Monday, May 11, 2015

Mad Men: She's Toasted

So come, my friends, be not afraid.
We are so lightly here.
It is in love that we are made;
In love we disappear.

 -- Leonard Cohen, Boogie Street
Last week, Roger Sterling lost his building but got to play in its ruins with a version of his younger self:  the smart, ambitious daughter he never had.

This week, Don Draper lost his suit, but got to mentor a version of his younger self: the wayward con man son he never had.

And along the way, our band of privileged white people feel more and more "lightly here" as America rolls on into the future we know is coming, flicking each member of our tiny tribe this way and that in a way that feels like luck or and fate or karma, but which he know at some level is really the product of a room full of writers.

Don Draper's opposite number -- Peter Campbell -- is headed up, up and away.  Into the sky and a limitless future, borne on the wings of the same machine that killed his philandering father.

Don Draper's ex-wife is headed to an early and well-coiffed grave because of lung cancer caused by smoked too much of the very product that made her ex-husband wealthy and famous.

Don Draper's daughter is being promoted into the adulthood she has always wanted, at a cost she never dreamed of.

And Don Draper himself is wandering wide American West, shedding soul secrets and material possessions and collecting verbal and literal beatings along the way.  Sitting at a bus stop, smiling, waiting for whatever comes.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Pete, a little like the kid in Kansas (a lot of Kansas in this episode, eh?), has been a Don Draper wannabe from the start. And now he is officially another version of the man of many versions. Pete's a real player now, he is wise in the ways of the board room, he's no longer the sycophantish junior exec with the bad temper. He delivered the goods for the new bosses. And now he has through a truly comic manipulation from Duck made his bones with Bill Lear. Eenraptured with his new unexpected version of himself, what does he do? He takes his refined pitch ability and sells himself to his ex-wife, just like Don sold himself (albeit in much more attractive packaging) to every women he ever met. And he will take her and their young daughter to a ``beautiful place'' called Wichita, where they will settle into a home you could buy for a hundred dollars, she can forswear her independence (and her tennis game), and they can have another child -- maybe a boy this time. Maybe a third child. And maybe once they've settled into their nice home with the country kitchen, he'll just settle back into his old adulterous ways on the sly, but slicker this time....