Apr 182013

In Souvenir Betty joins Don on a quickie trip to Rome where they reconnect to their honeymoon days, if only for a weekend. In The Doorway, IMG_1490 madmen_hawaii_514Don and Megan enjoy paradise  as they soak in all the Royal Hawaiian has to offer.  Both of these were not intentional  second honeymoons for Don and his wives, but merely lucky hotel business trips that took advantage of their glorious surroundings.  Both created the fantasy of young newlyweds in love, but when they’re back to Ossining or Manhattan, the reality of their marriages reminds us that these were just a fantasy of romance, not the real thing.

In Rome, we saw Betty transform herself into full La Dolce Vita mode, from suburban housewife to Anita Eckberg.  But this was soon after her first lip-lock session with Henry, and she knew that this trip, though exciting, was not a return of what she once had with Don, but just a poor imitation.  Her startling transformation may not have been to please Don, but to remind herself of her own possibilities with Henry.   In Hawaii, Don and Megan bake in a beach paradise, although we realize later that his thoughts are not with his well-oiled wife, but with the lover he left behind in Manhattan (the pig!) Both Betty and Don play along with the facade of what their marriages should be in these idyll surroundings, both knowing that this is not the truth of their relationships. In Souvenir, both are contemplating affairs with others, in The Doorway, Don is already in deep with Sylvia, although (for once) he feels a guilty conscience.

Both of these outings are the peak before the fall.  Not long after Rome, Betty chose to pursue her dalliance with Henry, and she and Don divorced.  I’m pretty sure Megan doesn’t realize that her marriage is in trouble yet, but I have no doubt that she will soon see cracks forming there and they may separate too.  This marriage could be teetering from a precipice, just as the first Draper marriage was after its faux honeymoon.  Don is certainly slipping toward the pit. Will true love for Megan pull him out from this inferno, or is his love for her only a facade too?  We’ll just have to wait…


  21 Responses to “Two Second Honeymoons on the Edge of a Precipice”

  1. I guess we’ve been shown true love for Megan won’t pull Don out of anything.

    I hope Megan can be stoic about the cheat – trudy style. I don’t like it when JP is called upon to cry.

    • I’d like to see Megan handle it Trudy-Style too — I think they’ll join (or start) a local Women’s Lib chapter.

  2. You’re right, there are some similarities with those trips.

    Don seemed so removed from Megan on that Hawaii trip (IMO). On parts of it, anyway. When I watched the beginning part, I remember thinking that something was up with him and the “bloom was off the rose”–and this was before I knew about him and Sylvia.

  3. The lavender haze. You only like the beginning of things.
    People don’t change.
    Well, Don doesn’t. Not at all.

  4. I think I mentioned this in another thread, but the print gown Megan wears when she walks out onto the balcony in Hawaii bore, at least in my mind, a strong resemblance to the gown Betty was wearing when she returned home from Rome… another thing linking these two trips in my mind.

  5. I could be way off, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and theorize that Sylvia is pregnant by Don. In last week’s episode, during the flash-forward (while D & S were left alone at the restaurant together), when they’re engaged in coitus, the camera isolates for a moment on their intertwined pelvises — very specific framing, which is, significantly, a MM first if I’m not mistaken — then there’s a cut to Sylvia’s face as she reaches orgasm. Near the end of the episode, while young Dick is watching through a keyhole as “Uncle Mac” and his stepmom have sex, we see them from Dick’s POV — which isolates their pelvises in an exact mirror image of the earlier shot… and his stepmom is, as we know, pregnant. I think this is telegraphing to us that Sylvia is pregnant too. Her views on abortion came up as well (she told Megan that she’d never consider it to be her choice), which I don’t think was at all accidental. Remember, it has been made clear that she’s a good Catholic girl… if I’m right about this, a possible scenario may be that she finds out she’s pregnant with Don’s baby before she starts to show, and will be faced with the dilemma of dealing with either the disgrace of infidelity or the sin of terminating the pregnancy.

