Mad Men: Season 5 Finale
Well, OK. For the most hit-or-miss season of Mad Men thus far, last night’s season finale makes perfect sense. Oh, it was still a great season of a great television show to be sure, but it took a lot more detours, albeit most of them brief, into the silly or the downright no good than the others. Hey, remember civil rights? Just kidding. We barely got any fat Betty all year, which is fine, the fat Betty thing already felt like kind of a loose-knit placeholder to account for January Jones’s real life pregnancy, but nothing makes it feel more like a loose-knit placeholder than to have that be the only thing she really does in 12 weeks. And don’t even get me started on the Hari Krishna thing. But if previous seasons were about men doing what men do and ignoring the wreckage they leave behind, this season was about women struggling to drag themselves from the rubble. Congrats, ladies! You made it! Sort of! But now you’re pissed! Everyone is so pissed. Joan is pissed. Peggy is pissed. Sally is pissed. Megan is pissed. Betty, if we ever saw her, would be pissed. (Although Betty was already pissed.) Mrs. Lane is pissed. Beth is pissed. Annie from Community is pissed. The boys are also pissed. Year of the Piss.
Pete’s pissed because he just wants to fuck his neighbor’s wife until the death disappears. Roger is pissed because Megan’s mom won’t trip balls with him. Harry’s mad because of his office still like give it up man. Don is pissed because his wife said that advertising wasn’t art? I’m actually still kind of confused about what’s going on with Don and Megan. That’s, like, what this show is all ABOUT and I still kind of don’t get it. Is Megan cool or does she suck? It could totally go either way. But more importantly why is Don so pissed that she didn’t want to be a copywriter? We can all be honest about our lives, right? Can we not be honest about our lives? It seems like Don, for all of his deceits and self-made mythologies actually tends to have a pretty clear-eyed view of how the world works, so why does he want advertising to be put on some kind of pedestal? It’s one thing for him to be proud of what he does and to relish being good at it, but why is he such a bitch about it being, like, The One True Thing? Easy does it, Don. You’ve got the fire in your belly for Firestone tires or some shit, but, like, you know that you’re just using clip art and word play to trick men into buying pantyhose as “structural garments.” Ease up. But then Megan, too, it’s like, first of all, your friend asked you for help getting an audition and you totally snaked her only to put your husband in a super-awkward position and like maybe you need to chill even more than Don needs to chill. Don’t ask him for an audition for his own shoe commercial, or at the very least, when he explains why you’re putting him in an awkward position, why don’t you deal with it like a grown up instead of getting all Monster’s Ball “make me feel goooooooood” about it? Seriously: so unsure about how to think/feel about this Megan thing. Someone take me by the hand and lead me through this emotional forest!
I really liked the thing Megan’s mom said about Megan having an artist’s temperament without any of the talent, because that’s just an interesting thing that people don’t really explore very often (because it’s kind of a fucking bummer). There are lots and lots of people who try to do things and just don’t succeed at doing them, and that’s one of the ways that life plays out, and it’s tough but also kind of fascinating. I also liked how Megan’s mom was a bad mom but in a very realistic and semi-relatable way. Fuck your kids if they’re going to act like that, you know? You’re a grown woman who is married and living in a beautiful apartment and pursuing your dreams. Get the hell out of bed you nincompoop, it’s LUNCHTIME! As a whole, the entire episode had a lot to say about ambition and how it kills people one way or another. Fair enough. I’m not sure that’s true, but OK! Food 4 thought.
The real thing to talk about, though, was the closing montage that seemingly sets the stage for next season (premiering May 10th, 2090) because I thought it was weird, what did you think? #TwoDogsFucking is trending worldwide! For the most part, the closing montage felt like one of those sitcom episodes from the ’90s where everyone just remembers what happened. It was a reminder of what happened to everyone this season, just in case you somehow already forgot. Roger took LSD, remember? I remember. And then, of course, Don sits at a bar and orders an old fashioned (S01E01) and two very beautiful ladies try to pick him up, which, wait a second, was that actually a thing? For as historically accurate as this show is always supposed to be, were there really just hot babes trolling New York City bars alone trying to get dick in 1966? Womyn’s lib, I guess. IS HE GOING TO GET IT WET OR NOT?! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Mad Men.