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Posted at 11:55 AM ET, 10/18/2010

The 'Mad Men' finale: Who the heck is Megan?

By Jen Chaney

WARNING: "Mad Men" season finale spoiler alerts ahead.

During last night's "Mad Men" season finale, I think Roger Sterling (John Slattery) spoke for every viewer when -- upon hearing the news that Don Draper plans to wed his secretary, Megan -- he responded with, "Who the hell is that?"

My thoughts exactly. "Who is Don Draper?" That question is so out. The of-the-moment "Mad Men" question -- and one we'll probably be asking for the next several months until the show returns to AMC in 2011 -- is "Who the hell is Megan?" Sure, we know that she used to work at the front desk at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce before becoming Don's secretary in the wake of the Blankenship demise, and that she and Don shared a one-night stand. But do we even know this chick's last name? The "Mad Men" Wiki doesn't. (Okay, we know that in real life, she's played by Jessica Pare, an actress previously seen in films such as "Wicker Park" and "Hot Tub Time Machine." But that doesn't explain why, in the fictional world of "Mad Men," Don up and proposed to her.)

Indeed, after a whirlwind trip to Disneyland during which Megan babysat the Draper kids and played every Julie-Andrews-as-caregiver card in the book, Don was suddenly smitten. Why? Because -- at least at the moment -- she appears to be the calmer, sweeter wife and mother that Don always wanted Betty to be. "I feel like myself when I'm with you," Don told Megan. Well, not exactly. He feels like the man he always wanted to be -- and for a time, maybe was -- when he was with Betty.

As a result of Don's impulsiveness, poor Faye -- serious career woman Faye, loyal girlfriend Faye, Heinz-meeting-arranging Faye -- got her heart stomped on. Why, when everything between her and Don seemed to be going so well? It all goes back to what Don may perceive as her inability to nurture children. She didn't know how to handle Sally when she flipped out in the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce office a few episodes back. But Megan? She can get the kids to sing for Daddy ... in French!

In this "Mad Men" episode -- dubbed "Tomorrowland" -- strong women got screwed over repeatedly. In addition to Dr. Faye Miller, Peggy didn't get the recognition she felt she deserved for landing the lucrative Topaz pantyhose account, Joan got a promotion but without the accompanying salary bump (turns out Joan has a second bump, of the baby variety, to worry about, too), and Carla, another resilient, rational and loyal woman, got fired by Betty for daring to let little wacky Glen say goodbye to Sally.

Honestly, the whole reason Don is marrying Megan can be traced back to that moment. If Betty hadn't fired Carla, she would have gone to L.A. instead of Megan. So, as always, Betty's pettiness is to blame for all things.

Toward the end of the episode, Peggy bemoaned the fact that the pretty faces always win. But with two seasons of "Mad Men" remaining -- seasons that will take us into the more volatile late '60s, and presumably to an even more charged set of gender politics -- I'd like to think that isn't how things will stay. The strong women didn't have their day in "Tomorrowland." But maybe in the tomorrows on "Mad Men," they will.

Oh, and as for Megan? I'm not willing to immediately place her in the doting, submissive female category just yet. There may be a method to her Maria von Trapp-ness -- an ulterior motive or two for seducing Don -- that we don't even know about yet. In fact, I'm sure of it. Because, to again quote Roger, who the hell is she? We haven't even begun to find out.

By Jen Chaney  | October 18, 2010; 11:55 AM ET
Categories:  TV  | Tags:  Mad Men  
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Comments

Yeah....so you missed some things.

Her name is Megan Calvet. I believe Don says, "I will be marrying Ms. Calvet," at which point, Roger says, "who is that?"

And the thing with Megan vs. Faye is two-fold. Part of it comes from Ken's conversation about how he wants to keep his work life separate from his "real life." Faye's a worker (and not your stereotypical June Cleaver mom), and he'll thus never have that steak dinner waiting for him on the table. He'll never have the escape he needs.

At the same time, it's also the coward's way out by going with someone who doesn't care about his past. Faye knows the Dick Whitman/Don Draper story and is pushing him to open up about it. Don wants to keep it buried; Megan offers the opportunity for that.

Posted by: btothecant | October 18, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Bleah. After enjoying the heck out of this season, we end with this? Megan totally played Don. He's really at a low point if he's stupid enough to fall for that dreck. And what i really want to know is - what did she say to her mother on the phone in french?

