Mad Men, Season 4

Week 13: It's All Glen's Fault
Talking television.
Oct. 19 2010 4:33 PM

Mad Men, Season 4

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Week 13: It's All Glen's Fault

John, I believe baby Glen (just kidding!)—baby Gene—was tucked away in a crib. So it would be safe to go consult Jessica Pare about her Magic Kingdom. But this brings up a larger parenting question.

Don has been getting high-fives from everyone for his jocular dadliness, but it's so much easier to be a "great" parent when all that involves is taking your daughter to the Beatles concert or on a trip to Disneyland. Even Megan, a kid-wrangling natural, has the advantage of being the exciting, new baby-sitter. Betty is right to assert her authority to fire Carla by telling Don that she has the children "99 percent of the time." Though she seems to park them in front of the TV and rely on Carla for most everything, she's still doing the heavy lifting compared with her ex-husband. We saw what happened when he got a taste of Sally's defiance on the office visit: He flipped out and started grabbing the nearest available woman like a life raft.

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Now that Don has closed off Betty's flickering hope of maybe something happening between them again, I am curious if she will settle into a more grounded maternal role in Rye and some of the Betty-hate in the land will recede. That's probably wishful thinking. Let me ask Dr. Edna for her opinion.

Julia: very funny about the oracular powers of Harry Keller. If his streak is to continue, he forecasts the return to financial health for SCDP (by telling Don to be patient about the money he's invested in his firm), lots of steak for dinner (perhaps with a side of poutine), and also a Don that becomes an anti-tax zealot a la Wesley Snipes.

Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Pare). Click image to expand.

It's also fun to speculate on Megan's flaws—indeed it's the very thing that will have us poised for Episode 1 of Season 5. Remember how she came in as soon as Don was off the phone with Faye and climbed into his lap to remind him of the wisdom of his choice. There's some calculation there. She also called Joyce pretentious, which suggests a bit of steel beneath her startled-dove manner. (Note to Joyce: Please stop putting your hands in your pockets.) But perhaps her biggest flaw has already been revealed: She's a bad judge of character in saying yes to Don.

Finally, has everyone already pointed out that this is really Glen's fault? If he doesn't ask for a snip of Betty's hair, make Betty think he's dangerous/creepy, develop his crush/confidante relationship with Sally, charm his way past Carla, then Betty doesn't fire Carla, Carla goes to California, and Megan stays home and works on her elocution. Matthew Weiner's son is the master puppeteer of Mad Men!

Bonne nuit mes animaux,
Agger

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Michael Agger is an editor at The New Yorker. Follow him on Twitter.

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