Mad Men, Season 4

Week 9: Faye Knew About the Peanut Butter
Talking television.
Sept. 21 2010 1:01 PM

Mad Men, Season 4

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Week 9: Faye Knew About the Peanut Butter

Don Draper (Jon Hamm). Click image to expand.

There's no way Don is a fly fisherman. He doesn't have the background or the patience for it. Cosgrove slipped up. If he wanted to establish Don's manliness, he should have told the Fillmore guys that Don was a bass man. The person most likely to have flicked a Blue-Wing Olive at SCDP is Cooper. He has the leisure time and the eccentricity that often goes hand-in-hand with fly-fishing. He even looks like one of those squirrely old guys you'll see on the banks of the Battenkill, waiting for the spinner fall to start.

As for Megan, hasn't Don learned his lesson? I just don't see him putting the moves on her, despite her French-extraction beauty and excellent face-care regimen. Her hug with Sally showed her empathy and perhaps her natural mothering skills. But Don seems obsessed with work, not with starting a second family. I suppose he could be swayed by the idea that a new woman in his life might help him raise Sally and her brothers, but he's shown no real desire to have his kids come live with him. Betty would have to top all of her previous efforts at bad parenting to set those wheels in motion.

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Plus, Don is still in the grips of his problems, even if he's temporarily ceased the journal writing. This week, he looked rather longingly at that drink. Maybe because he's got two time bombs counting down. I don't think we've heard the last of Bethany's grating trill. And he's mixed work and pleasure on a high level with Faye. She has a private volatility that's at odds with the scientific approach she brings to her professional life. Don't you two get the crazy vibe from her?

Note: I am not intimating that a woman who choses not have children is somehow nutso or damaged! I thought Faye was right to be annoyed at Don's repeated calls for maternal backup, but I was surprised she wasn't more comfortable with Sally. We've seen Faye hand out the excellent parenting advice to Don in Week 5—if Sally knows that Don loves her, everything will turn out all right.

I can't let this week go by without noting the brilliant way Sally sliced through Don's hedging about Faye being his girlfriend: "She knew you had peanut butter." "She said she really wanted to meet me." Hats off to Kiernan Shipka, the Haley Joel Osment of her generation. Yet, I will be greedy and ask for more about how Sally is really thinking about her life. Many of the commenters predict a druggy doom for her, thanks to her parents, but I see her as one of those divorced children who gains resilience as a result. Paging Dr. Edna.

Eating a bear claw,
Agger

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