Mad Men Season 5 Finale

SPOILER ALERT: This post contains references to tonight's Mad Men episode.  Do not read any further if you want to avoid knowing what happened!

I'm not going to write a long article about television and pose as a critic, I just want to mention that Megan Draper's desperate attempt to become an actress reminds me of what I've been writing about the last few days.  A girl, who is beautiful, intelligent, gifted, and an incredible ad writer, who thinks she should really be an actress.  She hates her mother for telling her the truth, that she has an artist's temperment without the ability to create any real art, that in reality not everyone can grow up to be what they want to be.  Her mother calls her ungrateful, and Megan blames her for not being more supportive.  Finally, she sinks so low that she uses her husband's pull to land an advertisement.  Don is confused.  Megan had been so adamant that she was an artist – meant for the theater, or something with meaning.  To her, advertising had never been true art.  Yet, here she was, begging for a chance to actually work again in advertising.  Despite Don's advice that she didn't want success to be given to her, that she didn't want to land a role because she was someone's wife, eventually he acquiesced and got her the part.  Megan was so happy – she felt like she was truly acting. 

Don, however, walked off the set and into a dark and smoky bar.  At the episode's end, he is approached by a good-looking woman who asks him if he's alone.  The scene goes dark before we hear the answer.  My guess is he says "Yes."  His wife, who all season long has acted as his moral compass, has just revealed that she too is capable of selling out.  Without her guidence, Don is lost.  Megan doesn't respect that advertising requires true talent, believing she's meant for greater, more "artistic" heights.  She longs to be successful in a craft she has no special talent for.  She reminds me of myself as a young kid who once thought he was too smart to work in a liquor store. 

Fortunately for me, no one reinforced my entitled way of thinking and I learned that working with booze was a fantastic opportunity I was overlooking.  Unfortunately for Megan, her loving husband did.  Now it appears he may regret it.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll