her “even up”. In fact, the only character that comes to mind that I would not trade for her is Lee Garner, Jr. (who I consider the “sleeziest” character in the history of Mad Men).

          • Elizabeth, my fantsay baseball MM still features Don on 1st, beloved Pegs on 2nd, I Don’t Know is still on 3rd.
            I’ve said more than I’ve ever wanted to say about the utter mediocrity of a character that is “Megan”.
            In S7 DD could have an on the verge of death dream where (its in black-and-white, obviously.) Rachel, Sal, Anna, Lane, Teddy the greek who told Don the meaning of nostalgia, his tragic 22 year old mom, Suzanne………sigh, sigh, Connie Hilton, et al are in some setting and DD is looking back and thanking them for everything they have contributed to his life. And it ends with a melancholy kiss for beloved Pegs.
            Its the only way they will ever ‘be together’. After the anguish this show puts us through we deserve that DAMMIT!!!!!! LOL

            Hilton is the absolute hero of Shut the Door. Have a Seat. He gave Don the 411, the impetus, and fire in the belly anger to create SCDP out of thin air.
            Don has no idea the favor that guy did him.
            I try to find any excuse to mention Shut the Door. Its the best episode of MM, and anyone who tells me different, well, its pistols at dawn. ★

          • Old Fashioned-
            It’s true, I just *can’t* with Megan, and I love that I can come here and not bash the actress (with whom I take no issue), but discuss in a more literary sense what’s not connecting for me personally.

          • Some random responses to bits and pieces in the above comments:

            1) I will never stop missing Rachel and Sal, two of the most completely-drawn characters on Mad Men despite their relative lack of screen time. I doubt MW will bring them back, but I live in hope. After all, Paul Kinsey got to come back. And speaking of him, I’d love to hear from him again! I really, really hope he found true happiness in California. Poor Paul. He always said no one liked him, but I always did.

            2) As I used to say here during Season 5, I, like many others, have been flummoxed since the beginning at the choice to make Megan a major character. Rather than being a real person, I think she’s a device to show Don’s continued insistence on refusing to face himself and on using various substances (drink in Season 4; Megan in Season 5) to numb himself. I hope Mad Men gets past that in Season 6. I’d love to see Don actually evolve in some way. People sometimes do. Don never has, but it’s not impossible.

            3) Other major things on my wish list for Season 6: more development of GInzo’s arc; detailed attention to Peggy’s arc; and letting Betty again be a real person, as she was in the first few seasons before the frustrating decision to make her into a caricature. I’d love to see her channel her rage into social consciousness. She’s a smart and driven person — many women like that burst out of the confines of housewife-itude during the 60s. Betty could be one of them, and that would be such an interesting use of her character.

      • Isn’t Scarlett the new Joan? She’s taken over doing the partners’ meeting, even learning Robert’s Rules, stepped in to help Lane with the books in Joan’s absence, and also Joan commented that Roger was shamelessly flirting with her, having found someone new to move on to.

        I’d also be suspicious of the Crane marriage breaking up. In theory Harry might want to live the life of a swingin’ single, but with 2 kids, he’d be up to his glasses in child support, especially since the divorce would likely come from Jennifer– who’d go on the grounds of infidelity. He’d be financially sunk.

    • I doubt that Megan will significantly re-enter SCDP’s orbit. That loss was central to Don in season 5. Matt W and Mad Men do not “undo” these major changes like other wimpier shows. Also, I am almost certain that the Draper marriage is not in the same state as Season 5. Look at Don’s face in the last scene of last season. I think it tells us everything we need to know, although not in specifics. I literally could have died happy when that cut to credits.

      • I know what you mean (in regard to your last sentence). Definitely the most punitive and unentertaining of DD’s five seasons. The only time I liked their relationship is when they fought.

        Oh well, I still hold out hope that MW can do something interesting with her character — that to me was the saving grace of Betty. Wherever one stood on her as wife or mother (or even JJ’s acting abilities), she was compelling.

        I would have been fine with DD settling down with Rachel or Faye, which to me seemed his two most adult, healthiest relationships and would have required some majorly impressive/deft writing to make dramatic w/out going cheap. But Megan? It just seemed to me a case of confounding viewer’s expectations to a fault.

        • I liked (mostly liked to hate) Betty as well- I was always speculating on what was going on beneath the surface of that crazy a%$ woman! She has a dark side, and that is very compelling to me. Because even though she was cray-cray, we kind of GOT each other, right Betts?
          Megan is way too earnest to be married to Don freakin Draper. Get over yourself Calvet! How is a major plot point that she wants to be an actress? Who the h cares. I’d love to have a glass of red wine in the middle of the afternoon with Betty Francis and Megan bash.

