Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mad Men 4x12: "I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach"

I sort of went on involuntary hiatus there from my Mad Men recaps but I'm back with a vengeance for the finale, because the finales are always legendary. Season Four's didn't disappoint. Well, it probably disappointed Faye. By the way, my husband will attest that I 100% called this turn of events like five episodes ago:

A) Faye herself told Don a while back that he'd "marry within the year"
B) Megan is very good with Don's kids, and he would get all misty-eyed watching her
C) Megan clearly adores Don, represents a fresh start, and already sees him the way he would like to believe he could still be

However, I didn't think we'd *see the proposal.* I thought we'd jump to Season Five and Don would come home, and there Megan would be, all wifey-like, and it would be the big reveal.

But no! We had to cringe and anticipate and watch Don declare his love. So Faye gets an entire razor blade to herself. At least she got the last word on the phone ("Does she know you only like the beginnings of things?"), but it was still brutal to watch. Carla also gets an entire razor blade because she was abruptly, coldly dumped by Betty after at least a decade of service, for letting Glen ("are you decent") say goodbye to Sally.

Other revelations: Joan is keeping the baby, which my husband called three episodes ago. We are Mad Men clairvoyants. I LOVED seeing Joan and a stunned Peggy chat about Don's news. "Whatever could be on your mind?"

For a finale especially, 2 out of 5 razor blades on the Depressing Scale is pretty low -- but it was nice seeing Peggy and Ken score a new client, and even kind of nice seeing Don, his kids, and Megan get to be happy. Besides, I'm sure it won't last! *

See you next season!

*edited to add: By "it" I mean the low rating of a mere 2 razor blades on the Scale won't last -- not Don and Megan. I actually think they'll stay married just fine. The show, however, will be back in fine depressing form soon, no doubt.


  1. You forgot to mention D) to why Don would choose Megan over Dr. Faye:

    DF told Don she didn't want kids.

    That was my, "oh, i get why he'd abruptly choose megan over df."

    Though, I still don't necessarily fully trust Megan. I mean, she was pretty EASY (desperate?) to get into Don's pants.

    Not to compare to another (BRILLIANT but-I -can't-believe-they-canceled-it-after-two-episodes) show, but there were tons of people complaining about the reason they wouldn't even give LONE STAR a chance was because Bob, the main character, was "overtly womanizing"... And I'd retort that, "But it's okay for Don Draper?" I only bring this up because, man, has Mr. Draper been even more of a Floozy than ever before, this season. Love Don, but wow did he get around?! And the show actually made it feel less than glamorous, which was kinda interesting.

    Also, this was by far Peggy's strongest season. I know they tried to give her lots of Dramatic I'm-trying-not-to-think-the-baby-Pete-impregnated-me-with-and-I-gave-away stuff in season two, but that all seemed so maudlin to me. But here in season 4, we saw what kind of woman Peggy truly is and strives to be. Her and Don's episode, "The Suitcase", was probably the best episode of ALL Mad Men episodes. And through the rest of the season, we really got to go with Peggy. I feel like she's the character that is the "eyes of the audience", and they kept it up into this finale. When Don proposed to Megan and told the people at work, Peggy was the one who had the same "Really Don?" attitude that I assume much of the audience has. And it was great, and then her and Joan venting about it like typical office gossipers was awesome.

    Speaking of Joan, this was also her strongest season. I mean, wow, did she deal with a lot. A husband going off to war, followed by a one-night-stand rekindling of an old romance that results in a "whoops we got pregnant" and... well, I'm so glad they finally gave Christina Hendricks some real good meat to chew on this season (I know that the "spousal rape that shall not be mentioned" from season two was also pretty Razor Blade worthy, but was practically swept under the rug and has yet to be seriously re-addressed, if it ever will).

    My one Razor Blade (and very cliche) worthy prediction that did NOT happen was that I anticipated Roger Sterling jumping off the George Washington Bridge. But I'm starting to think that Matthew Weiner is now holding his "Suicide Card" for Henry Francis, when next season The Betty Monster will finally drive him to the brink and he'll park his car on train tracks as the commuter rail approaches...

    Anyhow, I was satisfied, but definitely not sure where Season 5 is going. Not sure if I can wait until next frickin' July!

  2. Everyone is predicting doom, thinking that Don should have chosen Faye. I disagree.

    I really think Megan is the right choice. And they'll last.

  3. Hi johnnyboymalloy, thanks so much for your comments. I agree -- Don was beyond promiscuous this season, and it didn't look like fun most of the time. (Especially over the holidays with Pryce.) I get the feeling he might actually settle down with Megan (i.e. not cheat like a fiend on her) because I think he appreciated the fact that after their office fling she never assumed anything; she didn't expect things to change, and she continued doing her job -- which included presumably making dinner reservations for him and Faye, etc. Does he really love her? I don't know. That's the part that seemed like a bit of a shock to me. He *seemed* giddy, though. It was all sort of insane, and yet I bought it.

    You're right about Peggy and Joan having fabulous arcs this season. I wouldn't have minded more Pete, but that's how I feel every season.

  4. Also, I agree with Monsieur Skilton about Don and Megan. I think they'll last. What I mean by "it won't last" was the general happiness of everyone in the finale episode (Don's, the kids, Megan's, Peggy's, Ken's...) because this is Mad Men after all. We'll be back to 3 to 5 razor blades in no time ;)