a few thoughts on ‘Mad Men’: “Tomorrowland”

Ah, so now we get to wait and wonder how all the little houses of cards built up over this season — and starting to teeter in this last episode — will collapse next season.

Wait: Is Joan still pregnant? Did she lie to Roger about having the abortion? Holy crap: He’s gonna find out soon enough, won’t he? Joan can’t possibly quit her job, not when she’s just been honored with more hassle and responsibility and no pay raise! But really: She loves her job. She’ll have to quit — or at least take a break — for the baby, but I can’t see her doing that before she starts showing…

Why is it that Don is so absolutely terrifying when he’s happy? That bit when he’s telling Megan that he’s in love with her: the look on his face of sheer bliss looked to me more like sheer terror… or sheer willful delusion. Not that Megan isn’t a very nice woman, and a patient one: The astonishment among Don and his kids when Megan does not freak out over Sally’s spilled milkshake was hilarious. But Don is doing exactly what Megan promised she wouldn’t do, in becoming the clingy, in-love puppy… which makes me suspect that Megan will eventually back out of this. Faye is right, I think, about Don liking only “the beginnings of things” — ouch — but there’s more going on here, too. I’m just not sure what it is yet.
It’s funny: At the beginning of this episode, as Faye and Don were saying good-bye, I thought: Faye seems like she’s so good for Don that I’m convinced she will have to be removed from the equation somehow. Because Don must — for reasons of great drama — continue to be tortured. And bingo! Don removed her from his own equation.

Uh-oh: Don told the kids that “Dick” is his “nickname sometimes.” This will come back round to haunt soon, I imagine.

Oh, Betty. Firing Carla. Sniping at Henry. Poor put-upon Betty whom nobody loves or heeds. She thinks she’s sad and lonely now, just wait till she finally drives everyone away for good.

Don Draper, Mr. Lucky Strikes, pitching anti-smoking ads to the American Cancer Society made me think of that old Vulcan proverb: “Only Nixon could go to China.”

Best scene in Mad Men ever? Could be that bit when Peggy storms into Joan’s office after Don and Megan’s we’re-getting-married announcement and they both have a good bitch over everything that’s been going on. I have so lived that moment, when you have to put on your nice professional good-girl face and then you hide away in someone’s office to rage. Do only women, in general, do that? I get the sense that men, in general, can be more upfront in an office situation… like Roger “jokingly” telling Megan to get the ice for their little celebratory drink. Peggy could never have fumed to Don’s face how bizarre it was for him to tell her how much Megan respects her, and how much Megan reminds Don of Peggy. (Cripes, that almost sounded like he was hitting on Peggy then!) She just had to smile and thank him. And he’ll never know how weird that moment was. He probably thought he was being nice…

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