Posted by: duhneese | October 18, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Why are you asking? She's hot. Like insane hot. And tall with long legs. Go Don go!

Posted by: johnnycomelately1 | October 18, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

This was a season finale? It was a real yawner... certainly nothing happened that's going to keep me eagerly awaiting the start of the next season. Yes, I was surprised by Don's engagement, but I wasn't made to CARE about it. I'd already decided that Joan didn't have the abortion, but I don't CARE. Actually, my favorite scene in this episode was Peggy and Joan in Joan's office after Don dropped his bombshell.

Overall, it was a disappointing way to end the season.

Posted by: Vosora | October 18, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

The French on the phone: She asks her mom to get her dad because she has some news....

I was really disappointed with this new turn in the plot. The way Don seems so smitten just wasn't very believable. And a spilt milkshake is enough to tell us how calm she is as a person? Give me a break...Seasons one and two were truly terrific. Season three was a soap-operatic abomination. Season four...it had some high moments and a terrible ending.

Posted by: homer44 | October 18, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

This episode totally felt like a mid-season episode, not a season finale.

Suitcase was my fave of the season. The last 3 or 4 episodes would've made better season enders than this one.

As soon as I saw the look on Don's face when she was cleaning up the milkshake I KNEW Faye was outta the picture.

And I do admit to actually liking Creepy Glen in this episode, if for no other reason than he yelled the truth at Betty. He's the only one on that show with any maturity.

I think Betty's new hubby should divorce her & take custody of those kids.

Also, I'm reeeally gonna miss the Draper kitchen, it was just so awesome looking with all that bad wallpaper & wood.

Posted by: wadejg | October 18, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Of course, Don was going to marry Megan - Ida Blankenship was deceased. This is just a TV show. Season Four just needed more Roger and more of Bloodless Betty.

Posted by: CubsFan | October 18, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

You missed the hint of this plot point to come a few episodes back. When Sally had her tantrum in the office and tripped as she was running out, it was Megan who picked her up and said, "It's OK; I fall all the time." You could see how impressed Don was with that. I think this twist signals changes to come: Don caring more about his kids (and their childhood being better than his). I'm betting he gets custody.

Posted by: lkarrm | October 18, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

First of all, moving from the scenes in LA to Megan waking up in his apartment to a proposal was one of the worst transitions I've scene on a this show. It would get an "F" in film school. My wife and I were sitting there asking, "When is this?", "Where is this?", "Is one of the characters imagining this?".

I agree with those who think Megan is not the innocent she seems and did the whole "Sound Of Music" thing to rope in Don. She doesn't consider herself pretty (remember the tale of her teeth holding here back) and is a lot smarter than the typical secretary. Remember, she grew up in academia.

Matt Weiner may not have realized this yet, but, the main character of the remaining story arc will not be Don but Peggy. Why? because we're entering a period where women start to become more empowered and she is a sort of female version of Don. She has started to save the company, has become a creative force and, as the scene with Joan pointed out, is also becoming more aware of how power works and how to get it. Season six will probably end in the 1970's with and agency called "Peg Olson and Associates".

I also take note of the fact that the only two people in Don's personal life who know his secret are an angry ex-wife and a woman he just dumped.

Anyone who thinks Joan's husband, unexpectedly deployed to Viet Nam, doesn't get killed in action, thus solving the problem of Joan's/Roger's baby, raise your hand.

Posted by: 20steveltd | October 18, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

You make a good point that Don chose Megan because she's a nurturer... but I have a hard time agreeing that he chose her over Faye because Megan offers Don a respite from work... I got the impression that Don is going to try to promote her, or Megan is going to ask for a promotion. I don't think she'll persue the housewife role willingly.

However, I thought it was a clever twist to the story. It shows that Don, despite his best efforts to become a good person, has been consumed by the ad industry lifestyle and is heading down the same destructive path that Roger took... (and so many before him). He's marrying a woman who is so wrong for him that he will undoubtedly wind up miserable.

Though Megan may not have had the Don-seduction-to-marriage bit all planned out in advance, I think she will certainly use him for his money and status, and turn into an awful, bitter wife.

