Glory be, we’re getting closer.
Mad Men’s final chapter has a release date: April 7. That’s Easter Sunday, as it turns out. And I know I’ve been consumed with Mad Men this year because I see the premiere falling on Easter as a sign. Yes, a sign — that Don Draper is on a road to redemption and will find peace by shedding his facade and becoming Dick Whitman again. Call me crazy, but I’m standing by the prediction.
Until April, we’re continuing our rewatch and are wrapping up Season Four, notable for many things, including arguably the best episode of the series (“The Suitcase”) and for bringing us the new Mrs. Draper. Megan Calvet enters Don’s life as a sexy Fräulein Maria — she’s young, pretty, light-hearted, great with kids, and when she comes onto Don in his office, she’s quick to assure him he doesn’t need to worry about her. She’s not one to show up in tears the next day, like previous secretaries of Don’s. She’s living in the moment. She’s a Cool Girl — in Don’s mind, at least.
Don’s marriage to Megan surprised me when Season Four first aired in 2010, but now, I see how it was telegraphed. The lovely Faye Miller told Don right off the bat that he is a type, and that type is a man who can’t be alone for long. Faye was too smart to be able to fill the void — she quickly had Don’s number and therefore couldn’t be the blank slate he thought he needed. Megan, however, was pure acceptance and patience, no questions asked, and Don fell for the idea of her. This is one of the things creator Matthew Weiner does so well: Megan isn’t written like a Cool Girl at all; she’s only seen as one through the eyes of Don. He’ll learn his lesson — that Megan is more than meets the eye and has ambitions and flaws of her own — soon enough.
But at the end of Season Four, he’s all smiles.
Or as Joan so aptly puts it:
The second half of Season Four has it all.
From Don’s stellar management skills:
To the evil sexist jerk Joey getting his just desserts:
To Joan then questioning Peggy’s handling of said just desserts:
From the departure of the hellcat Ida Blankenship from this mortal coil:
To Sally’s breakfast-making skills:
Dreams (and hands) are crushed:
Duck’s World War II kill count is revealed:
Miller High Life is poured:
And hearts are broken:
Come for drunk Roger:
Stay for mooning Harry’s autographed headshot of Jed Clampett of The Beverly Hillbillies headshot:
And never forget “The Suitcase”:
Join us — myself, Mallory Andrews, a writer for Movie Mezzanine and Sound on Sight, and Corey Atad — as we discuss the final seven episodes of Season Four in the latest Not Great, Pod!, our unofficial Mad Men podcast.
And join us for the rewatch, won’t you? It continues February 17 with all of Season Five, which includes “The Other Woman” and “Commissions and Fees,” so expect much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Sarah Carlson is Television Editor for Pajiba. She lives in San Antonio. You can find her on Twitter.