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Megan and Don: Nanny and the Possessor


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#1

rogaine2233

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 10:12 AM

With props to Inquisionist for the title!

Since so much of the episode dialogue and almost all of the Megan thread talks about the Drapers relationship, I asked the mods if it made sense to start a Don and Megan thread.

So to start things off:

We seem to see Megan strictly through Don's lens and her one-dimensionality is a big topic of discussion in the Megan thread.

But more and more, we are seeing a blurring of professional and personal lines in Don and Megan's relationship and it's putting stress on the marriage.

From the Megan thread:

The discussion in the episode thread has touched on how Don and Megan are blurring the personal/professional lines in their relationship and how that affects them. But they are also starting to touch on the timing of the wedding and when Megan was made a copywriter, etc., so I thought I'd bring my thoughts on that over here.

We're making the assumption that Don and Megan were married pretty quickly. Makes sense to me. They return from California over Columbus Day weekend and Don proposes that next day. A Christmas/New Year's wedding/honeymoon to Acapulco makes sense, timing wise. Most likely, Don and Megan kept their own apartments for appearances sake (this was the 60s) but more likely, Megan pretty much moved in with Don in his Village apartment.

It also makes sense given Don's comments to Megan around Memorial Day that she'd only been a copywriter for 3 months, that she was promoted only after she officially became Mrs Don Draper 2.0.

But....what did Megan do between Columbus Day and after New Year's? Was she still a secretary? DON'S secretary? That would seem even weirder than her being a junior copywriter. And are they only just now blurring the personal/professional lines since Megan has duties other than secretarial?

I don't have any answers, just questions.

Maybe she took the time off after the engagement announcement to start looking for the apartment and then came back after the wedding as a copywriter?

I thought it was interesting that when Don announced the engagement, he said " it shouldn't change things around here..."


From the episode thread:

saw Megan say she wanted to be a copywriter, but when the actual ad-talk started she moved it into a romantic encounter with Don.


I was thinking about this when Megan snarked at him in the HoJo's. Yup, Don has definitely been selfish in not considering, or even trying to find out what Megan wants, but Megan herself is making it very confusing. Granted, this encounter happened before they were romantically involved, but it's the standard SHE set. She says she's interested and Don immediately goes into work/mentor mode. After Allison, I don't think he immediately went to "wow, here's a chance to boink a sexy babe". I really think he was trying to clue her in on how the process worked. But she immediately changed it over to a sex overture.

Don treated Megan with the Heinz thing just being one more example of Megan feeling like he was making her decisions for her. The things Megan herself says about copywriting have been rare and vague imo. I do think Megan does, in some ways, want to be a copywriter. But the two times Don actually has sat down alone with her and started to do his thing, she (not he) moved the conversation to their romantic relationship instead.


A very apt description of Megan's part in blurring the relationship lines.

In fact, part of me wonders if she's the only one blurring the lines, since she's the only one who sees them. Don sees her as his wife, his possession and has never seen her as a person with her own identity. So as far as I can see, though it doesn't excuse his behavior, he hasn't blurred any lines.

Edited by rogaine2233, Apr 24, 2012 @ 10:24 AM.


#2

Sister Magpie

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 10:41 AM

Yeah, as awful as it is for Megan, it does seem like Don sees her time in the office as "playtime." Not just for him so he can have his girl there, but that he doesn't take her copywriting position seriously. Remember when he told Peggy "she's like you!" back in Tomorrowland. He likes her being a copywriter when he can imagine a flattering, nice scenario for it.

But on the other hand, as a dyed in the wool ad man Don actually *does* respond to talent and interest and Megan doesn't particularly show it. I think she's basically responsible and wants to do her job well, but I can't think it's a mistake that the show's avoided having her ever really join in a conversation as a copywriter, and that every time they have her talk about it it's with a slightly different angle. Like it's more about seeing herself as part of that world.

Am I misremembering that Megan at the dinner party also made the distinction between wanting to be an actress and actually having a career? Or am I projecting the sentiment from Mulholland Drive onto her?

So basically, I think Don set Megan up in the office as a rather sexist fantasy for himself, but that what she wants for herself isn't necessarily thinking about beans. This wouldn't be the first time the show's played with the distinction between wanting to be a person who does a thing and being the person who has the talent, discipline and drive to devote themselves to it.

Which isn't a big criticism of Megan. There are plenty of people who enjoy a career because they enjoy being part of an office etc. But Don let Megan pick her department based on which one based possibly on which one looked the most exciting to her. With other characters he tells them to stick to what they're good at.

#3

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 11:41 AM

The HoJo argument reminded me of Betty and Don, without the history and with a much less interesting character/actress, and a Don who is more on edge about making it work than he was with Betty. Maybe he's terrified his fresh start is turning into the same old same old. I do believe Weiner intends us to take Megan's work dilemma and resentment at face value, being the modern chica he insists she is. And as she is supposed to be a social creature, she is going to key into what's going on with "the team."

Don was pissed because Megan embarrassed him in front of that nice waitress (who wasn't at all judgey - that's just Don) - so I'm going to assume that if the Megan thing crashes and burns Don's going to be embarrassed not just in front of work mates - no matter how he pretends he doesn't care - but also in front of himself. He'll be a public embarrassment to himself. I think he's already scared it's not working which is why he's so OTT, but he doesn't have the skills to make it really work because she's not a real person to him - he doesn't know her. I did find the bit of dialogue about "remember California and the two hotel rooms?" ridiculous and contrived.

I think he's more invested than she is. I do think her dilemma is that if she split from him there goes her job and her foothold into advertising. I wouldn't put it past Weiner to have Megan addicted to Don because the show insists he's the handsomest and most sexually irresistable man alive even to a woman 15 years younger - I kind of feel if Mad Men were starting now Midge would never be in love with someone else. But realistically I think he's the one reluctant to deal with real life and a real marriage and she'd be fine with it. He's sort of if I don't keep the fantasy going, it's over. However, his efforts to keep the fantasy going is getting on her nerves but obviously he doesn't want any type of real life as he doesn't have a clue about her - the fantasy is sort of a shield/protection from him finding out maybe they don't even like each other a whole lot - the real them. The drA-ma mixed with the fantasy is what keeps it going - which is not much different than him and Betty except this is happening at warp speed.

I figure the reason Megan easily confronts Don is she was happy at home. I don't know what she supposedly did as an adult but it seems to me she came from a happy home life where she got plenty of love and attention growing up, so his approval isn't the be all and end all. I think she does want Peggy's approval though.

For me, this marriage isn't drama worthy because it's showing the character of Don to be pretty simplistic and thick-headed. In his marriage to Betty he disengaged and was perpetually absent and she wanted his attention. His marriage to Megan seems to be just a reaction to Betty - Megan will get all of his attention - too much of his attention. Everything she does is about him to him. In neither case did he deal with the woman as a specific human being and he's disinterested in learning how to interact that way. He absolutely dismissed any needs Betty has in that area and he doesn't get it about any needs Megan has in that area. And he's 40. Of course Don is going to be desperate and crushed when the marriage hits the skids, so I've got my violins all ready. Oh poor Don, it's HIM, not the women. He did one thing with Betty and a different thing with Megan and both failed and that must mean he needs to throw himself off a building! The tragedy! I'm afraid we're in for some of that. Poor Don. What IS the problem? He's just unworthy!!!

The problem, IMO, isn't that existential and if he can't figure out at age 40 that it's more about maturity, then I don't know what the actual drama is. He doesn't have to start caring about his wives as specific human beings; just accept that he doesn't. Be at peace with his selfishness and lack of interest, and recognize it. That would be some type of progress. I actually think Roger has way more self-awareness than Don.

Edited by WaltzinSpringTm, Apr 24, 2012 @ 12:17 PM.


