Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mad Men Season 4 Finale: Don and-

California has always been something strange, special, magical, transcendent for Don.  It was where he could be the most himself, with Anna.   She's gone now, and Don goes out to California, this time with the kids, and-

I didn't want to put her name in the title of this post, to avoid spoilers.  Don goes out to California with the kids, and- Megan.   He needs her to take care of the kids on this trip, thanks to Betty - as cold and heartless as ever - firing Carla (she let that boy say goodbye to Sally).   So Megan is out there in magical California with Don, and he falls in love with her, and asks her to marry him, and she says, "I don't believe this," then "yes!"

It was medium clear from the first time they slept together in the office a few weeks ago that there was something special between them.  It was crystal clear tonight when Don knocks on her door, she invites him in and on the balcony,  and when he looks at Megan in the restaurant the next day, after they've spent the night together.  In any ways the best scene happens right then:  Sally knocks over a milk shake, Don and Bobby are on the verge of being upset, and Megan calms everyone down - it's just a milk shake, she says.  Betty would have gone coldly ballistic, which is what Sally, Bobby, and Don were gearing up for.   But Megan, not beset by Betty's demons, responds in a loving way.  We could see right then and there why Don was falling in love with her.  I realized even before Don proposed that night that the two might well soon get married.

All of this was beautifully acted, not just by Jon Hamm but Jessica Paré as Megan.

And the reactions of everyone back in the office - when Don tells them the news - were perfect, too.  Especially Peggy, who's not happy about this, for a variety of reasons, mostly because she feels once again that this male-dominated world she's a part of moves inexplicably.   There's also a great scene between Peggy and Joan, drawn about as close together as we've ever seen by this news.

Joan has news of her own - which she keeps from everyone in the office.  She's keeping the baby.  She did not have the abortion, after all.  This puts her rejection of Roger in a new light - she didn't want to sleep with him because she can't keep sleeping with the father of the baby she's telling her husband is his, her husband's.   They'll be some powerful stories ahead on this theme next season.

Don also tells Faye, who responds as we might expect - she's furious.   And Don tells Betty.  She almost displays some real emotion about this, at last, and we can almost feel a little sympathy for her - almost, but not quite.  She's still cold as ice.

And the season closes with Megan asleep on Don's chest, in Don's apartment, in bed.   Don's awake, and it's tough to say what's on his mind.  Maybe he's struggling with whether and when to tell Megan his true back story (which he did tell to Faye).

I can tell you what's on my mind: this has been the best season of Mad Men, already a superb show, so far.

See also Mad Men 4.1: Chicken Kiev, Lethal Interview, Ham Fight ... 4.2: "Good Time, Bad Time?" "Yes." ... 4.3: Both Coasts ... 4.4: "The following program contains brief nudity ..."  4.5: Fake Out and Neurosis ... 4.6: Emmys, Clio, Blackout, Flashback  ... 4.7: 'No Credits on Commercials' ... 4.8: A Tale of Two Women ... 4.9: "Business of Sadists and Masochists" ... 4.10: Grim Tidings ... 4.11: "Look at that Punim" ... 4.12: No Smoking!

And from Season 3: Mad Men Back for 3 and 3.2: Carvel, Penn Station, and Diet Soda and 3.3: Gibbon, Blackface, and Eliot and 3.4: Caned Seats and a Multiple Choice about Sal's Patio Furniture and 3.5: Admiral TV, MLK, and a Baby Boy and 3.6: A Saving John Deere and 3.7: Brutal Edges ... August Flights in 3.8 ... Unlucky Strikes and To the Moon Don in 3.9 ... 3.10: The Faintest Ink, The Strongest Television ... Don's Day of Reckoning in Mad Men 3.11 ... Mad Men 3.12: The End of the World in Mad Men ... Mad Men Season 3 Finale: The End of the World

And from Season Two: Mad Men Returns with a Xerox and a Call Girl ... 2.2: The Advertising Devil and the Deep Blue Sea ... 2.3 Double-Barreled Power ... 2.4: Betty and Don's Son ... 2.5: Best Montage Since Hitchcock ... 2.6: Jackie, Marilyn, and Liberty Valance ... 2.7: Double Dons ... 2.8: Did Don Get What He Deserved? ... 2.9: Don and Roger ... 2.10: Between Ray Bradbury and Telstar ... 2.11: Welcome to the Hotel California ... 2.12 The Day the Earth Stood Still on Mad Men ... 2.13 Saving the Best for Last on Mad Men

And from Season One: Mad Men Debuts on AMC: Cigarette Companies and Nixon ... Mad Men 2: Smoke and Television ... Mad Men 3: Hot 1960 Kiss ... Mad Men 4 and 5: Double Mad Men ... Mad Men 6: The Medium is the Message! ... Mad Men 7: Revenge of the Mollusk ... Mad Men 8: Weed, Twist, Hobo ... Mad Man 9: Betty Grace Kelly ... Mad men 10: Life, Death, and Politics ... Mad Men 11: Heat! ... Mad Men 12: Admirable Don ... Mad 13: Double-Endings, Lascaux, and Holes

20-minute interview with Rich Sommer (Harry Crane) at Light On Light Through

                 Special Discount Coupons for Angie's List, Avis, Budget Car, eHarmony, eMusic, Mozy, Zazzle

The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book

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