While I’d intended to get this posted earlier, with two trips to Phoenix this week, I should have asked myself “What did you expect?”, which is what I found myself asking characters during the fourth episode of Mad Men’s final season “The Monolith”
Let’s start outside SC&P, and work our way to the heart of things, that really matter to the show. Don’t get me wrong Roger Sterling is one of my favorite characters, and I will certainly take his out of office activities far sooner than seeing Peter and his realtor, or Betty’s home life. However in the long run, by the end of things it all comes back to Don. Anyway, Roger’s daughter is now a hippie. Her parents taught her the value of love through material goods, rather than actual love, so like many hippies once she was aware that you can’t get love from materials, you seek love in other places, and with those that have faced the same disillusionment. What did Roger, or his ex-wife really expect? Now, in addition to Roger being an easily loveable character, this whole sequence bears mentioning because it ties to times. It’s something Mad Men has always done incredibly well (before the finale I plan on doing an entire post on how this show, through not just the mention of events, but through the lives of the characters could make the best music video to Don McLean’s American Pie… but that’s for later). Anyway, I think deep down Roger and Mona always wanted the best for Margaret, but their lifestyle backfired. And now Margaret can’t understand her selfish hypocrisy that even though materialism isn’t involved, she’s showing her son as much love as she feels she received. It’s sad, but again, what did they expect?
Getting back to the office, there’s not a whole lot to question. I mean to some degree everyone must have known that things would always progress and change, but it’s understandable that the art department would be flustered with the new computer.
Speaking of flustered, when it comes to Peggy, what did she expect? I mean, did she really think that Don would be thrilled to have her as his boss? When the show started it’s something that I never would have anticipated, and even if someone had told me one day that Peggy would be giving Don copy tasks, I’d have assumed that he’d hate it.
And speaking of Don… well hating it. I’m pretty sure that if I remember the episode correctly (though it’s been a week), that Fred Rumsen actually asked Don what did he expect when he went back to work for SC&P. It’s a really fair question. I mean I know that Don’s a partner, and that he can do far better work than what SC&P is having him do (after all the lack of liquidity in the business wasn’t the only reason that they didn’t buy him out, they knew if he worked elsewhere it’d only help the competition). However, it’s not surprising that while he’s not at the bottom of the food chain, he’s certainly not on top. And I’m just going to say, I’m annoyed that no one considered what Don said about the guy running the computer business.
Anyway, that being said, I’m really glad that by the end of the episode he’d gotten his act together (thanks in great part to Freddy). And I can’t wait to see how well he does now that he’s ready to remind everyone why he’s awesome.