        • Think back to Betty in the first couple of seasons. She read books, she sewed, she rode horses, she had a real friendship with Francine–a character I would love to see return! Betty was a successful model before meeting Don. Betty has much more of an inner life than Megan, she just became depressed and bitter. There was a scene early in the series after a business dinner where Betty told Don she liked being part of his life. She could be a powerful politcial asset to Henry–that was how many smart women found fulfillment in that era.

          • Exactly, Anna! I have been waiting two seasons for them to let Betty again be the real person that she was in the first few seasons!

        • Rachel and Faye were too mature and balanced for Don. They would not have put up with his drama.

  17. I watched the last episode of last season the other night on Netflix to pay attention, like MW suggested, in order to really understand the upcoming first episode of this season. I was reminded that “Adam” showed up twice. It wasn’t really Adam, but a guy who resembled him. Don was spooked into thinking it really was Adam. He first showed up in a group of workers in a neighboring office suite. The second time he showed up was when Don was sitting in the dentist’s chair. He may or may not even be real and certainly was not real in the dental office. I think Don flashbacked to Adam due to guilt, associated also with Laine’s suicide, by hanging as well.

    I’m sure there will be some reference to Adam on Sunday. He is always with Don.

    • That was the same actor who played Adam in season 1, I believe. So in that way Don was actually seeing the real Adam, although through hallucinations brought on by his symbolic but real tooth ache.

    • I agree, having Adam in the last episode was very significant, I think they really will go into Don’s past. I would like to know what Don was referring to when he told Lane he had started over many times. Don started over by switching his dog tags and other than anxiety never had any fallback from it. He gained by meeting Anna who became more family to him than his family of origin. I want Don to face what he did to Lane.

    • Sandra,

      I really liked your statement about Adam, “He is always with Don.” So true.

  18. Before 1967 becomes 1968 in the world of Mad Men, I hope that MW inserts the Buffalo Springfield song, “For What its Worth” in this episode…maybe over the closing titles. Written by Stephen Stills, the lyrics of this song, more than any from that time, always makes me remember the feelings of the impending turmoil, confrontation and violence as protests against the Viet Nam war spread throughout the US.

    There’s somethin’ happenin’ here
    What it is ain’t exactly clear
    There’s a man with a gun over there
    Tellin’ me, I got to beware

    I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound?
    Everybody look what’s going down

    • If they use it, it will be something related to Sally. No idea why I’m totally convinced that will be the case, but I am.

      • Sally will be 12 or 13 – not even as old as the young lady Don chatted with while waiting for the Rolling Stones to show up. The nature of her protest is (will be this season) focused on mom and stepdad. Give her a few years to become politically awakened (or corrupted – depending on your POV).

        • Yes, Sally will only be a teeney-bop-er but she still will have access to love beads, incense, scented candles, posters on her bedroom walls, and probably know someone at school who smokes grass. I was Sally’s age and went to a pretty straight-laced school and lots of kids in jr. high knew a lot more about the culture change among youth than the grown ups thought we did.

          I loved the Buffalo Springfield. Sally might become a restless hippy-wanna-be. She is going to see all the hypocracy around her and start to act-out. Remember the time she let all the grown-ups have it for laughing when Grandpa Gene died

          • Sorry, hit a key and posted before I finished.
            The last bit I want to add is that Sally is sharp. She might just go back to Dr. Edna or become a teen with an attitude. Either way, Sally is a star. Can’t wait until Sunday at 9!
            Are we counting down the hours yet?

            P.S. Hi Techno

        • When I said something related to Sally, I wasn’t thinking direct involvement in the anti-war movement. She’s far too young for that, unless a friend with an older sibling takes her along (For “Wonder Years” fans, the episode with Karen and Kevin hanging out at the hill. The episode title was “Brightwing”). Maybe it’s part of an awareness of the larger world out there: she’s watching a newscast, or reading a magazine, or maybe it’s something personal, like after a fight with Betty. Another possibility is that Sally catches one of the adults doing something she feels is wrong. She spots another hypocracy of the adult world, and wonders if she wants any part of it.

        • I don’t think we should underestimate Sally’s social consciousness. I was 14 in 1968 and went to my first antiwar protest at the Pentagon that Summer.

          Throughout the course of the series, we’ve seen her being attentive to news on TV about things going on in the larger world. She proved pretty adventurous when she hopped a train into NYC, in S-4 and later, in S-5, when she arranged to secretly meet up with Glen Bishop.

          I doubt that the time frame of the show in S-6 will pick up in 1969, but when the show does get there, I don’t doubt that Sally and Glen will make the scene at Woodstock -since it’s only about 100 miles from Rye NY.

          • Oops! Gotta clean the laptop keyboard. The “L” key didn’t register in some recent posts.

          • I want to see Sally watching coverage of the Tet Offensive this season, especially the iconic execution clip. It would be a great callback to her watching the Buddhist monk set himself on fire in season 2. I go back and forth on whether I picture Sally at Woodstock. I’m not sure if she went, it would be with Glen. I see her as being the type who would be friends with people a few years older than she is.

    • As much as I love that song, I doubt Mad Men will use it. It has been so overused in shows set in the sixties, it’s become a cliche. One of the things I love about this show is the use of more obscure songs of the era.

    • I hope they use this song because it is so iconic. But I hope it comes up in reference to Peggy.

      • An unusual use of it would be if it’s played when Peggy and Abe break up, because I don’t see them staying together.

  19. Deborah’s Basket of News post : April 3, 2013 at 5:15 pm gave it away, inadvertently, I imagine.

    techno , it has nothing to do with “being on the inside” or elitism. It is because we have work to do and advance screeners allow us to do that work. Networks benefit from the publicity of advance reviews, and readers benefit because they can read reviews in advance as well as more spoilery reviews immediately after an episode airs (without waiting for a critic to read, digest, and write).”

  20. I really love Betty’s character…so I am glad she is still in the picture.

    Heck I love all the characters…and I used to dislike quite a few. I still dislike Pete though : )

    I am so excited…anyone who has asked me about doing something Sunday….the answer is NO, I AM BUSY and ready to disappear into the Mad Men world.

    • But the Pete character is so rich in terms of motive and every once in awhile MW pulls back a layer of him to show some admirable side to his character, or at least a side we can relate to and not immediately scold.

    • The thing about Betts is that she resets to master easier than any other character. So predictable. “I’m thankful we have more than everyone”. Jeez, Louise.
      You never which Pete you’re going to get. The Artful Dodger, the Bret Easton Ellis punk brat, Machiavelli’s Prince, Humbert Humbert, or Terry Malloy ( without the fisticuffs prowess.)
      Pete is a maginificent creation.

  21. Pete’s character is rich, for sure, but he is one I just can’t warm to, even though I have feel for him at times.

    Mad Men has more great characters than any show airing right now.

    • Breaking Bad is a close second.

      Skyler White – a character arc that rivals Peggy’s – a happy-pregnant-loving-trusting-wife-of-Walt to a fearful-cold-cynical-suspicious-pragmatic-laundress-of-millions.

      Saul Goodman – “you want a CRIMINAL lawyer” – “the Homeboys prefer a pipe-hitting member of the Tribe” – a problem-solver par-excellence – a quirky blend of Pete and Roger

      Walt Jr. – truthteller – like Bert

      Jesse – has grown up, hardened, taken beatings, made ruthless choices – like Pete

      Walter White – the supernova that illuminates all of it.

  22. Does anyone know if the black and white photos that were posted of the cast in formal wear are tied to an actual episode? If they are, I am wondering what the event could be? I can only think of some occassion with Roger’s daughter which would explain why Betty’s family and husband are there as well as the SCDP partners. Mr. Fracnis’ daughter is friends with Rogér’s daughter.

    • Those promotional photos look like a way to get the whole cast together at one time to do publicity. Pre-airing photos from past years show the cast wearing clothes that never appeared in the show and sets that aren’t used in the show.

    • sr, they are definitely not. It is one of the few things that Ben Feldman was able to reveal in his Live Huffington Post interview.

      • Thank GOODNESS! That promo outfit in Ginzburg is like background singer on the Gene Autry show. And Grizzly Stan looks like he’s prepping to be in the musical version of Grizzly Adams…

        • “Grizz” was revealed in a papparazzi shot – a street scene – along with Peggy in a smart outfit and her new boss Ted.

          • Oh yeah! Now I remember that pic. Still don’t care for full-frontal fur ball Grizzo. Now in Ulysess S. Grant drag!

      • I still want a black and white episode, however. My mind goes on fire just thinking about it. Since MW is not a wish fulfillment sort, I know that ain’t happenin in this lifetime.
        Can you imagine B&W on our beloved program, though?

