Mad Men’s finale draws strange fourth season to a close (spoilers)

Cast members Elisabeth Moss (L) and Jon Hamm pose during a photocall to promote their television series Mad Men at the annual MIPCOM television programme market in Cannes, southeastern France, October 5, 2010. The international film and programme market for TV, video, cable and satellite (MIPCOM) opens from October 4 to October 8 on the French Riviera.  REUTERS/Eric Gaillard (FRANCE - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS MEDIA)


Last night was the Season Four finale of Mad Men, but it didn’t feel like it at all. It just seemed like another episode of a season that has been… less than stellar. I should say this, though: even a less than stellar episode of Mad Men is still loads better than nearly everything else on television. In previous season finales, we had the election of Kennedy reflecting the turmoil of Don Draper’s real identity being revealed to one of the partners, combined with Don’s desire to run away with his Jewish mistress, and his confession to her that he was a “whore-child”. And Peggy giving birth! Another season finale? The Cuban missile crisis combined with Betty’s pregnancy and her affair with some dude at a bar, combined with Peggy telling Pete that he got her pregnant and she gave up the baby. Another finale? Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Price is formed in the burning remains of Sterling Cooper, Betty files for divorce and runs off with Henry Francis, and Don’s confession to Peggy that he needs her desperately and professionally.

This season’s finale had some “shockers” I suppose – Don ran off to California with his secretary, Pretty Megan, a French-Canadian. Megan and Don had boned on his couch in a previous episode, and it was clear that while she wanted more, she was keeping her sh-t tight in the hopes of luring him in, which worked. Instead of going with the pretty blonde doctor, Dr. Faye, who was his equal in intelligence and ambition, Don went for the low-hanging fruit, if you will. He romanced Megan in California, then proposed to her using the engagement ring the original Don had given Anna. Anna left it to Don, and Don gives it to Pretty Megan.

Now, I don’t hate Megan. She seems like a nice girl. She’s uncomplicated. She’s young. She reminds me a lot of the young secretary that Sterling left his wife for, Jane. Right? The two women even look like – young, perky brunettes. But Dr. Faye issued the epitaph for Don’s relationship to Pretty Megan when he broke it off with Faye: “You only like the beginnings of things.” God, she really had his number, didn’t she? I’d go even further: Don only likes the fantasy of things, not the reality of them. He only adores his mistresses and girlfriends when they’re just fantasies to him – whenever they get too close and he finds out too much about them, or they actually need him emotionally, Don loses interest. Will Don be happy with Pretty Megan? Briefly. And I actually think Megan will end up a great step-mom to the kids, which should be interesting. We’ll see where it goes.

What else did we learn? Joanie didn’t get the abortion, but that’s what I suspected all along. She’s going to pass the baby off as her husband’s, not Sterling’s, although she hasn’t told anyone in the office yet. There was a wonderful, hilarious moment between Joanie and Peggy when they were gossiping in Joan’s office – I really hope the two of them become closer. Because Peggy really looks up to Joan, and the two of them should be close friends. They need to lean on each other.

Regarding Peggy – she reeled in a smaller account for pantyhose, because she’s great at her job. And ever since she and Don spent an emotional, beautiful, non-sexual night together, he’s been treating her wonderfully. When Peggy saw him kissing Megan, there was such a twinge of emotion on her face… I began to wonder if Peggy thinks she’s in love with Don. Their relationship has always been complicated – is Peggy the younger Don? Is he her father-figure? An older brother figure? Her mentor? Are they equals at this point? But Peggy looked like she was struggling with it, and then when she Don spoke one-on-one about Megan… it was sad. Like Don was seeking her approval, and that he has such high hopes that Peggy and Megan will be really close, and Peggy looked like she might cry for a moment. UGH.

All in all, a strange finale, right?

COLOGNE, GERMANY - OCTOBER 01: Elisabeth Moss and Jon Hamm attend the Cologne Conference on October 1, 2010 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)

Actress Elisabeth Moss (L) and actor Jon Hamm from the drama series Mad Men pose as they arrive for the preview of the first episode of the second season during the Cologne Conference in Cologne, September 30, 2010. The second season of Mad Men started in german TV on September 27. REUTERS/Alex Domanski (GERMANY - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)

Cast members Elisabeth Moss (L) and Jon Hamm pose during a photocall to promote their television series Mad Men at the annual MIPCOM television programme market in Cannes, southeastern France, October 5, 2010. The international film and programme market for TV, video, cable and satellite (MIPCOM) opens from October 4 to October 8 on the French Riviera.  REUTERS/Eric Gaillard (FRANCE - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS MEDIA)