    Also, I think Megan is a good candidate for another Don-triggered MM suicide. She falls into self-pity/loathing at the drop of a hat, and Sylvia even (probably inadvertently) made her “feel so shitty” for having considered an abortion, had the miscarriage not happened. And remember, her mother has made comments about Megan’s artist’s temperament without the artist’s talent, or something to that effect. That’s gotta take its toll over time, especially if her character eventually gets written out of the soap opera she’s in. This Don-Sylvia pregnancy just may be the thing that makes her take a headlong dive off that 17th floor balcony she looked so mournfully from at the end of last season’s first episode.

    • wow, hope you are wrong about the suicide but I can picture it how you described….interesting idea about Sylvia being pregnant.

      • Well, it is very weird that the show has not touch the subject of he having any children out of the marriage.

        • That’s true. He is potent, and has dodged many, many baby-shaped bullets considering how much screwing around he’s done.

    • Interesting theory about Sylvia being pregnant. I could see MW and team mining such a storyline for all its irony and richness. Though if Sylvia were to have an abortion, I would be the first to call it “weak” after the four main female characters on the show either opted out of one or avoided it (Peggy, Betty, Joan, Megan). In other words, would seem a ton easier to brand a secondary character with that sort of shame than a main one. (For my money, Joan’s pregnancy was the one MW should have had the cojones to terminate.) In this case, Sylvia having the child would be the gutsier, more complicated storyline.

      In terms of Megan potentially committing suicide, I suppose it would be a somewhat logical extension of her temperament and the Megan and balconies tableau has certainly been a recurring one. Yet MW has shown us in the past the Chekovian gun doesn’t always go off in this series and I would be surprised if he wrote in another suicide so close to Lane’s.

      Maybe of more interest is what MW would do with a surviving Megan if she and Don divorce. Unlike Betty or Peggy, she neither has Don’s children nor established herself as much of a presence at SCDH to warrant following professionally or personally. Or so it would seem. So would she just disappear?

      • At the beginning of the MM season in which Joan became pregnant with Roger’s child, she was in her gynecologist’s exam room, where it was hinted at that she had had abortions in the past, and for which she registered remorse. Throughout that season there were several indications that Joan, well past the age of 30 (considered “old” for bearing a first child back in the 1960’s), looked upon this pregnancy as her last chance, what with Greg away in Vietnam and their marriage on the rocks to boot. All things considered, it was a bold move on her part to have the baby, perhaps bolder than an abortion. I mean, she practically chose to be a single mom, which was virtually unheard of at the time. In interviews that year (and, I think, on the DVD commentaries — I’ll have to check) MW made it clear that he felt an abortion would be a less original, more “typical” TV option, so he went with the storyline that would complicate Joan’s life, i.e., having the child.

        • We’ll have to agree to disagree about Joan’s pregnancy.

          Liked your Sylvia theory, though. If it comes to pass, we will see how it plays out.

        • Jon-

          Agree on all counts, re: Joan. Tks for the pelvis catch!

      • FYI, here are the first 2 lines of the synopsis of The Good News (S4, E3): ‘Joan visits her gynecologist. She and Greg are planning to have children. Alluding to two abortions, Joan asks, “Should I be worried?” “Everything looks fine,” the doctor assures her.’

    • Can’t imagine that Jessica Pare would be written out of the storyline.

      • The character she plays has an unusual hold on MW.
        I don’t know 1 MM fan who finds that character compelling. Its almost as if she is being kept in the storyline to prove a point.
        It’s my show, not yours. There.

        • That’s because she so strongly resembles a French movie star of the period.

        • I’ve believed this since the character and the actress were first thrust on us. Then to see Megan take up so much space throughout last season, even with the negative reaction to the end of the previous season (and the engagement) seemed to prove the point.

          I wonder sometimes if the hold may go beyond the character to the actress herself. Listening to MW talk about JP I always get the feeling he is talking about someone few others, if anyone, see in the way he does.

    • Brilliant!

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