[This! Is! Mad Men! is a recap of the newest developments of Don Draper and his lovable gang of capitalist sleazeballs. Sometimes it's liveblogged, sometimes not. In the spirit of the show, the post itself will often be sexist and drunk. Apologies ahead of time.]
Why do we put up with the bullshit in our lives? Why do we drag our existences through the mud? Knowing that we only have one-way tickets on Spaceship Earth, why don’t we do more to enjoy the ride?
The short answer — most of us don’t even know.
Neither does Don Draper.
Don Draper relies upon work and booze and women. These are the tools he uses to help him forget about his troubled past. An abusive family. A poverty-stricken upbringing. A horrifying war experience.
But Don’s most glaring fault is his inability to step outside of any situation. His myopia. For a man who has carefully crafted a new persona, a new identity, he really has trouble considering the potential outcomes of his actions.
Either that or he just doesn’t care. Which is even worse.
SO HERE’S THE EPISODE’S BIG `OLE SPOILER:
Don proposes to Megan (the secretary) and she accepts.
Yeah, Don Draper banged Megan once this season. So when he needs babysitting help for a trip to California, she tags along (naturally). Telegraphed from a mile away, they end up having sex. In his post-coitus bliss, Draper proposes to the secretary with a ring that Anna had left behind for him.
I’ve made no attempt to hide my love for Dr. Faye Miller. So to see Draper treat her so poorly really cheeses me off. Yet again Donnie has acted impulsively, doing what feels good without thinking about any of the people he hurts along the way.
He’s man enough to call Faye and tell her the news. The good doctor wants to know who she’s being left for but Donnie won’t give up the name — the coward! But before Faye hangs up she declares, “I hope she knows you only like the beginnings of things.”
Right on the mark.
So how does everyone else fare in the fourth season finale of Mad Men?
Well, Joan and Peggy should both feel great about their current work. But they don’t. Lane informs Joan that she’s being promoted to Director of Agency Operations, but then lets her know that without the funds they need it is a nominal position. Peggy manages to keep SCDP afloat by landing a client to help replace the Lucky Strike money…but nobody gives a shit because Don just announced his engagement.
Bert Cooper’s still out. I’m not opposed to his leaving the agency for story purposes, but I think he’s too great of a character to lose forever. Maybe he’ll come back and try to talk some sense into Roger & Don. If not, his parting words perfectly summed up Draper: “We’ve created a monster.”
Ken Cosgrove actually makes one of the most impressive stands I’ve ever seen on Mad Men. Pete tries to convince Ken to set-up a weekend meeting with his father-in-law, using golf as a pretense for doing some business. Cosgrove, atypical of an advertiser, refuses. Pete becomes indignant and wants to know why his associate won’t use his connection to help the agency. With resolve, Ken lets everyone know “Cynthia’s my life. My real life.”
So it seems that Ken Cosgrove has made a distinction of which his coworkers are incapable. Unlike the other mad men, Ken knows that he shows up to work so that he can live his real life. We’ve seen this before — don’t forget that Cosgrove is a published novelist. No, Ken might be good at his job but he doesn’t live for it. He lives for the more meaningful moments, whether they be writing or starting a family.
We should all be a little more like Ken Cosgrove.
It was a pretty sick season of Mad Men and I’m really curious to see where the show’s headed. Is SCDP going to be able to stay afloat? Is Joanie pregnant with Roger’s baby or her husband’s? Is Draper actually going to marry Megan and, if so, will they last? In which year is the next season going take place? Are we going to get more glimpses at the hippies, counterculture, and Vietnam War protests? Will Roger have another heart attack? Is Cooper gone for good?
And most importantly — where the fuck is Kinsey?!