#4

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 11:48 AM

I keep remembering things MW I think said about Don, how marrying Megan meant he could be whatever he wanted to be. I think Megan went into this marriage as a relationship, even if she was taking a risk marrying a guy with all this baggage. She doesn't have a lot of unhealthy things riding on it that I can see. The job was a perk, but not something she couldn't live without.

Where as Don has a lot of his identity suddenly bound up in this marriage. Which from the start was the thing so insulting about Megan--not Megan herself, but his choice of Megan. Like marrying this young woman who represents all these happy things was supposed to inspire him to be a better person. So when Megan starts responding to him as the no-so-better person he is, he overreacts and gets scary.

Even the whole "If I'd married her first I wouldn't have thrown it all away" is kind of desperate. I think even at the time Pete knew perfectly well that was bull. Maybe Peggy cured him of that particular "if only I was married to the right person--you!" fantasy back in S2.

#5

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 11:53 AM

Don was pissed because Megan embarrassed him in front of that nice waitress (who wasn't at all judgey - that's just Don)

I think your own parenthetical just refuted your statement. ;-) Don may have felt embarrassed, but Megan did not embarrass him -- that's his own shit. And I don't think that's even what it was about. Don would have been pissed even without the waitress there as a witness, IMO.

I think Megan fell in love with (or became infatuated with) "that sad bastard" (TM Carlton): the handsome, divorced man struggling to be a good dad who is "always trying to be better." Don did come across that way in the latter part of S4, when Megan had the most contact with him. I'm still not sure who S5 Don Draper is. I think the Don we just saw in Far Away Places was about the least likeable, most obnoxious version of DD that Mad Men has ever shown us. I want to feel some empathy for him, but man, it is becoming difficult.

#6

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 12:06 PM

I haven't found much to like about the Don we see with Megan. And I haven't found much to like with the Megan we see with Don.

I liked Don with Anna and even though he was depressed and desolate, I liked Don when he was struggling on his own.

I didn't have an opinion about Megan, pre-Don. When they started to get it on last season, I was dubious, but nothing near the disdain I feel for her this season.

I agree that Far Away Places showed us the least likeable Don. Conversely, for me, it was the most likeable Megan.

Still, I find little to like about either of them in terms of this relationship.

#7

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 12:16 PM

Megan is a junior copywriter only because she is banging/married to Don, and everybody at SCDP, including Megan and Don, knows that on some level. Megan could have just started taking on copywriting tasks on the side while still being a secretary, the way Peggy did. Instead of having her do that, and mentoring her along the way, Don gave her a job she didn't deserve and hasn't properly learned how to do, while trying to get her to make sexy in his office. Maybe she started it when she gave me a zipless f__k in the office after telling him that she wanted to be a copywriter or do something in Creative, but the reality is a tough, sticky situation and she's trying to make the best of it. She's not the one feeling him up or asking him to take his ___ out in the office, or telling him he has to skip a meeting so that he can service her.

#8

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 12:31 PM

Megan knows how she got the job but at the same time, Danny got his job because he was related to Jane. It's not a first - nepotism still happens. I think within that concept Megan would like to not abuse her position (her use of Don's office and a few other childish moves notwithstanding). In fact, I think it might be disconcerting to Don that she enjoys the promotion/job apart from being married to him. That's what it seems like to me and I admit that it surprised me, as the decorative come and go as you please situation was what I'd have bet she really wanted at the start. If, though, she comes from a large family and enjoyed it, and was the baby, then being the most junior of the "team", working with a nice, talented, professional woman that she admires (Peggy), in a "creative" field among other younger people is something I can see her totally appreciating. However, her husband's needs are a major distraction and also prevent her from getting good at her job - the drama hurts her focus, the irregular hours hurts her participation. I think being a secretary while learning on the side would have been unworkable - she couldn't come and go at Don's whim at that job - somebody else would have had to answer her phones and do her typing and boy would they have been pissed. On "creative" she's really at the lowest rung, doing the least demanding part, so she's not a burden on the department when she's there or not. She's sort of like an intern, but not able to progress.