        • Tilden, don’t you think it’s odd that the final episode has not been taped? I am wondering if they will do it live!!!!
          Kind of a PlayHouse 90 retro production. That would be very exciting and challenging.

          • Playhouse 90. Fantastic. Who though, do we get to play Rod Serling?
            Gotta love those Twilight Zone marathons on Sci Fi.
            Mr.Serling has replaced the late Dick Clark as the company for all us pathetic souls who spend new year’s eve without someone to kiss.

          • No. One thing I can reveal from what my friend who was an extra on “episode 12”, taped two weeks ago, told me without being any sort of spoiler is that he saw a notice up about casting and taping the final episode with a date in April (I forget which exact date).

      • On a side note, someone I know provided a dress that Megan is wearing in some of the promo shots. Yay!

        • So cool! I have sent vintage pieces from my collection to Janie, would be a dream come true for her to use them!

          • Anna B-
            That’s awesome! Hey, there’s still time. That would make me die of happiness. It’d be like when I was 13 and wished my favorite boy band would pick me out of the crowd at a concert or something lol.

  23. According to the old saw, if a dog bites a man, that isn’t news but if a man bites a dog it is.

    And using the same formula if Don cheats on Megan that isn’t news. What is news if he cheats for different reasons than he did before. In other words the why and the who are key components of this equation and imho will determine whether I find the storyline fascinating or not.

    So let’s go back to why Don cheated before and with whom?

    1) Midge Daniels (freelance artist)

    A sounding board for his advertising ideas that Betty wasn’t with her not demanding anything concrete from him in return. (Don would drop in when he felt like it.)

    2) Rachel Menken (department store owner)

    This is open to interpretation but based on the scene in her apartment after Don has been at the hospital after Roger has had a heart attack, Rachel represents to him a psychiatrist, someone who will listen to his problems, and someone he wants to see when he feels like having an intelligent conversation. Don doesn’t feel he can do that with Betty and he also may feel she is not intelligent enough either.

    3) Bobbie Barrett (wife and agent of comedian)

    This relationship is all about sex. In one of the scenes Don tells Bobbie to stop talking. If Don has an ulterior motive it may be to keep tabs on her husband to make sure he doesn’t go off the rails.

    4) The young female jet-setter in California

    This was a period in Don’s life where he “disappeared” due to problems with his marriage. Perhaps his one night stand with this girl represents Don trying something new on for size and experimenting since he is in California and no one (except Pete) knows him. Notice he sleeps with this young woman just before he phones Anna. Could this represent the two Dons: one who is naughty and the one who has to be upright when he is around Anna.

    5) The stewardess in Baltimore

    The definition of a one-night stand to a stewardess who just got engaged. Perhaps Don’s way to prove to himself that nobody is faithful and basically he tells the stew marriage is not what it is cracked up to be.

    6) Suzanne, the teacher

    I believe this is as close as a relationship Don has had so far with any of the women he had affairs with. In bed they have great sex and they have great conversations as well. Don feels comfortable around her but finally breaks it off after Betty informs him she wants a divorce.

    What I find interesting which I have never seen brought up is why Don didn’t return to Suzanne after the divorce (in season four).

    And the answer to that question may lie in Suzanne living in the same town, that an affair with her was showing the defiant Don, that it was his way at striking back at Betty for shutting him out of her life. And perhaps Don wanted a fresh start after the divorce and didn’t want anything to do with his previous life which included Suzanne.

    7) Bethany Van Nuys (only dating)

    That he never took her to bed says it all. Simply a diversion or someone he would see when he would have nothing better going. There is no attraction.

    8) After Don receives an award, a fellow advertising rep he picks up in a bar

    This happened after Don got rejected by Faye Miller. On the rebound. One night stand.

    9) Don wakes up with a hotel waitress in his bed on the same night after (8)

    Clearly Don is out of control here and in the deepest part of his abyss. Yes, he was drunk but he knows there is no rhyme or reason he should have gone to bed with her. It symbolizes Don not only hitting rock bottom in his personal life but his sexual life as well.

    10) Faye Miller

    Faye represents the strong female that Don feels he needs in his life as he is rising from the abyss in season four that he needs to maintain a solid footing. I question whether he was really turned on by her or not: For example the scene in the apartment where she lays her head on Don’s lap on his couch and he looks out into space. And finally Don is turned off by her because she turns out to be a phony and not what Don thought she was. In addition for practical reasons Don cannot pair up with Faye because she hates children.

