Mad Men, Season 4

Week 13: Tell Me About Megan's Mindset
Talking television.
Oct. 18 2010 2:58 PM

Mad Men, Season 4

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Week 13: Tell Me About Megan's Mindset

Mad Men office. Click image to expand.

Julia, I second your notion that Don is turning into a child. He certainly had a glazed-over babyface in the scenes after he proposed to Megan. I also thought Don's explication of the adolescent mind to the American Cancer Society revealed his greatness at work and unpredictability in life. To succeed as a creative mad man is to live in a kind of permanent adolescence, to constantly dream up new enthusiasms for products and people. But that quest for novelty in your personal affairs can mean serial philandering or, as Faye so aptly puts it, liking only the beginning of things. It can also mean the most improbable result of a family vacation: marrying your secretary.

Everyone's saying that Don's impulse to pop the question to Megan started in the milkshake scene. But I thought she had him at a Whiskey a Go Go; i.e., I think Don was motivated by equal parts lust and Megan's supernanny abilities.

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My general take on the season finale is that we watched half a season. There are so many threads that need to be picked up. Pete's new fatherhood. Peggy's increased confidence in her position but also her growing self-righteousness—"I just saved this company." Not to mention the continued existence of SCDP itself. My hope is that we have not seen the last of Faye. I want to watch what a smart, spurned woman will do with possession of Don's secret. Does she find some way to make him feel the pain that he inflicted, or does she not want to revert to a type?

For me, the best scene last night was the exchange between Peggy and Joan after Don's announcement. They stood in for the audience's amazement, but their exchange also showed the genuine bonding between working women that's been missing this season. How great was it when Peggy called "bullshit" on Joan when she tried to pass off the idea that the office didn't much matter to her! Get me a GIF of that.

I also liked how Don mishandled giving the news to Peggy. He placed Megan on a plane above Peggy by mentioning how much Megan "admired" her. Peggy was naturally insulted and left wondering once again if beauty will get a free ride past talent. Does Don make Megan a copywriter? Is he going to mentor her the way that he does Peggy? More good questions for next season. The usual step is for the secretary to go home and "put a steak on the table." But we've learned that Megan has creative ambitions. Don may want to keep that apartment in the Village.

One last question for the two of you: We've talked about Don's reasons for proposing to Megan, but why did Megan say yes? One of the season's themes has been the proto-feminism of women trying out new roles in the workplace and in society at large. Anna Draper's niece, for example, hands Don the engagement ring and lets it drop that she doesn't believe in marriage. Tell me more about the Megan's mindset, besides the obscene good looks of Don. Did she really believe all that stuff about his "good heart"?

Can you believe it?
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Michael Agger is an editor at The New Yorker. Follow him on Twitter.

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