It's a smart plot twist - it will add plenty of drama to next season, and it's a good device to show that the uptown Manhattan, cutthroat business culture ruins those who get caught up in it, no matter how badly they want to do good.

Posted by: mmrick | October 18, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Megan is going to use her marriage to Don to bring her parents over from France. Why else would the show make such a point of her being French and calling her parents in France? As she is though, I do like her and I am excited to see how she plays into Don's life.

I do want to see more of Betty though, that woman is a petulant mystery!

Posted by: CaliPhilly | October 18, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

To anyone who thinks Don will sue for custody, no way. Betty knows all of his secrets and she'd use them against him. It's not that she cares about her kids so much as what would people think about her mothering if she lost them?

Posted by: duhneese | October 18, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I think she spells her name wrong:
http://gravelle.us/JessicaPare

But that's my type'o typo...


-jjg

Posted by: jgravelle | October 18, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Don knew he wanted to be the man in the suit with the wife and the car and all the stuff that the writer talks about in the first episode of this season. By marrying Megan, he will be able to once again have control over his family life and his personal life all in one. Getting the ring from Anna's neice made him realize that. Now Don can bury himself in work which is where he really has the most control.

Topaz was hardly a lucrative account. At $250,000 it is the smallest account mentioned yet. It is just about the landing of a new account that was important.

Roger's line of "see this is how we behave" was a jab at Don marrying his secretary. It reaffirms to Don that he can live the life he dreams of.

Posted by: jminadeo | October 18, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Er, does anyone edit these columns before they run or is this the brave new world of WashPost online journalism? Everyone at the agency knows who "Megan" is. They (and the viewers) didn't really know her last name. The late arrivals in his office, after he made the big announcement, were told "He's marrying Miss Calvas (sp)." That's when Roger asked, "Who the hell's that?" Also, a sidenote to another commenter, she's actually Canadian, not French.

Posted by: Manhattan1 | October 18, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

mmrick, I like your idea that Megan may use Don for his status, etc. I can very much see that happening, which is what I was trying to imply at the end of the post.

And while I don't know if Don would sue for custody, I am also intrigued by the idea that he may wind up with the kids. Wouldn't it be an interesting book end if, during season four, we see Don visiting Betty in an institution/hospital, just as he did with Peggy in S2?

And Manhattan1: obviously regular viewers know who Megan is. I was merely trying to point out how out of left field that marriage proposal was, and the fact that Don knows next to nothing about this woman. You are right that Don did identify her as Miss Calvas, and I apologize for not noting that. Thanks to your comment, it has now been duly noted.

Posted by: Jen Chaney | October 18, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Last season Don told Roger that everyone at the firm was laughing behind his back for marrying the pretty young thing.

Don just made the same mistake, and now it's not just the no-name peons who call him pathetic for being divorced and drunk, now it's Peggy and Joan rolling their eyes at his life.

Blaming Betty for this choice misses the point. This season was all about Don making massive mistakes, setting up even greater falls for next season. Because, you know, a big fall is coming for Don Draper, just like the title sequence tells us.

Posted by: mal3 | October 18, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I say bravo to the season finale's writers, well done! We know Don Draper is a split character. We watchers are now left to ponder which character we love best, the confident professional New York City Don, the beloved dad and husband Suburban Don or the Southern Californian Dick Whitman. Just as the 1960s are about to break wide open with social/political revolution. What an artistic and delicious place to linger until next season.

Posted by: rickstahl | October 18, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I think the biggest twist the writers could give is to have Megan NOT be wrong for Don; to NOT "use him for his money and status, and turn into an awful, bitter wife."

So maybe she gets a promotion and starts working with Peggy, and is good at it, and is still the kind of wife and mother Don and the kids need. Isn't that really what the women's movement in the 70's was all about?

Posted by: pfallsgirl | October 18, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Yea, we all should have been shocked. But why be shocked?

Don Draper is a narcisitic, self-destructive personality that we have enjoyed watching for years. He builds-up character relationships, only to destroy every virtue.

So, he goes impulsive yet again, marrying his 25 y/o Secretary, Ms. Megan (or rather Ms. Calvet?). Destroying his own soap-box rants of the Sterling-Secretary wedding a season or two ago. Not to mention that Peggy was his first secretary...but lets not get into that just now.

