Recaps

Summer Finale Watch: Mad Men “Tomorrowland”

Photo Credit: AMC

Wow. At one point I wanted to turn my television off and not even watch the rest of the episode. I think you know which part I’m talking about. In any case, I was talking – LOUDLY – to the television. There were a lot of interesting developments in last night’s season 4 finale. Let’s get right to it.

Joan is still pregnant and she’s letting her husband think it’s his. I didn’t know Joan had it in her. At some point – when she starts showing – I’m sure Roger will have questions. I have questions now: Why is she choosing to keep this baby? How does she think she’ll get away with it? Does she think this is a good idea? Part of me thinks Joan is being practical. She’s in her thirties and I don’t know how long she and her husband have been trying. Or maybe her encounter at the doctor’s office a few weeks back made her reconsider things. In either case, this is a great complication. I can’t wait to see how it plays out. Oh, and she got a promotion. No one celebrated it and she’s not getting a raise but I guess it’s something.

Peggy breaks the agency’s streak and brings in new business. Although I wouldn’t agree with her assessment that she saved the company, she has definitely started the turn around. I was very proud of her for making this deal happen and I liked watching her work in front of the new client. And on a slightly related note, I really liked the scene with Ken in Don’s office. The fact that he distinguishes between his personal and professional life makes him very different from most of the other men in the office. I like that he doesn’t want to sacrifice his relationship with his fiancee’s father to get ahead at work. I wonder if that will eventually hurt him later on. One thing it does prove is that Don was right to pick Pete over Ken when he started the agency. Pete has that killer instinct the agency needs to stay afloat and hopefully keep growing.

Betty decides it’s finally time to move. Her reasons are childish but it’s time to get out of that house. What is it about Glen that sends Betty off the deep end? We all know she had an inappropriate relationship with him but does she really think he’s going to corrupt her daughter. Is he still creepy? Yes. Would I be concerned if my daughter was hanging out with him? Yes. But are her concerns so great she needs to move the entire family to get Sally away from Glen’s influence? And that stuff with Carla? I love that Carla gave Betty a little lip before she left but wow. I also love that Henry might finally have some insight into his wife. I don’t love that Betty won’t give Carla a reference though but of course there are no real consequences for her. And am I the only one who found that scene between Don and Betty at the end curious? The second something gets tough in her marriage Betty is daydreaming about her time with Don? Even though she claims she didn’t know he was going to be there we know that’s a lie. But she quickly realizes things can’t go back to the way they were (and hopefully she doesn’t really want that). If Betty forces Sally’s psychiatrist to keep seeing her, maybe she can work through her issues. I think it’s fitting that Betty is seeing a child psychiatrist, don’t you?

Don takes his children to California for vacation and comes back an engaged man. Ok, I’m trying to work through my emotions on this. On the one hand I am willing to concede that Matthew Weiner is brilliant. This finale did what it was supposed to – it’s making people talk. But at what cost? Even though I’ve known since the series premiere that Don is a cheater I’ve still liked and for the most part respected him. I was happy for him when he fell in love with Rachel and actually felt safe enough to admit who he really was to her. I didn’t love that he wanted to abandon his family but I could understand why. And I feel like I’ve stuck by him through thick and thin – countless affairs, extremely bad behavior, etc. But this is just too much for me. Even though I know this is how men of that age acted, something in me won’t accept it. Is my problem with Megan? I don’t think so. She’s young enough and maybe even naïve enough to believe Don’s in love with her. So I guess my problem is with Don. Maybe he’ll realize this isn’t what he needs or wants, and hopefully that’ll happen before the wedding. As Faye so astutely points out after Don breaks the news to her, he likes the beginning of things. And when Faye first met Don she did say he’d be married again in a year. So in a way it’s totally appropriate. I still don’t like it.

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