So my last two weeks have been full or work, school, and prepping for Phoenix Comicon (which was awesome, posts on that to come), but you know what else was amazingly awesome, the last ep of the first half of Mad Men. My enthusiasm for the season is a far cry from where it was at the beginning, when I was only “Going Meh“. So even though it’s been a couple weeks, let’s have a seat, and break things down by their level of awesomeness.
So, a couple Sundays ago I was sitting and staring at my screen, like the rest of a huge portion of the country, with my brain rocketing from “YAY, EVERYTHING IS AWESOME NOW FOR DON, AND I’M SO HAPPY FOR PEGGY!!!” to “Hmmmm well that was an unexpected musical number”
So, as my blog usually goes, let’s go from least to most on the awesome scale, and I’ll be honest, I’ve not rewatched the episode, so I may have forgotten a couple things, and to be completely fair, my thoughts have changed in a few ways since it aired, but hey that’s life.
Starting outside of SC&P, while I might not say I enjoyed to an awesome degree all that transpired at the Francis home, with Sally choosing the nerd ever the jock, the writers awesomely gave us lots to think about. Sure Sally’s been rebellious, and her mother Betty might have chosen the jock (considering Betty has always been seen like assertive men, and Jim Cutler even called Don a “football player in a suit”), however after the kid is called inside, she stands there smoking a cigarette, just like Betty would. So what does it all mean, will Sally grow up to be as shallow as Betty, who knows, we don’t have enough time left for the show to really show us, but the fact that the writers have me pondering Sally’s future as everything else winds down, shows that they’re on their game.
Also outside of SC&P, WAY outside of it in California, we have Megan. Her conversation with Don, with things unnecessary left unsaid was something a lot of viewers had been predicting for a while. Now at the beginning of the season I had hoped that if/when things ended with Megan, that Don would end up with the airline passenger he met. At this point though I actually hope that things end with Don single, not because I don’t think he doesn’t deserve to be loved, but this show has been a long journey where we seemed to have learned about Don’s psyche and needs as he’s learned them, and I hope that finally he’ll be secure enough not to need a woman.
Now then, back from California is Ted, and with him hinged the most important deal SC&P ever had, since Roger pretty much saved the day for Don, and got everyone a ton of money. This was awesome not just for Don (who I’ll get to), but because we’ve been reminded all season (and flat out heard from the mouth of Bert Cooper) that Roger is not a leader, and certainly not the leader that SC&P needs. He’s always had his position because of his father, who started the company with Bert. This deal finally made him the man to get something done, and put him in a position of leadership he never would have attained without the initiative to get things done. For Ted, I’m happy that he finally verbalized how burnt out and done he was. I’m also happy that he agreed to stay and go back to what he enjoyed, because I think he deserves a little joy. Speaking of joy, I’m happy for Joan as well (Pete, I don’t care about so much). I like that she has reasons to like Don again (and don’t get me wrong her reasons to dislike him were decent) The only person I actually felt bad for in this was Harry Crane. I’ve never been a huge fan of his, however he just missed out on the biggest deal ever. And as for Jim Cutler, I’m glad that with his all-business attitude, that he was willing to recognize how big the deal was, and go along with it.
For Don, it’s all a far cry from where things were through most of the episode, fighting Cutler, and nearly being voted out.
What about Peggy, you must be asking? Well despite the deal with McCann being epically awesome, Peggy’s victory for me was awesomer (yeah, that’s not a typo). As I mentioned in the blog post for episode six, Peggy has been needing a chance not just to stand on her own, but to finally get all the validation she’s needed and deserved, and it finally came, not by fighting Don, whom she’d looked up to, and rivaled, but by having him at her side, encouraging her to take the lead. It was fantastic. Seeing Don proud of her was so sweet, that I couldn’t help including this meme a friend sent me.
Now on to the awesomest (also not a typo) that left us all thinking really hard after everything ended.
Immediately after Bert’s literal song and dance I was left incredibly confused, and somewhat bothered. I mean even though it wasn’t necessarily a bad scene, I couldn’t help but wonder why they episode couldn’t just end on a high note. But after some thinking, other thoughts have formed.
Looking at the title Waterloo, it’s important to think about why this episode was given that title, if you don’t already know that to say someone has “Met his Waterloo” means that this person was defeated, read about Waterloo here.
So who’s Waterloo was it, was it really Don’s? Before Waterloo, Napoleon who had been exiled has come back to reclaim his place as emperor, only to be defeated in that final battle. So, Don, who was essentially exiled from SC&P for a while, and came back, worked to reclaim his place, almost lost everything, when he got that letter from Jim Cutler. Instead he seems victorious, unless you count his final loss being that he’ll finally have to work for McCann something he’s avoided since season one, and he’ll have to sign a five year contract (and signing a contract was something he avoided early in the series as well). Or could the defeat be to his psychological well being? I don’t think he’s nuts because he saw Bert, however it hurts him to realize that he has everything, and he’s unsatisfied, I mean he’s a millionaire, and has a job, and he’s unhappy. It’s not really that hard to figure out though, since the best things in life are, according to Bert, aka his conscience, is reminding him, that maybe he’s never really had the best.
Regardless, the episode was flawless, and reminded me of all the reasons I love this show. I hate that we have to wait almost a year till the next episode comes out, but I’m already looking forward to it.