Cast members Elisabeth Moss (L) and Jon Hamm pose during a photocall to promote their television series Mad Men at the annual MIPCOM television programme market in Cannes, southeastern France, October 5, 2010. The international film and programme market for TV, video, cable and satellite (MIPCOM) opens from October 4 to October 8 on the French Riviera.  REUTERS/Eric Gaillard (FRANCE - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS MEDIA)

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34 Responses to “Mad Men’s finale draws strange fourth season to a close (spoilers)”

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  1. ziggy says:

    good looking man!

  2. devilgirl says:

    I could never get into the show after the 2nd season. The last two have been hit and miss for me.

  3. Po says:

    I spent the whole night wondering what the f**k was going on. I can’t believe Joanie kept the baby, that Don proposed to this women while he’s seriously dating another women, that Betty fired the only women that could help her with the kids. I can honestly say that Betty is HORRIBLE. She is a mess. I think she’s more screwed up than Don. She was right on the last episode to try and take her kid’s child therapist because that is exactly was she needs. A “child” therapist. Ugh!!

  4. LOVE ANGELINA says:

    OMG Thank you soooo much for doing a Mad Men post. I had no idea who to ask or how but thanks a ton anyway.

    First of all OMG, I thought I, I don’t know what I thought but my goodness gracious when Don proposed I thought it was a freaking dream sequence. I was stunned. The editing was to rash or maybe they wanted things to be hastened like that IDK. I like Megan and I like her better than Faye. I like how Megan is with the kids, but she and Don don’t really know each other that well to me but I feel more passion between them, or maybe lust, then between him and Faye. I felt really bad for Faye, I wouldn’t have if she hadn’t stuck her neck out for Don with the Heinz thing. I seriously was in shock, huge twist.

    I am sooo happy Joan kept her baby. I thought he phone call to her husband (? I guess, I started watching Mad Men mid season, EW said he wasn’t her husband, IDK) was sweet and they both seemed excited.

    I loved the Peggy and Joan chat to. Its sooo something me and my co worker would do if some off the wall office drama went down, or heck any kinda drama, but that was just an awesome moment. I am real proud of Peggy to on landing that account. I am proud of Joan for getting promoted and I am sad she didn’t get a raise but maybe when the company is up running.

    I feel for Betty sometimes, but I didn’t like when she fired Carla, and I am not sure what her issue is with the little boy but I will be watching all the seasons I missed soon. I am glad Henry called her out. I don’t like Henry though.

  5. l says:

    I LOVE that last pic of them!

  6. launicaangelina says:

    Great recap but the doc is named Faye Miller. I really thought the proposal was a dream – poor Faye! Maybe she’ll get her revenge by using her dad’s connection or outing Don as Dick…

  7. Kaiser says:

    Thanks, I corrected that! Dr. Faye.

  8. Moist Muffin says:

    Hey, people, first time commenter here!

    I HAD to comment on last night’s show. When Don proposed to Megan, I seriously got some “Who Shot J.R.?” vibes, in that I thought it was a horrible dream and Don was going to wake up in a cold sweat after realizing how stupid he was in proposing to the vapid Anne Hathaway look-alike with too many teeth in her mouth. I hate to say it, but I was expecting a bomb to go off when Joan was speaking to her husband, Doctor Rapist, and that he’d be killed, just after he found out she was pregnant. I LOVED the bitch session between Peggy & Joan — just classic!

  9. Karen says:

    I dunno, from what I am reading on the internet a lot of people have a “WTF” feeling about this episode. I actually quite enjoyed it because it managed to not be what I expected, and I think it has put into works the beginnings of a great Season 5. I had totally predicted to my husband a couple months ago that Don would marry Megan, but I thought it would happen far into Season 5…I was pretty surprised last night! But then again it is so typical of Don and the Men around him: Have flings with the feisty, independent women, marry the ones who will adore you and keep a nice house. At least she isn’t as awful as Betty…yet. Last thing, I hope that Peggy and Joan become closer next season, they should really be allies instead of enemies.

  10. Aqua says:

    SPOILER ALERT ! I love the show Mad Men but last night after the show ended I thought WTH?It made no sense at all it was such a flat monotone ending Joan kept the baby? how is she going to explain that to her hubby? the engagement of Don and Megan came from no where, and Betty is really turning out to be a real B…H! no wonder Sally is acting the way she is.I guess I’ll have to see where the show is going with all of this.But all in all. I’m very dissapointed with Mad Men.

  11. Kaiser says:

    Yes, I forgot to mention Betty being a massive bitch, and how Carla is now fired. That is seriously heartbreaking. Carla was the bomb, and I wish Carla had the chance to really tell off Betty.

  12. michele says:

    Oh my, how great does Elizabeth Moss look?!? Great legs!!!!

  13. Twez says:

    When Betty fired Carla, my exact words were: “One of those kids is going to go Lizzie Borden on her ass someday.”

  14. Mia says:

    Betty’s firing of Carla was a very important part of the finale and the character and tone of the entire show.

    And also Don’s reaction to the firing.

    He didn’t give a damn how or why Carla – who has been integral to their family – was fired, only that it was an inconvenience to his schedule.

    I really hope Carla hasn’t been written out of the show now. Somehow I don’t think we will be seeing the last of her.

    I wonder how long before Don starts cheating on Megan.

    Peggy and Don have a humane (if slightly over-dependent) relationship based on mutual respect and trust. Which is why the two of them have never been and will never be intimate with each other, because the male and female characters in that show can only connect with each other if they are using sex as a weapon of some sort.

  15. Team Bethenny says:

    “Don only likes the fantasy of things, not the reality of them.”

    This pretty much applies to *all* men.

    P.S. I knew Joanie was, um, aborting the abortion, from that scene in the doctor’s office.

  16. launicaangelina says:

    i am so glad the finale was covered. this, along with d-listed, is a fave gossip blog.

    i still don’t hate betty but she almost pushed me over by firing carla. betty is a damn hot mess. i am glad carla called betty out – you best stop talking.

  17. Karen says:

    @ Team Bethanny, bitter much?

    We would jump all over a man if he made a sweeping statement like that about women! I don’t know about your experiences, but my husband is a very sweet, committed, and supportive man.

    Sorry to get off topic, but that sexist comment really bugged me.

  18. Bee says:

    I loved the finale and this entire season! I had a feeling Don was going to propose to Megan once he got that ring. His engagement to Megan just highlighted Don’s need to live in the fantasy of himself that he’s created. Due to the fact that he’s almost as much of a child as Betty. That’s why he became Don Draper in the first place. He couldn’t face the reality of being Dick Whitman. And he once again turned his back on himself by shutting the door on Faye. As Don said, he likes who he is with Megan. Faye saw the man behind the curtain and Dick/Don can’t handle that. So he went with the woman who sees him as he wants to be seen. It’s tragic really. And Betty is now officially the devil in my book for the cruel way she jettisoned sweet Carla. Somebody save those kids. Season 5 can’t get here fast enough.

  19. poopie says:

    I Hope in season 5, someone commits betty to a rehab for LIFE and the kids go and live with Don and Meaghan. Betty is just AWFUL to Sally; it’s heartbreaking to watch how she treats her

  20. Hautie says:

    This is the first episode that I have liked Henry Francis.

    When he confronted Betty over her truly heinous behavior towards Carla… it made me think he realized how much of a child Betty has remained.

    I predict (hope and pray) that Henry calls up Carla and has her return to the chagrin of Betty. Betty just has no ability to be fair with those children.

    And I also knew Joan had not went through with the procedure, when I saw her pushing that mail cart with a noticeable bump.

    It does make for a good story line for her next year. It predict it will be a boy and Roger will crap his pants. Cause I don’t see Roger and his ego having the ability to walk away from a new born son.

  21. Po says:

    Omg, can you imagine the hell that will brought upon everyone if the kids decide they want to live with Don and Megan. Betty will burn this bitch down. I mean she will lose it.

  22. Cleo says:

    He was never going to go with Dr. Faye. I like Megan. If the times were more equitable, she would be a hard girl to get like Natasha in Sex and the City -a nice, great looking, smart, well-raised (North) American girl.

  23. becca says:

    I didn’t like Faye. She grated on me. I think it was because she initially rejected Don before pouncing on him and lavishing him with devotion – I thought it was disgusting. Here is finally a woman in Mad Men with a career of her own that’s not Peggy – and she jumps on Don soon after her initial rejection. I would have liked Faye so much more if she never hooked up and started to date Don.

    That being said, Megan will be fascinating to watch. There’s only one real reason why Don proposed to Megan: She’s fantastic with the kids – and the kids like her. Faye isn’t good with them, Phoebe (the short haired one) did that massive slip up with Sally, and Betty is well….she may be their biological mother, but she’s Betty. I like Megan because she’s so good with the kids; I’ve got a soft spot for Sally, she’s my fav character by far.

    And Betty ironically has a good reason for being wary of Glenn – way back in Season One, Betty did a very stupid thing: Approach Glenn for some strange form of companionship (“I’m so sad, I need a friend…”). Then Glenn decided to turn really, really creepy, and run away to the Draper home, hide out in the dollhouse in the backyard, and when brought in by Betty and given food and drink, Glenn CAME ONTO BETTY! He was about nine at the time.

    Now, even though Betty wasn’t emotionally stable, she recognized that what Glenn was doing was very wrong – I’m almost positive that incident is what Betty remembered when she caught Sally hanging out with Glenn. Glenn’s a screwed up kid, and while he provides Sally with a rare companionship for her, is a kid that only means trouble.

  24. launicaangelina says:

    good theory hautie about joan having a boy…

  25. mary jane says:

    Oh becca… good job!
    I had completely forgotten about that “friendship” between Bets and Glenn!!! Thanks for the reminder!! That is definitely what she’s thinking about!

    I loved the final scene between Betty and Don. Unbelievable.

    Also, love reading everyone’s in-depth analysis here!

  26. lucy2 says:

    I can’t believe Don proposed to Megan. She’s pretty and sweet and all, but he barely knows her. He’s seeing another picture perfect family image with her and his kids – that’s great, but not enough for a marriage. And I can’t believe he did that to Faye – I didn’t particularly like her, but thought she was a great match for Don, offering him so much more than Betty ever did. Megan just seems like a nice Betty 2.0.

    Not surprised by Joan keeping the baby, but LOVED her and Peggy talking in her office, for the first time really seeming like friends. I hope that continues.

    I don’t think Peggy was sad because she has feelings for Don, I think it was a combo of her thinking WTF is he doing, making another big life mistake, and feeling left out that after the two of them got pretty close, she had no idea he was involved with Megan and suddenly they’re engaged.

    Betty is such a royal beyotch, especially to awesome Sally – in a fascinating, love to hate her kind of way.

  27. Sumodo1 says:

    Loved it all. Megan and the kids. Perfect. Season 5 prediction: Betty goes haywire and Don and Megan get the kids. Win!

    Betty becomes a “Betty Ford-esque” shell of herself, and Henry Francis jets her off into low orbit.

    Don moves the half the agency to Cali. Joan becomes a partner in the agency and raises her child herself.

    Pete Campbell runs the NYC operation, with Peggy, with whom he’s having a flagrant affair, sending his wife home to ma and pa.

    The end.

  28. interesting finale, but not fireworks.

    i agree that faye knows don’s weaknesses, and that is too uncomfortable for him to deal with. she also doesn’t accept him for who he is- she wants him to face his demons. megan is very nice, and certainly pretty, but it seemed an almost sappy plot twist: don still hopes for a “perfect” life- a second chance at what he lost with betty. don even alludes to megan that he has not always been above board, and megan seems to accept him as he is presently…which allows him think that he might regain much of what he lost in his personal life. it isn’t an accident that the proposal occurs after a trip to cali( a locale he uses to commune with his soul) don gets anna’s (the one woman who knew all aspects of don and still loved him)ring and uses it to propose to megan. anna wisely realized that despite don’s self defeating behavior with betty, she broke his heart with the divorce. maybe anna knows that don wouldn’t give her ring to an unworthy recipient?

    betty also seems regretful at this point- her sexual hold on henry has worn off(one of the ways she could empower herself in their relationship), the kids are frustrating her, she fired the one person she could rely on b/c she felt her authority was usurped…this is a person who feels like nothing in her life is within her control- it’s far from perfect. and perfect matters to betty, a lot.

    i found the closing scene bittersweet- i don’t think betty ever stopped loving don, but she felt betrayed by him, and swayed by the idea of a more stable henry. there would be very little animosity if both sides had truly moved on. secretly i was hoping- and still hope for a hookup with these two. much of betty’s anger comes from the fallout of the demise of this relationship, even before the divorce.

    betty is a narcissist, however- her desire to keep sally away from glen is a mother’s instinct, but she views glen as trying to get to her though her daughter. she ultimately fails to see sally as anything except extensions of herself. fascinating and disturbing.