Hey, if I were a man-among-men in the 1960s, who WOULDN'T want to marry his hot 25 y/o secretary to help take care of his kids from his first disaster, and then go off and start cheating on #2 with the next secretary and other stewardesses, waitresses, teachers, etc., etc....

Besides, why would Don Draper want a PhD wife who knows his past? Oh no, that would be a turn to reality. He really wants an unknown young hotty who can take care of his kids and inevitably destroy his persona with...well, we will just have to see how devious Megan can and will be...after all, she will be Don's 2nd (or 3rd wife, if you count the first one...).

Get ready for Emmy #4. As it should be.

Posted by: HumbleGovWorker | October 18, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

To someone such as myself, a woman who graduated from college and entered the work force (first job in advertising) in 1965, this episode was fascinating to me. The role of women in Mad Men seems very accurately portrayed. The enormous social transition that began in the mid-60s is in the early stages in Mad Men, and ambivalence is everywhere. Megan is smart, well-educated and canny, yet has a secretarial job. She admires and wants to be like Peggy - i.e., move up to a professional position. Peggy is doing well professionally, but is hurt and angry that a prettier woman has captured Don's heart. Fay is already successful professionally, and is honest and open, but Don is not ready for that. Instead he chooses to try to put his family back together.

Re the new client: Topaz might only be worth $250k at the start, but it's the first new client since Lucky Strike left and therefore a critical win. More importantly, panty hose were brand new in 1965 - they simply didn't exist before that. Great catch for Peggy.

The first woman to start and run a major ad agency was Mary Wells, in 1966, who had been with several large agencies before that. Her big account was Braniff, whose former president she married in 1967. Perhaps she is the model for Peggy.

Posted by: crsr03 | October 18, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

To someone such as myself, a woman who graduated from college and entered the work force (first job in advertising) in 1965, this episode was fascinating to me. The role of women in Mad Men seems very accurately portrayed. The enormous social transition that began in the mid-60s is in the early stages in Mad Men, and ambivalence is everywhere. Megan is smart, well-educated and canny, yet has a secretarial job. She admires and wants to be like Peggy - i.e., move up to a professional position. Peggy is doing well professionally, but is hurt and angry that a prettier woman has captured Don's heart. Fay is already successful professionally, and is honest and open, but Don is not ready for that. Instead he chooses to try to put his family back together.

Re the new client: Topaz might only be worth $250k at the start, but it's the first new client since Lucky Strike left and therefore a critical win. More importantly, panty hose were brand new in 1965 - they simply didn't exist before that. Great catch for Peggy.

The first woman to start and run a major ad agency was Mary Wells, in 1966, who had been with several large agencies before that. Her big account was Braniff, whose former president she married in 1967. Perhaps she is the model for Peggy.

Posted by: crsr03 | October 18, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

20steveltd's comment hit the nail on the head. That horrible piece of direction/writing/editing overshadowed the entire episode. For a show that prides itself on character development and interpersonal relationships, this episode bombed.

Posted by: acasey2 | October 18, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Btw, best moment has to be in Joan's office when she tells Peggy that she gave up hoping for fulfillment in her job long ago. Peggy momentarily considers it, and replies "that's bullshit", to uproarious laughter.

Posted by: acasey2 | October 18, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

i know i can't be the only romantic sap out in MM-land.
megan was coming to don as far back as the episode when she consoled don's christmas party conquest from the other side of the one-way mirror. megan has proven, selflessly, that she is sincere over and over again.
-the cleo
-sally in the hallway
-don, after hours. "i won't cry and run out tomorrow"
-The Letter
over and over again megan has been there for someone without looking for compensation or notoriety.
dr. faye miller was the one hiding behind a fake wedding ring. she promised to help don with his issues, but they both knew how empty those were.
and bobby wanted to fly a jet at disneyland. (the writing is good.) megan is the jet.
the roger/dawn marriage is different because roger is different. he is a spoiled little boy. don is not.
don lost his anna and her ring, from the real don, is the ring on megan's finger.
sure, there will be endless opportunities for peggy to learn more as megan advances into copyrighting, but megan is young and her life doesn't end with a house and kids. she will be an asset to SCDP before these two years are up.
betty slumping on sally's bed, and getting freshened up for her "surprise" encounter with don... sigh... henry is in for a bumpy ride as the rockefeller campaign demands more from his wife. she is too deep into her own childish needs and deceits for them to survive. henry will get canned from the campaign if he sticks with betty. that'll be a mess.
i think megan is don's muse. french canadian, creative, beautiful, humble, sincere, smart, and loyal. and she is in love, too.
i know i can't be the only one to see this.

