Matthew Weiner and company specialize in throwing curveballs at us and the season finale was no exception. If anything, it was a knuckleball worthy of the Niekro brothers. I expected more about the firm and less about the gang’s private lives. I was wrong about that but I got some things right while missing other details by a country mile or is that a city block?
It’s time for my customary random and discursive comments on the last episode of a great season:
I shouldn’t have been surprised that Don chose 25 year old cutie pie Megan instead of his fellow grown up Faye but I was. After the opening scene, I looked at Dr. A and said: “I hope Don knows that Faye’s a keeper.” I was looking at it through my own eyes and experience: I want a woman to be my equal but that’s not how a man in Double D’s time and place looked at it. Faye knew too much about Don’s secrets and frailties. Megan sees him as a master of the universe and that’s how Don prefers to be seen. We know so little about Megan that I’m unsure as to whether she’s calculating or genuinely warm and sincere. For the moment, I lean towards the latter because of the milkshake incident but one of the things I *love* aboutMad Menis the ambiguity of the characters and plot threads. It gives us something to talk about while having withdrawal symptoms until season-5.
The reaction of the gang at SCDP to Don’s news was typical. Roger was pleased that Don was finally “acting right.” Roger is a great believer in marrying secretaries, only I think Megan has more on the ball than dim bulb Jane. My favorite bit was when Peggy went into Joan’s office and they had a laugh over how cliched the whole thing was and over Joan’s claim that the office wasn’t that important to her. The optimist in me hopes that this is the beginning of a new relationship between my two favorite women characters but I somehow doubt it. It was a wonderful moment nonetheless.
On to Joan’s revelation that she’d kept the baby. I was not surprised. I thought that was the case when the woman at the doctor’s office asked Joan how “old *her* daughter was.” Cue biological clock. I also knew something was up when Joan’s hairdo was mussed early in the episode. It will be interesting to see if Doctor Dickhead keeps on buying it. He seemed too besotted with the thought of Joan’s boobs to do the math. Of course, if the baby emerges from the womb with white hair, cracking wise and asks for a cigarette, Joan’s cover is blown…
We attended another session of Don and Betty Draper’s bad parenting class. Betty’s firing of Carla for the crime of letting Weird Glenn say goodbye to Sally was typically short-sighted and impulsive. Betty is such a child and Don’s reaction to Carla’s firing was equally childish. I feel more and more sorry for Henry: he’s the only adult in the room. Hopefully, Megan will continue to be nice to the Draper kids but we all know what happens to first families when wife-2 has her own brood. I wonder if Megan will want to give her children names like Gaston and Remy. I sure hope so.
SCDP’s business problems were given short shrift in the finale, which leads me to believe that they’ll survive. Weiner has already blown up one ad agency so I doubt he’ll repeat that. Ken and Peggy do land some new business, which leads the Pegster to boast that she’s saved the company. Not bloody likely: the pantyhose account is a small one, $250K. But it does augur better days ahead.
I think that the American Cancer Society pitch is the event that will eventually pull SCDP’s chestnuts out of the fire. The fat cats on the board seemed mesmerized by Don’s impersonation of a principled business man. Recreating himself is what Don does best. He’s also pretty damn good at telling people what they want to hear. I’m also hoping that the ACS storyline will lead to the return of Conrad Hilton who was a major donor to the cause. I’ve missed the weird chemistry between Don and Connie who is bound to respect Don’s emergence as a swashbuckling risk taker. Buccaneers always like other pirates until it’s necessary to make them walk the plank…
Note to Matthew Weiner: I hope there are plans afoot to bring back Bryan Batt next season. Nothing else would say fuck you to Lee GarnerJr. quite as eloquently as Sal’s return to the fold. As great as this season was, I missed seeing my homey. Bring back Batt. We want Sal. Okay, enough hectoring for now.
Finally, Sonny and Cher’sI Got You, Babe played as Don lay in bed with his Quebec cutie, which doesn’t bode well for their future. It’s a song about adolescent love and we viewers know that Sonny and Cher’s marriage ended badly. So, it’s time to roll the credits on my season-5 blogging with the same tune, different version: