Mad Men Recap: Shady Don’s Back, Back Again

Mad Men is back for its last season and I couldn't be more excited to witness and recap the final downward spiral of Don Draper. It's two months since the end of season 6 (confession, I did not figure that out, Vulture did), and things seem to be on the same track that season 6 left off, just a little further along. The biggest progression seems to be Pete Campbell's hairline which has about half an inch of possible combover left. But at least his soon-to-be bald head will be extremely tan, and he does seem to be loving life in his new LA office real estate agent.

Don arrives in the premiere with more bounce in California than all Megan's banana curls combined. JK, he's basically as bright and sunny as Marissa Cooper post-Tijuana. It truly depresses me that Don Draper is no longer THE Don Draper, hot rich asshole extraordinaire, and now he's just a sad and pathetic loser who can barely get ass from his wife (damaged goods, broken vessel, etc etc). He doesn't even know if his (wife's) new apartment is in the Valley or not.

On the plane home he meets, hits on, and confesses his misery to a woman who looked and sounded just like Betty with Megan's hair color (who was actually Neve Campbell), and whose husband's ashes are scattered at Disneyland, where Don actually proposed to Megan. Thank you, Captain Obvious Symbolism.

So Don has only 12 more episodes to maybe bounce back from this, though the chances of that happening seem really slim and I just wish we could remember him the way he was. As the hero who got obliterated at work and cheated on his wife every day.

Not to state the obvious, but Megan's just not that into him. I'm calling that she will cheat on him with some tan LA bro who shares her love for falling asleep to coyote howls, if she hasn't already found that guy. My bet is she already has, mostly because she could give two shits if she has sex with Don at all during his trip therefore I assume she's getting it somewhere else. She very clearly has her own life with her little convertible and her head scarves and her magazines that the ads must NOT be removed from.

“My next apartment's going to have a pool — our next apartment.” That's what we call a Freudian slap in the face. I would say she's sleeping with her agent, but he was disgusting, though he does want to fix her teeth so it's hard to hate him.

A marriage built on romantic serenades is usually a solid one.

Roger is living in a hotel room that rivals the disgustingness factor of Lindsay Lohan's. Roger's life could be a better PSA for not doing drugs than any Above The Influence commercial. Then you realize that this is some legitimately nice hotel room in New York that he's basically funding as a hippie drug den. But it's okay because his daughter forgives him, though this goes totally over his drugged out head as he continues to drink himself into an oblivion where it's totally okay to act like a sixth year college senior. If this were a trashy reality show instead of Mad Men, this scene would play out more like Kyle Richards asking Lisa, “Can you not think of ONE THING you've done wrong!? ONE THING!!”

With Don and Roger off doing hoodrat things, Peggy and Joan have basically taken their roles but are only like, half as good (because they are women). Joan is all about proving that being hot doesn't make her the stupid slut she may have shown tendencies toward being in the past. I love Joan but when I saw her walk into a professor's office I literally said WHAT?? out loud.

Peggy on the other hand, is all obsessed with proving her creative ability and devotion to the fine art of convincing people they are inadequate via advertising. (Nobody cares about anything but me!) She and Ted are pretty much perfect for each other, as in they make me want to go out a buy a pill cutter so I could split one of Roger's LSD tablets and force feed them the halves. I really don't understand the fascination with Peggy that so many Mad Men fans have, and I'm very much Team Joan (our mascot will be a splash of whiskey). U mad Peggy? You gonna cry?

The episode ends with Don sitting on the balcony of his freezing cold NYC apartment (at least we don't have to worry about starting a regional fire with one cigarette), and I'm thinking how grateful I am that there are wayyy too many episodes left for him to jump so soon. Then as I decide to pay attention to the obviously crucial lyrics, “you really don't want me / you just keep me hanging on / you really don't need me / you just keep me hanging on,” I just know that Don and Mouthy Megan are soooo over…fine by me!


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