Don is just so narcissistic. Betty was unhappy because he was never around (not even taking the rampant cheating into account). Well, that's never something Megan can complain about, Don will make sure of it. His insistance on all the togetherness is as much a barrier to a real relationship as his absence was with Betty - it prevents Megan from being a person, for one. It's so so insistent on his part it demands everything be heightened all the time, so it's smothering and exhausting.

I can also see it hurting her ego. Their relationship was a whirlwind and a fantasy, but also flattered her vanity. He dumped Faye for her, he married her, he was into her sexually - it's like - YES. YOU are the woman who can save/do it/inspire this glamorous older man - you have the stuff that other women didn't have. Perfect fantasy, perfect validation of her "power".

But now she's seeing it doesn't really have a whole lot to do with her at all. He doesn't pay attention to what she has to say from dessert to liking work. It's still all about him. Rather than showing her power his choice of Megan might show he thinks she's the perfect weakling - has none of the inconveniences of a more experienced partner, or so he imagined. And that's got to frustrate/piss her off. Well, obviously it does.

If anything, this story has sort of killed Don's mystique. It's like - oh. You're just one of those.

Edited by WaltzinSpringTm, Apr 24, 2012 @ 8:46 PM.


#9

rogaine2233

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 1:53 PM

I totally agree that Megan is handling this office/marriage relationship in a much more mature manner than Don. But she's culpable as well. She made an impulsive decision to marry a guy she barely knew for whatever reasons...which I believed were selfishly motivated more than falling in love with him from afar. She made her bed, now she's got to lie in it. Granted, she's trying to lie in it a bit more tactfully than Don, but I just can't drum up a whole lot of sympathy for her situation as a whole when she had such a large part in it. I felt for her when Don was chasing her around the apartment and when he was infantalizing and trying to contol her, but then again, perhaps it would have been a good idea to try to get to KNOW the guy before agreeing to marry him?

Betty was unhappy because he was never around (not even taking the rampant cheating into account). Well, that's never something Megan can complain about!!! His insistance on all the togetherness is almost as much a barrier to a real relationship as his absence was with Betty - it prevents Megan from being a person, for one. It's so so insistent on his part it demands everything be heightened all the time, so it's smothering and exhausting.


Don is definitely a study of extremes. On some level...maybe it was even a conscious decision, he realized that compartmentalizing his life led to his divorce, so he went totally the other way and has glued himself to Megan 24/7.

Edited by rogaine2233, Apr 24, 2012 @ 1:57 PM.


#10

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 3:12 PM

Don fell in love at the moment when Megan didn't get upset about the spilled ice cream (milk shake) in the booth of the diner in California. Then we have a mirror of that booth -- exact same placement, right night to the cash register, it may even be the same set. Megan is very, very upset about the ice cream (sherbet) this time. She won't swallow it, she won't stand for it. It's like there are two of her, Good Megan, Bad Megan? Almost like there are two Dons -- Dick and Don. And she can run away just as fast as he runs away.

I sense we are going to learn something troubling about her past as well, something that matches his.

#11

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 3:53 PM

It's like there are two of her, Good Megan, Bad Megan?

Well... the circumstances were quite different. Megan didn't have anything to be upset about in the CA diner. Thinking back, she cheerfully chided Don about picking up some napkins and pitching in because "this is my last dress." We've seen that "can do" quality again this season, so at least there is some consistency. ;-)

Someone online described the HoJo sherbert scene as the end of the beginning for Don and Megan. The infatuation is over; they have to deal with each other as real people. Whether that equates to the beginning of the end remains to be seen.

#12

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 4:02 PM

Someone online described the HoJo sherbert scene as the end of the beginning for Don and Megan. The infatuation is over; they have to deal with each other as real people. Whether that equates to the beginning of the end remains to be seen.


