Mad Men Season 6 Review “To Have and to Hold” – The More Things Change…

Don’s hypocrisy rose to new, almost unbelievable heights in “To Have and to Hold,” this week’s episode of Mad Men. Don, the man who has been routinely and unabashedly cheating on his gorgeous wife with a woman who lives in their building, lost his cool and called Megan a whore for having to do a ten second love scene for her soap opera. He then went home and got into bed with his lover.

I know this is Don Draper, anti-hero extraordinaire, but almost like the changing times of the 60’s themselves, what was hot and forbidden in season one when done to Betty the Ice Queen, has become tawdry and unforgivable with second wife Megan, who is pretty much perfect in that she’s a passionate woman who has ambitions for herself and tries to make the world a better place. It’s not sexy anymore, Don. It never should have been, but now we see it for what it truly is: a desperate attempt to control the world by creating a secret life.

We could spend all day analyzing Don, so let’s move on to Joan. For someone who worked her way from the typing pool to being a partner in an ad firm, she sure isn’t happy with her life, is she? Perhaps that’s because she earned the partnership on her back, and although she got the pay raise, she’s still pretty much doing what she did when she was managing Sterling Cooper’s secretaries in season one. Actually, she can’t even really do that because when she fired Harry’s secretary for cheating the company out of money, Harry not only demanded that his pretty little girl be hired back, but that he be made a partner, too, as he’d actually earned it by bringing money into the company, and not sleeping with a client.

As much as you don’t want Harry to be right, he kind of is. He absolutely went about it in the jerkiest way possible, but is Joan really a partner, or is she just a glorified secretary? Roger might come to her defense, but he created the situation that led to her needing to be defended. You get the feeling Joan knows she’s just being placated with the partner title, but as with so many other things in her life, she has decided not to rock the boat. I find it so telling that her wardrobe has basically not changed since day one; we want Joan to be far more progressive than she actually is.

Meanwhile, Don and company made their bid for Heinz ketchup, only to have Peggy and her people waltz in to make a pitch right after them. Don’s ad seemed like a winner (since it seems so familiar), but Peggy’s pitch, complete with lines straight out of Don’s mouth, was more what the client wanted. It was hard to tell if Don was appalled by her borrowing his phrases or proud.

While it was nice to see the show acknowledge that black people existed in the 60’s (it happens so rarely), and I like the two secretaries who framed the episode (it’s always fun when people acknowledge that SCDP is fueled by liquor and bad behavior), I got the feeling that, much like the fictional ad company, the writers didn’t so much put the girls in because they wanted to, but because they felt under pressure to diversify their cast. Let’s hope they keep following those two girls and have their stories become entwined with the main cast, especially Dawn. I would love to see her become the next Joan; maybe she’d be better at being Joan than Joan herself.

What did you think about the episode? Let me know below! And remember you can always follow me on Twitter @krieli1 so you never miss a review.