[REWIND] Julia Yost on Mad Men’s Megan

Megan-Draper-Must-Go

One of the more involved and insightful deep-dish Mad Men pieces I’ve seen this season, from an unlikely source, it’s a pleasure to read TV show analysis this dedicated. If you’re a Don Draper fan like me, read the whole thing.

In advance of this Sunday night’s Mad Men, episode 4, here’s a look back at episode 3 by Julia Yost.

For First ThingsJulia Yost writes:

Are Don and Megan Draper finally over? In the major arc before the first commercial break, Don speaks long-distance to Megan’s agent and learns that Megan has been exhibiting desperate (stalker-like) behavior toward industry types in L.A. Don flies out unannounced in the middle of the week. Megan’s libidinal delight upon his arrival turns to melancholy as she reflects on her rejections (“It’s sunny here for everyone but me”) and then to outrage when she learns the reason for Don’s visit (“You came out here to, what, pull me out of a bathtub where I slit my wrists?”) and then to suspicion and accusation (“You’re never [in the office] when I call. … Who’s your new girl, Don?”—by which she means mistress, not secretary). Don confesses, not to having an affair, but to having been on leave from SC&P since Thanksgiving (it is now early spring). Megan is furious over the secrecy, and furious that all this time he could have been with her in L.A. but chose not to. She throws him out, with “This is the way it ends.”

I indulge in bald plot-summary here because I have waited so long in patience for these two to split up. As Megan ca. 1968-69, Jessica Paré is a tedious screen presence in hideous clothes. Their crackup has always seemed a foregone conclusion, given how impulsively Don proposed (at Disneyland!) in Season Four and how incapable he is of husband-like qualities (sustained honesty, loyalty, sobriety). The writers have been flirting with it since the midpoint of Season Five. Get on with it! A long-distance phone call later in the episode may or may not herald a rapprochement; let us hope not. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Mad Men’ Finale: Both Sides Now

SPOILER ALERT: Stop reading if you haven’t seen the finale of “Mad Men.”

‘Mad Men’ Finale: Both Sides Now | Variety

I can’t remember a “Mad Men” finale that laid quite so much track for the storylines of the subsequent season. For the show’s penultimate season, that’s appropriate as the saga of Don Draper heads into its final 13 installments.

I have to hand to to Matthew Weiner and Co. I didn’t see Don Draper’s confessional moves coming, even though of course in hindsight there were plenty of hints. Indeed one of the most powerful moments of season six was the fearless Sally Draper looking her father in the eye and telling him “I don’t know anything about you” in the wake of the experience with creepy “Aunt Ida.”

Don is obviously on a mission to change that in the season six finale, “In Care Of,” written by Carly Wray (a writers assistant this season who’s having her “42nd Street” moment with the opportunity to co-write the finale ) and Weiner and also helmed by Weiner.

Read the rest of this entry »