TV Review: Mad Men 4.13: Tomorrowland
What. Just. Happened?
A year, a whole fucking year. That is how long we have to wait before we get any sort of answers to the complete 180 we were thrown tonight; as well as any of the many questions left unanswered in this season’s finale.
I don’t even remotely know how I feel about this episode as I am still trying to grasp what just happened. Story wise nothing really moved forward. Picking up ten weeks after last week the company is still without a new account and the company is stalling. A couple of things happened for the ladies of SCDP, Joan was promoted to Director of Agency Operations, but without a pay raise, and Peggy made a Don like pitch to bring in the first new business since Lucky Strike. While it was only a short scene or two for Peggy this week it was about the only feeling of closure in the finale we got this season as she is now nipping right at Don’s heals in the creative department.
But beyond these plot points this was a Don episode; and one that took us to a point I never saw coming. I mean, things were so out there I would have thought it was a dream episode if this was just about any other show. Taking the kids to California gets complicated when Betty fires Carla (WHAT!) and Don brings Megan along as a last ditch nanny option. After a stop by the old Draper residence in which Stephanie gives Don Anna’s engagement ring which becomes an unexpected foreshadowing of things to come. Don seduces Megan once again and after seeing her work so well with his kids he confesses his love for her. And before we know it he is back in NY proposing to her!
What. Just. Happened?
I mean, seriously, Matthew Weiner where did this come from? If you are trying to keep us on our toes then you successfully did just that but I am not really too happy about it. And the fact that I have to wait so long to figure out any more as to why this came about, if you even decide to indulge us, is even more frustrating. If the show follows its usual trend and opens the next season with a significant jump in time then they might gloss over any of the healing at SCDP and just start us off with a new major client at SCDP. I mean it had been ten weeks since we last saw Don and Faye about to come out into the open in seemingly good shape to Don apparently being secretly infatuated with Megan. There wasn’t enough there for us to believe or understand what the hell happened in this finale and it will take some time to figure out how I ultimately feel about it; possibly until I see a couple episodes of season 5.
-Betty, how could you fire Carla? Glad she caught hell from everyone for it but I can’t believe she wouldn’t write her a letter of recommendation? Are you fucking serious?
-Thought Betty and Don might throw down on the counter for a minute at the end, now that would have been a curveball.
-It was nice to see Don and his kids so happy and if Megan brings that out in him maybe it is for the best? He was happier at work too.
-I don’t know if I am buying Joan not going through with the abortion but we will see as Greg is still alive and well in Vietnam.
-Don is already looking out that window and can’t sleep with Megan, hard to believe this is going to end happily ever after.
-Peggy and Joan’s conversation in Joan’s office was a comedic highlight of the finale and I share pretty much all of their feelings.
-Couple of the most important lines to remember from the episode, “There is no such thing as a fresh start,” and “hope she knows you only like the beginning of things.” Are these only going to apply to Don or the company as a whole? Either way, these don’t foreshadow well for Don and Megan.
-Don marrying his secretary is also pretty weak thematically since we have already seen that.
-Harry is a freaking creeper.
-I wonder if Kenny being so abrasive and uncooperative in the opening is going to come back and bite him in the ass.
-Poor Faye, will we ever know what did her in?
-Chaough!!!!!!!!!!!!! He lives to fight another season.
So what did this finale give us, a huge change in Don’s life, a big move for Betty, and not a whole lot else. For a season that focused so much on SCDP surviving it was shockingly light in that arena this week. The story line for the agency is wide open for season 5 and this for the first time just feels like a bridge finale to the next season. You couldn’t end the show on this episode effectively like you could the previous seasons and its place in the show’s history rest firmly on season 5. It can’t get here soon enough.
Until next time…
(This will be TV reviews of The Walking Dead starting on Halloween!)