Posted by: md2or | October 18, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Megan from Canada? Wasn't there some earlier dialogue about her coming to NYC from Montreal?

I think Betty's gonna get dumped by her second husband, which will contribute to her losing custody of her kids to Don and his new wife.

But will Don tell Megan, before they get married, that he's really Dick? That deception was one of many problems that led to Don and Betty's divorce...

Posted by: Kathy8 | October 18, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the time jump ruined it, but it sure as hell was confusing.

ER used to do that all the time. One week it was Easter the next week they were planning their Fourth of July picnic. It used to make me crazy.

This show time jumps a lot anyway, and thank God not in that weird Lost way, but I agree, on that front last nite it was really confusing.

I'm not even sure what holiday they were celebrating with a long weekend.

Posted by: wadejg | October 18, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I agree virtually totally with md2or's comments. There has been no indication from the character that she is anything but what she appears to be. She will, of course, be what the writers make her to be, but if she is anything but an intelligent, pretty, sincere young women that hasn't yet been communicated to the viewers. I may be projecting onto Draper but I thing the reason he is clearly smitten with Megan is that she makes him feel good by providing affection, supporting his actions, interacting well with his kids (they are a fact of his life), and not adding drama where there shouldn't be (it's only a milkshake). None other women we have seen him with, except maybe Anna, do all of those, especially the kids and drama. In real life some marriages work and some don't, without having anyone really at fault. This will go according to the writers' desires.

As far as the transition from LA to NY. Get a grip people, it was obviously in his apartment. Don't over think it. You shouldn't need some silly airport/airplane scene to follow the plot. I think they were pretty much up against 60 minutes as it was.

Posted by: giscone | October 18, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Sweet Megan has mentioned 'god' several times and it will be a huge issue when the marriage is called off. Just sayin'.

Posted by: maxmax1 | October 18, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I thought the engagement between Don and Megan happened too fast, but it happens fast in real life too (I know from experience). Seems like MM could have used an extra episode inbetween this and last one to build up to it better. I wonder if the marriage will actually happen? Megan says she is from Montreal. Is she a US Citizen? I anticipate this could be a possible plot twist that might blow Don's cover. Or at the least, he might have to fess up to Megan about his identity and she won't like it. I also think maybe Dr. Faye could blackmail him. Didn't she imply her Dad was a gangster?. Seems like she could has all the trappings of a real bunny boiler.

I didn't understand the scene with Harry Crane and Peggy and that model who came in with Peggy's lesbian girlfriend. Didn't understand the look on Peggy's face after Harry left her office either.

In the scene where Don proposes to Megan in his apartmetn, I had myself believing this was a dream that one of them was having since it was such an abrupt shift in locale. But then it turned out to be real. I had a hard time believing Don would jump into marriage again so soon. But Megan is a doll and he knows he found a winner. Much better than that cross eyed Dr. Faye. I never liked her. I can't believe MM would let Don live happily ever after. He is a much more interesting character if he stays messed up and wrestling with inner turmoil.

The whole of season 4 seemed to be about women primarily and the many layers of maturity that women go through - or don't, as in Betty who is and always will be a child, and Peggy who is growing up but can't resist making snarky comments about Megan and Don's engagement, and Dr. Faye who seems mature on the surface but is clingy and needy on the inside. You Go Joan!

Posted by: accountexec | October 18, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

She's not from France. She is from Montreal.

Posted by: mgk1068 | October 18, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Montreal is in Canada - so she's not a US Citizen.

Posted by: accountexec | October 18, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Megan is the woman Don dreams of (hence the lightning fast falling in love/engagement).... because she's the type of woman he thinks he can handle. A woman in Betty's mold, without Betty's immaturity and pettiness... a beautiful woman who is reasonably intelligent and who can also be the (second) mother of his children. A woman who adores him yet who doesn't really challenge him to overcome his inner demons, the way Fay did as a lover or Peggy does as a friend.
I'm not sure Megan will turn out to be the ruthless social climber some seem to hint at here. Certainly, she's fallen into the age-old trap of marrying the boss and progressing in life thanks to her connections as opposed to her skills, but I think her affection for Don is real. And she may bring some measure of peace to his world, at least at first...the problem is that Don has chosen the path of least resistance instead of the path of self-realization ; the woman who fits his conventional storybook instead of a a potentially equal partner.As mentioned earlier, he's become the butt of his own joke. And this being MM, there will be hell to pay, sooner rather than later.

