**THIS ENTIRE POST IS FULL OF SPOILERS FOR THIS SEASON OF MAD MEN**
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?