  29. kc says:

    I thought this season was outstanding! They really aren’t afraid to actually go somewhere and create change for the characters rather than keeping things the same. Loved the Peggy and Joan moment. Almost felt sorry for Betty as she powdered her nose at the end waiting for Don in hopes of… something but he killed her when he told her about Megan. I think Don just needed to somehow escape the too honest relationship he had with Faye, it was too real and Meghan is stress free. I did like how Meghan was with the kids and how she didn’t sweat the milkshake spill like Betty would have. I also like how she admits she has funky teeth and Don likes them. Who knows how long this will last but I think she is better than Faye and loads better than the situation with Roger and Jane from last season.
    I knew Joan was going to keep the baby!! So she will just trick her simple husband into thinking it is his. Might as well since she really wants a baby and he doesn’t have good sperm. All in all, I give this season an A+!

  30. SuperSleuth says:

    I don’t blame Betty for deep sixing the relationship between Sally and Glenn (remember when he broke in and trashed their house?), but she went over the top when she fired Carla. I wish Carla had taken off her apron and told Betty, “I don’t work for you anymore, so you can’t dictate what I can and can’t do” and marched straight upstairs and told the kids good-bye. Somehow, Betty is going to twist this around in her tiny, little narcissistic head and blame Sally for getting Carla fired. I hope Henry and Don unite and hire her back.
    Betty is Cuckoo, cachoo!!!

  31. Janine says:

    Yes Betty definitely lost the plot there with Carla. I think it’s because Carla had witnessed her at her worst with the neightbour boy, and she was trying to save face. He was spot on, she is unhappy and she needs to act her freaking age. But as a character I get her, she’s flawed, she doesn’t always think. I love her less than in previous seasons, and I had high hopes Henry would help her grow up.

    I love Megan- how she handled the milkshake, when Sally fell down in the office, and a million other problems this season with such effortless class. She’s no low haning fruit in my opinion. Don is lucky to have found her and it’ll be intersting to see where the next season will find them.

    Not a bad season, but there were a lot of red herrings for me. Henry’s kick-ass mom, where did she go? I swore roger was going to die, either suicide or a massive heart attack. Thought Peggy might lose her job over that article. What about Lane’s psycho dad and bunny girlfriend? All the plot points all just sort of diffused themselves and went nowhere…….

  32. Henriette says:


    So much hatred directed towards Betty! I can tell you that some creepy little boy who’d made weird advances towards me and told his mom horrid lies about it would be kept far, far away from my children. And yes, I would fire a housekeeper who defied me and let him go upstairs to my daughter’s room alone. Betty was cheated on year in and year out by Don and so really needs to feel that Henry is her rock and behind her 100% so of course she is upset by him disagreeing with her actions. I definitely feel for Betty.

    Meghan is a harmless little twit who might well become like Jane, Roger’s wife, as soon as the wedding band is on her finger. Another sweet, not-so-smart woman who imagines that marrying a successful man somehow makes her high-class and intelligent, just like the second Mrs. Sterling. She will bore Don to death but he doesn’t want a wife who challenges him to be a better man, as Faye did, or is disappointed in him when he behaves like a pig, as Betty was. He just wants someone who’ll be great with his kids and look at him with stars in her eyes, no matter how he comports himself.

    Oh… on a funny note… they gave Meghan a distinctly non-Quebec French accent. The true Quebec accent is unique but hard on many ears and they clearly wanted everything about Meghan to be simple and pretty and easy-to-love: hence an accent that leans more towards Paris than Montreal.

  33. becca says:


    Glad to see someone else gets why Betty fired Carla (ironically, for all of the right reasons – I just think she went about the wrong way of doing it, she should have said flat out that Glenn is a creep, here’s why, you knew I didn’t want him in the house and you did it anyway, you’re fired etc etc).

    But I disagree about Megan. Unlike Jane, she’s got a definite goal: to be another Peggy in SCDP. And she’s decided that opening up her legs to Don might be a possible path. That’s a very calculating woman that Jane is not; Jane’s a real bimbo by every sense of the word.

    But there’s only one reason why Don went for Megan: she’s great with the kids. And she’s pretty, but that’s a no-brainer when it comes to Don.

    Megan clearly has no idea what she is in for. I have a feeling that she she thinks that she’s going to be steadily climbing up the corporate advertising ladder with Don’s ring on her finger – that’s not going to be the case.

    Don may very well use Megan to get the kids to himself, and it’s just going to end up in tears for everyone all around.