Written by Ross Scarano (@RossScarano)
With only three episodes left in season six, Mad Men threw us a bone and killed Don Draper for a little while last night, long enough for him to have crazy visions while Roger Sterling saved him from drowning.
In "A Tale of Two Cities," the show took its annual trip to California, sending Don, Rog, and Harry on a trip west to meet with Carnation. The trip coincided with the Democratic National Convention. That Democratic National Convention. 1968. Pigs clashing with longhairs. "The whole world is watching." Blood and violence videotaped and then broadcast right into your home. Or, if you're Michael Ginsberg, your brain.
Maybe now we have an answer for the all those blue suits on the season six poster.
Megan watches the cops attack the demonstrators, aghast. (Maybe now we have an answer for the all those blue suits on the season six poster. Bloodthirsty viewers have been trying to read the increased police presence as a sign of Megan's demise, but more likely is that they represent the cops of the '68 convention and the police patrolling the country after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)
Don's difficult to read as he watches. He's obviously interested in the protest, but he doesn't seem to feel much. Understandable for one already dead.
At a Hollywood party with Roger and Harry, Don gets faded on some hashish. In a hallucination that, at first, feels drug-inspired, he sees Megan, a move prepared in the viewer's brain by Weiner with the bathing-suit-clad doppelgänger seen emerging from the pool at the party earlier in the episode. She touches her belly, indicating that she's become pregnant. A "second chance." Don's then visited by the soldier from the season premiere, but he's changed. He'd be all sharp edges and clean corners, medals and a crisp uniform, if not for his missing arm. He tells Don that not even death can make a person whole. Before returning to the world of the living, Don sees his own body floating face down in the pool.
If death comes in threes, like in the tabloids and fairy tales, that puts my count at Don, the solidier, and Megan. Or is the third death the miscarried baby?
Everyone wants to know who's going to die. If Weiner were to kill Don Draper this season, and then give us a DD-less seventh season, where the nation collapses into 1970 and the individuals around the ad man reel from his death, no one would know what to do. The show is beholden to no expectations, so I'm not inclined to rule anything out, but there is not a sum of money I'd be willing to bet on that development.
Many insist that the smart money is on Megan. By smart, I mean Reddit-informed. The truth is, none of us viewers know for sure.
Even among this death, new life: Joan draws Peggy into her plan to land Avon without the help of any men. Her friend Kate sets up the meeting, Joan impresses the client, and then brings Peggy into the fold to seal the deal. Thing is, Joan was told by Ted that Pete had to be involved as the account man. Nice try, Dude Coalition. This is a revolution, Pete tells Joan and Peggy, with disgust. You goddamn right, Pete. Might as well toke up and let the change take you, as it will everyone.
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