Good News: MAD MEN creator Matthew Weiner is a genius. Bad News: Make that, an evil one. At least that’s the distinct impression we were left with following last night’s phenomenal fourth season finale as we wondered if it was possible that the Don Draper we’ve come to know and
sometimes love appreciate over the course of four seasons had been replaced by a FRINGE style alternate from the other side. But before we get into that, let’s start off with the positive shall we.
Full disclosure: There were times when we weren’t exactly mad about MAD MEN. While we’re the first to admit that the show has always been top notch when it comes to telling stories, delving into character and create an accurate portrayal of one of the most fascinating time periods in American history, it didn’t always do so in the most engaging of manners. Episodes would go by where very little happened, which more often than not resulted in the show taking up valuable space on our DVR until we found the time to catch up. This season, all of that changed.
Over the course of the past thirteen weeks, we have relished every minute as we watched newly-single Don deal with his demons, Peggy come into her own and little Sally demonstrate more poise and maturity than her debatably devilish mother Betty as Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce slowly unraveled. What’s more, thanks to the show’s penchant for populating the office with familiar favorites (including JACK & BOBBY’s Matt Long, Jessica Paré and GILMORE GIRLS’ Danny Strong) there was absolutely nothing we didn’t love about both his season, and last night’s finale.
Well, except for one teensy little detail, which is where the EVIL part of Matthew Weiner’s genius comes in.
In a nutshell: Poor Megan!
Suffice to say, if four seasons of alcohol fuelled philandering behaviour by Don Draper has taught us anything, it’s that men are, well… mad. And as much as he might want to do the right thing, the ad man has demonstrated a consistently poor track record when it comes to doing just that (Just ask his latest dumpee Doctor Faye, who took the words right out of our mouth when she told Don, “I hope she [Megan] knows you only like the beginnings of things.”) Which is precisely why we spent the better part of last night’s finale on the edge of our seat, head buried in our hands as we wondered what the heck was up with Don? Gleefully clowning around with his kids! Swimming! Smiling!? Clearly, something really bizarre had come over him. And as Megan said “Yes!” to Don’s impromptu proposal all we could do is watch in horror and worry for this beautiful, delicate and naive young woman who has no idea what she’s in for.
And speaking of which, neither do we! Which begs the question, AMC: Just how long until MAD MEN returns?