Pretty much, there was one scene I liked in the season finale of Mad Men, and it's what I think many ladies and men who read here have been waiting for - the women to join forces. We finally saw Peggy and Joan complaining together about what it's like to be a woman and under appreciated in the workplace. We finally saw some sisterhood. So, YAY TO THAT. It was respite from the painful divisions the show has been creating between women so far.
Everything else seemed a lot of unpleasantness. Betty is a tragedy, lying down on Sally's bed because she is, in fact, like a child, being horrible to Carla, and then desperately waiting around in the house, perfecting her make-up before Don stopped by. She is pathetic, but no longer dynamic. It was sad watching her, but that was all, just sad. I am wondering where the show will go with her from here, because I take no prurient delight in kicking things that are already on the ground.
And then: Don just marrying Megan. Was anyone really surprised? Because I wasn't. After four seasons, it's like Don has gotten nowhere. He is lonely without a lady. He wants the perfect happy family, and Megan is not yet hysterical and angry and she treats a spilled milkshake like merely a spilled milkshake. He is still in love with that old fashioned idea of having this perfect wife take care of his children perfectly while being a perfect compliment to him. Which is . . . . where we started. SO WHY HAVE I BEEN WATCHING FOR FOUR SEASONS?
The thing I have loved so much about Mad Men have been the surprises. And there have been genuine surprises - Peggy's pregnancy, someone's foot getting run over by a lawnmower, SCDP forming. But Don getting sentimental and moony over shit and then being an impulsive ass is NOT actually a surprise. It's just a disappointment. Because it's predictable. He's just being his "type" - hell, Faye called it at the beginning of this season - she said Don would be married in a year. Compared to Peggy's storyline, which is wonderful and dynamic and believable, it feels like the show got stuck. They had painted Don into a corner. If Don redeemed himself, it would feel fake and corny and contrived. If he pulled a dick move, it would be boring. Well, now that Don's in a rut here with his character, maybe we can have Peggy became the protagonist, because I am not interested in watching him be Don anymore. We got Don. We have apparently seen all the way to the four corners of Don, and there ain't much there. Whatever. Moving on.
I think the hit that feminism takes in this show, where no matter the ladies' gains they just can't win against the boys' club, was a brutal blow, too. There's how Joan gets a higher title in the company but still pushes the mailcart and gets no more money. Don tells Peggy what he likes about Megan is how much she's like Peggy - which means Peggy worked really hard, but may now end up working alongside "a pretty face," no farther ahead for all her hard work (and we watch Peggy be really brilliant at her job, too, with Topaz). What Betty said to Carla was just brutal (and AWFULLY privileged and racist). Betty is jealous of her daughter over a 13 year old's attention. Don falls in love with a woman as she tends his children, giving up a partner who was competent and accomplished and ambitious but didn't adequately perform her gender role. And then of course we have the bitter scene between Joan and Peggy being frustrated (although, we can all hope that turns into something more revolutionary).
But frankly, Mad Men, I am disappointed. Don reverted back to his old, and old-fashioned, ways of thinking. There is no hope for the new. There is nothing to look forward to. I am even not interested in watching Don's being saved through a new lady and a new marriage. Ladies saving the dudes from themselves, YAWN.
Anyone else as disappointed as I? Or do you think I am totally wrong?