    10) Megan Calvet

    Megan is a great sex partner, about fifteen years younger than Don, and after she tells him she wants to pursue copywriting as a career Don sees himself as a mentor to her and sees her as a fellow teammate. Don never considered Betty a teammate. And Don likes her natural aggressiveness (for Don it’s a French thing) as opposed to Betty’s WASPish background of more formality. And Megan does not make demands on Don and accepts him for who he is. And finally Megan is good around Don’s kids. And Don knows if he cheats on her she will divorce him.

    So based on these ten relationships what would make news:

    Again Don cheating on Megan I don’t consider newsworthy but why and with who I would if it was significant and insightful.

    And what would qualify? In my opinion Don having an affair with a female advertising executive in her mid or late 30’s from a rival firm who purposes they become a power couple and form their own advertising agency. Of course she would have to be attractive and good in bed and be aggressive but not overly aggressive like Faye. And what would also make it significant is if she had the same mid-western background as Don and she had a hard-scrabble life like he did. Now the question is would the audience buy Don having an affair with an older woman more his age given Megan is so much younger than him. But it definitely would be newsworthy and different for TV, wouldn’t it?

    • I don’t think Faye hates children, it’s just that she doesn’t know how to handle/deal with them. There is a diference between hating something, and not being good at something.

      • I didn’t think Faye was a phony either, but then again, considering the source of the opinion I’m not surprised.

        In terms of Don cheating on Megan not being note- or newsworthy, that sounds like premature damage control on behalf of the writer. DD’s affairs are almost always huge storylines on the show. I think the only time they weren’t is when he had the one-nighter with the flight attendant at the beginning of S3 or S4. And even then it pointed to a larger problem which is always a dominant plot-line of the show.

        • Wearing a wedding ring into that focus group to make it appear she was married is not something an honest person would do. It’s manipulative.

          And remember the conversation in the phone booth she had with her boyfriend asking him to leave their abode. Very coarse and low-class language–nothing the way she acts in SCDP where she behaves in a highbrow fashion.

          Now as for me doing damage control I am a fan of the show and I no stake to wherever Weiner and co. take the show but all I was trying to say is I hope if Don’s cheats the storyline will have a little creativity attached to it. MM is not a show that believes in gratuitous plotlines. As Jon Hamm said recently, they rarely visit old ground.

          • No doubt there was some duplicity involving the character of Faye Miller. But yours seems a low threshold in labeling a character a phony. Or maybe I attach such negative connotations to that word. Most people have private and public selves, and remember, DD himself is the biggest phony of them all by those standards. In fact, that was one of the reasons I believed Faye handled Don’s Dick Whitman admission so well as she herself had clearly constructed her own public identity for the workplace. It was sort of an “oh, I kinda did that too” thing. Though I would agree that the phone call was meant to show a coarser, darker side of her, and she was certainly far from perfect in comparison to Megan. (The wedding ring, OTH, I didn’t see as that damning.)

            If you have no stake in where MW takes the show or a certain character, good for you. I think most people have wish lists and such things are inevitable when one becomes so attached to a recurring drama or story. But again, kudos to your professed impartiality.

            In terms of Hamm’s “rarely visit old ground” line, my bet is it would have more to do with MM’s reluctance to bring back characters from past seasons and less to do with covering established character traits and themes, which I think they do quite often. Btw, I’m fine when show moves on from certain characters or storylines. And as examples, I’d be fine if Peggy never again stepped foot in SCDP or Joan and Roger never again ended up in bed (or in an alley as it were). But in terms of tromping old ground with Don’s cheating, I think it is dependent on how meaningful the affair is, which is often predicated on how thoroughly the character of the woman is (or is not) fleshed out over the course of a few episodes. If she is someone the viewer gets to know than Don’s cheating will feel, at least, semi-fresh no matter how redundant and predictable the “return to master” plot line. Plus, his cheating on Megan the first time, if that does indeed happen, will feel fresh because of his fidelity to her thus far. My take at least.

          • Calling phony because, in the heat of a moment, she used profanities yet still could maintain professional discussions with people with whom she had professional relationships seems a bit problematic. After all, most people have very different conversations with people that are in our personal worlds than those in our professional worlds. Is Peggy a phony because she yelled at Abe but was polite to Ginzberg? And if she isn’t a phony based on that, then is Faye?

