MAD MEN “Tomorrowland” Review

MAD MEN "Tomorrowland"

MAD MEN “Tomorrowland” Season 4 Episode 13 – This week was the fourth season finale of Mad Men. Although there was much speculation about how the season would end and whether it would involve SCDP going out of business, Roger killing himself, or Don finally coming clean about who he is, the writers took it in a different direction. If you haven’t watched the season finale yet, you may want to stop reading now as this review will contain some spoilers.

Mad Men has always been about Don and even more so this season as we have watched him struggle with his demons and then try to change his life and his ways. In perhaps the biggest shocker of this episode, Don decides to take another step in becoming a new person by asking Megan, his secretary to marry him. I have to say I never saw that coming. How did this come about? Who is to blame? One might say this turn of events falls squarely on Betty’s shoulders. After the children’s nanny, Carla, allows Glenn Bishop to go upstairs and say goodbye to Sally in a rather touching scene, he runs right into Betty on the way out. Betty will not have her authority undermined and fires Carla on the spot despite the fact that she has been with the family since Sally was born. Betty also tries to make herself feel better by putting down Carla’s parenting skills, however, she wisely silences herself when Carla firmly tells her not to go there. How did this set things into motion for Don? Well, he no longer had a nanny to accompany he and the children on the trip to California where he was going to visit Stephanie, take a few meetings and take the children to Disneyland. Megan tries to round up some sitters for him, but Don gets the brilliant idea to double her salary and take her along.

Once in California, as always, Don’s emotions get all jumbled. Seeing Stephanie and the “Dick and Anna” on the wall of Anna’s home turns him upside down. So much so that he actually tells Sally that he is Dick, although he claims it is a nickname. At least he didn’t lie. Stephanie gives Don Anna’s old engagement ring at her request. After spending a few days watching Megan so calm with the children, in what I would like to think of as the anti-Betty, and after spending a couple nights in her bed, Don declares that he cannot live another minute without her and proposes, She accepts even though it is so whirlwind, it doesn’t even make sense. They then fly back home to break the news to the office. I suppose that should be share the news, but it really was breaking the news. Everyone takes it well seemingly, but you know they are all thinking “another secretary?”. It was bad enough when he was sleeping with them or that Roger married his secretary. I don’t think anyone expected Don to do that. This news did have the positive effect of bringing Joan and Peggy together for once to bitch about the way they were being treated which was fun to see. I want them to be allies. After all, they are the two strongest women in the firm.

While Don was out finding his new wife, while his current girlfriend was home waiting for him, Peggy was out drumming up new business to save the firm. When her hipster friend, Joyce, stops by with a friend, Peggy learns that the hoisery company, Topaz, just fired their agency. She passes the news to Ken Cosgrove and together they meet with the executives and throw out some ideas. The execs love two of Peggy’s ideas and give them a week to get it done. A quarter million dollars of new business is not so bad and it is the first account they have landed since losing Lucky Strike. Peggy did an amazing job pitching ideas similar to Don and his pitching to American Cancer Society. Too bad her news was overshadowed by the wedding news. Joan can empathize as she received a promotion, but in title only. As she put it, “If there was champagne, it must have been poured while I was pushing the mail cart.” As far as the women get at SCDP, they are still many steps behind.

One cannot forget Betty in all of this. She fires Carla without consulting Don or Henry, both of whom are angry about it. Henry shouts that it better not be about the neighbor boy (it is) and that she was the one to talk about stability for the kids and then she takes away the one thing they have had their whole life. Betty just wants Henry to be on her side for once. Henry tells her that “no one is on your side.” Betty won’t let anyone be on her side. Further, Betty never really clearly knows what her side is. She reacts without thought as is evident with the firing of Carla and then just expects people to blindly be on her side. In the end, Don tells Betty about his engagement over a bottle of liquor in a shared glass in their empty home, Betty having “forgotten” that Don was going to show it to the listing agent. Betty congratulates him, but you know she doesn’t mean it. Don may very well have a chance to be happy, something that Betty never will because she is always in search of “perfect.”

Finally, we learn that Joan kept the baby like I predicted. Her husband thinks it is his baby. Some doctor. I wonder how that will all play out. Eventually Roger will notice she is pregnant and know it is his baby. Eventually her husband will come home and realize that she is less far along than she should be. What a mess. Speaking of messes, how uncomfortable was it when Don called Faye to break up with her and tell her that he was engaged. Their last conversation before that was about how much he was going to miss her. Don needs to watch out. Faye knows everything about him and she seems like one that would exact revenge.

Can we talk about some of the one-liners? Roger had quite a few this episode including “You got cancer?” and “Who the hell is that?” when told about Don’s engagement to Megan. When Joan tells him it is Megan, he responds with “That Megan out there!”. Another good line was when Ken Cosgrove stated that he was no Pete Campbell which led Pete to say “You are most definitely not!”. I think Ken meant that as an insult, Pete.

What did you think of the season finale of Mad Men? Were you expecting the Don/Megan engagement? Do you think the wedding will ever happen? Was Don’s judgment just clouded due to all of the memories in California? Will Faye try to destroy Don or just let him go? What will happen with Joan and her husband when he comes home to a baby not yet born or one that is born way too late? Is Bert really gone for good? So many questions and a long wait until Season 5. Share your thougts about the finale and your predicitions for next season in the comments below.

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