When we last left Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, going into the finale they’d lost Lucky Strike, fired half the staff, and variously shown that all of them except Pete Campbell, Pete Campbell of all people, and Bert Cooper lacked a spine in some respect or another. How do we cap that off? Oh, “Mad Men” knows how to do just that. Be warned, this is going to be a spoiler-heavy discussion, including speculation on Season 5, so catch the episode before you continue reading…
- Director: Matthew Weiner
- Writer: Jonathan Igla and Matthew Weiner
- Cast: Jon Hamm, Elizabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones, Christina Hendricks, Robert Morse, John Slattery
Episode Title: “Tomorrowland”
Don goes to Disneyland. Peggy gets a tip from Joyce. Harry Crane shows just how smooth he is. Ken shows where his priorities are. Don closes the deal. Joan makes a call, and Dr. Miller receives one.
- I Came To Drop Bombs: Well, one thing you can’t say about this episode is that it was lacking in dramatic reversals and surprises. Wow. Just…wow. Lots to get into.
- Never Send a Man To Do A Woman’s Job: Let’s start with what might be missed as the most important event in the entire episode. Peggy found out about a client, tipped off her client relations man, got a meeting…and landed the account. Peggy broke a ten-week losing streak for the company…only to have it eclipsed by Don being an idiot (more on that next bullet). Boy, she just can not catch a break. But we have a feeling season 5 is going to interesting for Peggy, and since it’s intended to be the last, either she’ll make partner or force somebody out.
- Breaking Don: So, yeah, Don, out of nowhere, proposed to Megan. Let’s just repeat that. Don proposed to Megan. Granted, this isn’t quite out of left field as you might assume, as the episode basically spent the entire run time establishing that Megan is good with the kids and willing to bang Don on a regular basis. In other words, she’s what he thinks he needs to pull himself out his mid-life crisis. Yeah, Don. That’s what you need. A brunette version of Betty. That will end well. We predict that if they even get married, it’s not going to last long at all.
- Joan Lives Up To Her Namesake: So, how do we all think Roger’s going to react when he discovers Joan didn’t actually get that abortion, but instead has chosen to lie to her idiot husband? Happily and politely, with zero drama? Yeah, we don’t think so either. But good for her for at least choosing a father of her child who is the lesser of two douchebags. That said, if Douchebag Hubby doesn’t come back either in a box or with a new Vietnamese wife in season 5, we’ll be surprised. Also, hey, Lane, “title-only promotion,” cute. Maybe you could also call her fat, I don’t think you insulted her enough.
- Ray Wise, Red Herring: This episode we learn why exactly, veteran character actor Ray Wise showed up for ten seconds a few episodes back: he’s the head of Corning! And, when pressed, Ken flatly states he’s not risking his marriage for the sake of business, a rather pointed jab at Pete…and no doubt a hint as to what’s to come in season five. Trudy “forbidding” Pete to spend any money on the company is a hint as to what might strain their marriage. Not to mention a major account, and soon to be a major player, that we’re looking forward to.
- Don Getting Married: Is it us, or is the timing on Don’s engagement a bit off? Around the forty-five minute mark, we found ourselves wondering if we were watching a dream sequence or something. Don couldn’t be that thick, could he? Well, apparently he could.
- Bad Betty: Can we just wrap up Betty as a plotline already? Seriously. Although there wasn’t much screen time dedicated to this lead weight of a subplot this episode, something we’re thankful for, it still managed to make things drag. Our prediction still stands that Betty’s going to pull an Anne Sexton before the show’s finished with its run, but we’d wish she’d hurry the hell up and do it already. That said, at least Betty’s weird, jealous interactions with Glen were interesting, if belaboring the whole “childish” thing.
This wasn’t the best episode of the season; that would be the intimate two-person showcase of “The Suitcase.” It wasn’t the most propulsive episode of the season; that would be the breathless “Hands and Knees.” But it does tie up the season in a tight little bow while leaving a bunch of major plot threads open for the next, and supposedly final, season.
“Mad Men” airs Sundays on AMC at 10 PM.
Agree? Disagree? Think this entire episode was a fast one? Let us know in the comments!