            Also, I think you have to consider that women have different experiences in the work force. I know several single women, even today, that wear wedding or engagement rings at work to minimize men hitting on them. Faye called it a stop sign. Likewise, in her field she had to make people feel comfortable and more willing to open up so removing the ring, as she did in the “just us girls” focus group isn’t about being a phony but knowing what made sense in that context professionally. I know some women who don’t wear their rings to job interviews because they fear some interviewers won’t consider them as seriously because they’ll fear they want to have children and will either quit or won’t be as available for overtime, etc.

            I don’t think it is very fair to call someone a phony because they adapt to the professional setting (like with the focus group) or take initiatives to be taken more seriously (wearing a ring in the first place).

          • Adding to Linda’s comments about wearing wedding rings, one of my relatives worked as a waiter in the San Jose area in the late 1980s. He came home wearing a wedding ring. When I asked him about it, he said it was to avoid being hit on. Sometime later, I realized that it wasn’t women who might be hitting on him.

    • bob, this comment is over 1,000 words. I warn you now that you are on moderation, and if you flood the comments section with post after post after post of this length, I will delete them.

      • DL…. Thanks for the post, thanks for this comment; and as always, thanks so much for giving us a place to engage in intellectual discussion of my favorite show.

        Cannot wait for tomorrow evening!

    • Hey Bob,
      You forgot to mention his secretary. I forgot her name. She was the one before Miss. Blankenship. She threw an ashtray at him and told him, “You’re not a nice person!”
      She was a victim of his ways.
      That relationship was probably more significant than the stewardess and waitress wouldn’t you say?
      I think sex is his drug. He acts out when he feels like a mess inside. He probably got it from his hooker mother. Poor guy.

  24. Don and Megan may be in California for those sunny shots. I can see them going back to try and recapture the magic.

    • Is the only reason we know it’s Hawaii because of papparazzi shots?

      • Nope…we know it is Hawaii because of a client and an encounter with someone in a uniform because of the military presence in HI.

  25. I’ll be interested in Don’s comment about happiness (once you have happiness you want more) whether it means more of the same in a specific area of one’s life, the same level of happiness in a different area, or if it is referring to overall cumulative happiness.

  26. I really want Trudy to grow a pair and confront Pete. Instead, he’ll probably just hole himself up in his new apartment and never come back.

    • I think Trudy totally HAS a pair, and doesn’t hold back from confrontation. But her perception of what’s going on is different than what we see at SCDP.

      • True, but I still think Pete’s apartment in the city will only ruin their relationship. We’ve all seen what he does when she’s not around (remember that German nanny?) so it’s only a matter of time before either one of them snaps.

        She’s just like Betty before the divorce…completely oblivious to her husband’s philandering and stuck in suburbia.

  27. From the wish list department I would like to see more Roger and Marie this year or Roger and someone equally sexy and mature. And conversely for Joan to find someone new. Maybe along the lines of a younger Henry Francis type as opposed to the one-dimensional Greg.

  28. What 2BG and Retro Girl said…!

    And yes Tilden & susan F, that would be incredibly awesome to have a B/W or live finale!!

    In my mind, a B/W show would’ve been most feasible during season 1. But MW can always go the flashback route.

    LOVE the live idea. That would be so fantastic. Wonder if production started late…in the past, hasn’t
    hasn’t Weiner shot all the shows by the time of the premeire?

    It’s TODAY, ya’ll. !!!!!

  29. I resolve to not re-hash Season 5 points of contention. For those who were disappointed with S-5’s content and trajectory, I will say that we don’t need a re-introduction to these characters (which might have been needed after the 18-month break between S-4 and S-5), so if the pacing is slower in the first 3-4 episodes of S-6, it will be a disappointment.

    The tension points are all waiting to be drawn from the characters. Hopefully, tonight will run – not walk – with them.

  30. “There is no fresh start. Life carries on.” Henry Francis. I am watching Tomorrowland while waiting for Episode 1 on Amazon. Fun to watch after we discussed it in this thread. Baby Gene appears a lot, clearly an older kid than Season 5. Bobby is good in that episode, after the milkshake spill he and Sally exchanged a look after they saw Don staring at Megan. It reallly was a brother sister moment, there was none of that with season 5 Bobby and Kiernan Shipka. I noticed Megan’s style progression. She has a lot of costumes in that episode, all pretty tacky compared to the next season. Makeupmuch lighter. Tom and Lorenzo did a good piece on how expensive Megan’s clothing got after she married Don. Maybe we will see Faye Miller again, after reading this thread I was struck by “you only like the beginning of things.” Jealous of

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