MAD MEN 5.08 ‘Lady Lazarus’

"They won't ever let him (or us) fully have her, will they?"

Johnny Firecloudby Johnny Firecloud

Look. It's Tuesday. If you're a Mad Men fan, you know damn well what happened over 36 hours ago. I just returned from Scotland, where the castles and whiskey distilleries don't get AMC – hell, they don't even have televisions – so I've missed the window of repeating and relishing the play-by-play for your eager eyes to devour. My deepest apologies.

But one thing was made screamingly clear last Sunday, if it hadn't been established already in this beloved late-sixties period drama: They want us to think the end is nigh. They won't let us ever truly enjoy, in full confidence, the beauty of renewal, balance and promise that exists in the love between Don and Megan Draper. Those sadistic bastards.

Mad Men writers and producers have been perpetually teasing, through interviews and plot twists, the idea that Don could never hope to actually keep this gorgeous "Zou Bisou Bisou" dream in his life. That his tendencies and demons would ruin their marriage and send her off to greener pastures while he moved deeper and deeper into the place of the silhouette we've seen falling from the skyscraper in the opening credits for five solid seasons now. Yet the deeper we go, no matter the struggle, there is a new glimmer of hope for balance and longevity between the two.

Sure, that open elevator shaft and its metaphorical implications were terrifying, when Don attempted to follow Megan down after her final goodbye as an employee for SDCP. But for just once, can we breathe a goddamned sigh of relief? It was a godsend that Don reacted as well as he did, with as much support as he did, to Megan's confession and theatrical ambitions. 

Peggy is coming into a much more seasoned, pylon foundation rod position within the company, and we should be unsurprised to find at the series' end an outcome in which the hardest working woman on TV assumes a position of great power. Joan is returning to her former role with a melancholic dutifulness, though the hard edges implemented by her life developments are already showing.

But Megan. Megan, Megan, Megan. The woman is a godsend to Don, both his wings and anchor. He's aware that he needs to honor her, to stay true to her happiness, and remain faithful to her promise to take care of him. Jessica Paré is a tremendous actress, and her range in expressing her guilt over lying to Don and then her gratitude and relief in his acceptance and forgiveness was remarkable. 

With a little luck, they'll let us enjoy her at least a while longer. But I've no doubt that they'll have us wringing our hands every step of the way.