Some directorial snafus aside, I thought there was some brilliant writing in this episode, on a par with this season's other gems...Agree that the scene with Peggy and Joan was the high point. the last scene was also great - Don gazing out the window of his soon to be ex-bachelor pad, you could see he couldn't WAIT to leave that life. Poor clueless, ambivalent Don...can't wait for 2011!

Posted by: NY611 | October 18, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

I do not agree with all the Betty bashing. Why so insensitive to a woman who was unfairly treated by Don? Why is she being called childish and petty? Isn't Don the one who is childish? He cheated on Betty through their entire marriage and finally broke up the family by his continuous infidelity. He is continuously impulsive and selfish, continuously disloyal, and yet nobody bashes him, they praise him! Yet they bash poor Betty?! The woman is lonely. She has not stopped loving Don. She told Henry that Don had been the only man in her life. So she fired Carla? Big deal! Carla will find work else where. She's trying to make big changes. Betty has the right to make impulsive decisions in pursuit of happiness too. Get off of Betty's back. Her character is struggling probably more than any of them. I'm also tired of all the remarks as to the lack of intelligence of secretaries. Secretaries are not stupid! I am an assistant myself and I once had a boss who said it best, "a good secretary is worth her/his weight in gold."

Posted by: msvigi | October 18, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

But Megan *could* be a naturalized citizen.

My mother was born in Mexico, but moved over here as a teenager, studied, took the exam, and has now been a naturalized citizen for over 50 years. Bless her heart!!

Still, Megan is a question mark for the next season.
Smart? yes, I think so.
Ambitious? not sure.
Nurturing? yes, unlike Faye. Duplicitous? hmm, maybe not at first, but her character may develop.

All in all, maybe this wasn't a *great* season, but the stage has been set. Hope the writers come through.

Posted by: osmor | October 18, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

@msvigi

I hear you, and yes, Betty is a lonely figure. But Betty is not blameless and is not totally innocent. Remember the Thangsgiving dinner scene at her new in-law's house? Everybody was aghast at Betty's abuse of her own daughter. Going further back in time, remember how Betty wanted Don to give their son a whupping b/c the kid broke something or other, or lied about it, or whatever? Don was conflicted about it, whereas the Betty character was demanding that Don take action and basically slap down the kid. I'm sure other more astute viewers can pin down the episode. Sliding forward in time, remember the atrocious slap that Betty admininstered to Sally in front of both Henry and Don? And what about her insistence to stay in the house, when Don mentioned he might have to start charging rent, and even Henry Francis commented that Don was justified? Betty has been portrayed as a "spoiled kid" from Day 1 and her actions affirm that. It's hard to feel sorry for her. Sorry.

Posted by: osmor | October 18, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Megan is a comp lit major from McGill. Her father is a well-known Canadian intellectual. Megan wants to be an accomplished person of substance. She does not aspire to be Maria Von Trappe.

Megan will not be happy with a house in the suburbs (Cheever-ville). She wants to rise at Sterling Cooper. She is going to be a formidable woman. Don has no idea what he is getting in to.

Posted by: cathykay | October 18, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

@msvigi
Regarding Betty's firing of Carla, I understand that the viewers/readers reactions could be unfair. After all, Betty knows that the Glenn kid has "aspirations". So Betty would be justified.

Except that she did not explain that to Carla.

Except that Betty's own immaturity, a season or two ago, almost led to her being, believe or not, seduced by the Glenn kid.

Betty was taking out her own anger at herself by directing it towards Carla.

A bit immature, yes?

Posted by: osmor | October 18, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

@msvigi
Regarding Betty's firing of Carla, I understand that the viewers/readers reactions could be unfair. After all, Betty knows that the Glenn kid has "aspirations". So Betty would be justified.

Except that she did not explain that to Carla.

Except that Betty's own immaturity, a season or two ago, almost led to her being, believe or not, seduced by the Glenn kid.

Betty was taking out her own anger at herself by directing it towards Carla.

A bit immature, wouldn't you agree?

Posted by: osmor | October 18, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

oops! I thought it hadn't gone thru yet when I belatedly decided to preview the posting. My bad.

Posted by: osmor | October 18, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I started watching Mad Men middle of season three and thought Betty Draper had to be the most humorless character I'd ever seen. I then watched Season 1 on DVD and saw how horribly Don treated her. Cheated on her left and right and had her psychologist report back everything she said. I need to begin Season 2 but I wonder how much of her current personality is a result of the way Don treated her. He once told Anna that Betty was smiling and happy when they met. Will he be saying the same about Megan somewhere down the road ("Don't know how she turned into such a shrew!")

Henry expects Betty to get over everything quickly but she is still angry at Don. You are not married to someone for eleven years without carrying some residual feeling for them.

Don is out living his life the way he wants while she is stuck in the same situation. He may love his kids but he doesn't spend a heck of a lot of time with them. If he marries Megan, he'll expect her to do all the parenting when the kids come to visit. That may be what put her over the top instead of Faye!

Posted by: Beatrice3 | October 18, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

@cathykay makes an astute point: megan has pedigree. megan has aspirations for her life that the mid-sixties in manhattan will only accelerate, and she comes by those aspirations honestly. she is no jane, nor is she betty. don is no roger, nor is he henry.

megan will prove to be the lover don always wanted. (he will slip when dick whitman returns, causing a drunken panic, but she knows this intuitively and they will survive it as megan and dick.)

megan is competent. she has been nothing but competent. (and the call from senator kennedy doesn't count. they didn't have caller ID back then.) she intuitively does the right thing: compassion when needed (sally, anna, don after hours, LA) again, it comes to her naturally and easily.

megan has not been shown as gossipy, nor strident. no hidden agenda. betty, as a counterpoint, is quick to complain and rarely sees the larger picture, nor does she exercise the discretion don requires. notably, and too late, she is careful with the g-men AND she tells don about gene's birthday, delighting in the interest he takes with the baby. betty misses the latitude don gave her as henry grows more vocal in his disdain for her. she invented a reason to be in the house with don was to meet with the real estate agent and is stunned (in her way) of don's news. betty gets don now, setting the precedent for megan who will get it much more quickly.

megan will have to endure the barbs coming from peggy and joan. as peggy continues to make her way on merit she will question don on megan's leapfrogging. joan, forever the pragmatist, will abide.

megan's mistakes, and there will be plenty, will not raise the ire don has heaped on the creative team, and this will upset the team. don will have to bear the burden of not being an academic, as he will, for once, not be the smartest guy around the dinner table when he visits montreal. an episode, tops.

if there is redemption in the next two years, and there will be, it will come from the union of don and megan.

can you tell i cheered when don proposed? megan was killing me with how l-o-n-g the "yes" came. but it was so emphatic. bliss.

now let's talk about joan, roger, and the good captain... there is a real mess.

Posted by: md2or | October 18, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

"...I also take note of the fact that the only two people in Don's personal life who know his secret are an angry ex-wife and a woman he just dumped."

Not true. Pete knows, which forced him to tell Bert Cooper. I know you wrote "personal life" but in this group, it all crosses over.

Posted by: peauxsucent | October 19, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Just one comment re Betty firing Carla. Given how Betty feels about Glenn, I can understand her letting Carla go,even after all these years. But if you recall, Henry is furious at Betty because he found out that she even refused to give Carla a reference. This effectively means the woman will not be able to get a job with another family, because she can't account for what she's been doing for about 10 years. When Henry calls Betty out on this, she says, "I wish you could be on my side for once," which causes Henry to say, "Betty, no one's on your side."

Seriously, not giving Carla a reference because of one slip after years of devoted service is an act of incredible cruelty.

Posted by: jhpurdy | October 19, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm not convinced that Megan will be made a copywriter at SCDP. She hasn't even demonstrated copy writing abilities, and why would Don want her working there? I see them as a fashionable modern couple living in the city and not moving to the suburbs. But Megan will have her hands full with Don when the drinking demons take over among other temptations.

It was despicable of Betty not to give Carla a reference. She thinks only of herself. I think we're supposed to dislike her as a character and pity her no matter how bad Don treated her. I agree with Henry, nobody is on her side.

Posted by: accountexec | October 19, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Re: CaliPhilly comment about Ms. Calvet using Don to move her family from France to NYC -- Uh, the woman is from Canada? Plus if Don could not even get a clearance from the government for the account with the military then how the heck can he bring over his fiance's family from Montreal?. Plus Megan's Dad is a professor he does not need to move his family to America?. Re Megan's motives, she played her cards right. She totally blind-sided Faye. Good Potential step mom (check!), Total devotion for her boss (check), Non-judgemental (double check!), Pretty (Check!), not too much ambition (double check). I can't wait to see how his in-laws will see him. Best line spoken on the show was Peggy's line to Joan "That's Bull$%#!" classic!

Posted by: sunnyside1 | October 21, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Re: CaliPhilly comment about Ms. Calvet using Don to move her family from France to NYC -- Uh, the woman is from Canada? Plus if Don could not even get a clearance from the government for the account with the military then how the heck can he bring over his fiance's family from Montreal?. Plus Megan's Dad is a professor he does not need to move his family to America?. Re Megan's motives, she played her cards right. She totally blind-sided Faye. Good Potential step mom (check!), Total devotion for her boss (check), Non-judgemental (double check!), Pretty (Check!), not too much ambition (double check). I can't wait to see how his in-laws will see him. Best line spoken on the show was Peggy's line to Joan "That's Bull$%#!" classic!

Posted by: sunnyside1 | October 21, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Re: CaliPhilly comment about Ms. Calvet using Don to move her family from France to NYC -- Uh, the woman is from Canada? Plus if Don could not even get a clearance from the government for the account with the military then how the heck can he bring over his fiance's family from Montreal?. Plus Megan's Dad is a professor he does not need to move his family to America?. Re Megan's motives, she played her cards right. She totally blind-sided Faye. Good Potential step mom (check!), Total devotion for her boss (check), Non-judgemental (double check!), Pretty (Check!), not too much ambition (double check). I can't wait to see how his in-laws will see him. Best line spoken on the show was Peggy's line to Joan "That's Bull&%#!" classic!

Posted by: sunnyside1 | October 21, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

"@msvigi
Regarding Betty's firing of Carla, I understand that the viewers/readers reactions could be unfair. After all, Betty knows that the Glenn kid has "aspirations". So Betty would be justified.

Except that she did not explain that to Carla.

Except that Betty's own immaturity, a season or two ago, almost led to her being, believe or not, seduced by the Glenn kid.

Betty was taking out her own anger at herself by directing it towards Carla.

A bit immature, yes?"

She doesn't have to explain anything to Carla. Carla is the employee and Betty is the mother. She doesn't have to justify why she doesn't feel comfortable with Glenn around her daughter--in fact to expect her to do so is forcing a breach of privacy. (And Glenn IS creepy--this is the kid who spied on Betty in the bathroom and broke into the house and trashed it.)

Carla did deserve a letter of recommendation though. Other than that one mistake, she was great.

The constant accusations of "immaturity" regarding Betty are a little odd. Don cheated CONSTANTLY on her--is that immature? It seems as though it's just accepted. Not only did Don cheat on her, he lied to her throughout their marriage, spied on her analysis (HUGE breach of ethics on every level), mocked her "you look desperate in that bikini") and gaslighted her. Betty's angry, and justifiably so--she's emerged from years of emotional neglect and abuse. It literally makes me sick to see how viewers cheer on Don, identifying with his terrible treatment of women (Don has many good qualities, but he is a terrible husband, father and romantic partner), and vilify Betty. The double-standard is alive and well, sadly.

And the pearl-clutching about Betty slapping Sally needs to stop. Believe it ot not, that was much more accepted back then than now--in fact in the first season, there was a neighbor who smacked a kid who wasn't even his in the face.

For those who took Henry seriously when he said "nobody's on your side," please learn to hear sarcasm. He was mocking what he saw as her self-pitying, not agreeing with her. Sheesh.

"I think we're supposed to dislike her as a character and pity her no matter how bad Don treated her"

If you really think that, I weep for the future. I've never heard such a blatant statement of misogyny and blame-the-victim. Go back and watch Season 1.

Posted by: NYC123 | October 22, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

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