I've read several reviews that mentioned this; that their relationship was born over a milkshake and died over sherbert. Fits in with orange being the color of death, too.

They may not break up right away...certainly Roger and Jane hung in there beyond the point where they both realized it wasn't working, but IMO, the marriage is dying. Don's desperation to make a success of it (for all the wrong reasons) and Megan's personality as a determined person to make it work (again, for all the wrong reasons) will probably keep it on life support for some time (at least through this season), but I don't see it going anywhere. How it will end is anyone's guess but where a few weeks ago, I thought Don would cheat and screw it up that way, now I'm thinking Megan will leave him.

Spoiler


#13

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 5:23 PM

I wonder if we'll ever see any of these couples going for marriage counselling? Roger and Jane wouldn't have wanted to bother because they simply fell out of love, but I think Don and Megan might really be motivated enough to benefit from it. They both need to learn how to listen to each other and how to fight without hitting below the belt.

#14

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 9:05 PM

Don is definitely a study of extremes. On some level...maybe it was even a conscious decision, he realized that compartmentalizing his life led to his divorce, so he went totally the other way and has glued himself to Megan 24/7.

My own stake is it was less insightful than that and way more childish. He didn't give Betty enough attention and it drove her away. Okay, he's going to be faithful and give Megan ALL of his attention. He's not compartmentalizing. He doesn't have compartments anymore - he's kicked work to the curb. Even if his all Don, all-the-time approach with Megan were succeeding with Megan, he's still as big a mess as he was the night of The Suitcase because his approach to the marriage is as extreme as his drinking. This type of attention to Megan is avoidance. It's even avoidance of having an actual relationship with the person who's getting the attention. The entire Hojo's excursion he was ignoring Megan. Ignoring or pacifying her interest in the Heinz pitch. Ignoring her suggestion about getting a souvenir for Gene. Ignoring her choice of dessert.

It's all oh remember Acapulco, remember the two rooms in California, open your blouse, let's go home. If Megan's unhappy it's still like it was with Betty. He's still refusing to get it. He's insightful about people, he can't be clueless about his narcissistic behavior - in part because I don't think Weiner intends him to be a narcissist even though that's what Weiner has pretty much written. It's like with Betty: "I gave you everything!" He gave Megan the cute little job and she doesn't even have to work at it so it's the best of both worlds, he gives her gifts and compliments and 24/7 Don, but it's all fantasy and playtime on the one hand and all drama on the other and Megan's actual personality, apart from her good nature, is irrelevant. He ignores everything real, even benign real things, like her opinion he should get a souvenir for Gene. There's no actual life being lived here for him to share, and no actual relationship.

I also wonder if this was the story Weiner intended to tell. It's not end game, so he can change the story of the second marriage - as long as it fails - that's end game. Last season Weiner said, and the story told us, that Don's life was a mess so he wanted his personal life squared away. The steak on the table and someone who can handle the kids. How we got from a guy who wanted that area of his life to be squared away to a guy who has no life to BE squared away because he's treating his wife like a bar that never closes, I don't really understand. Her kid skills don't matter because he doesn't even see them every week and when he does he's the one caring for them. I doubt she leaves work early to put steak on the table - he's totally changed his domestic life anyway. I just think the original premise for the marriage has been ignored/thrown in the crapper because Weiner got the idea for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf" only with a nice Virginia.

Edited by WaltzinSpringTm, Apr 25, 2012 @ 6:20 AM.


#15

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 8:58 AM

It's an interesting take that Megan is essentially putting Don on notice that dishing out "the gaslighting, the disappearing in social situations, the casual cruelty" will not be tolerated. The "stunt" with the car was awful enough. Why should anyone expect they'd have to "cope" with the things Don did to Betty?


She certainly is not taking the crap that Betty took. But when it comes to a battle of wills, ultimately, who might win? Because I don't think there is going to be a meeting of the minds here. Don is incapable of seeing Megan as an individual and not a fantasy version of a piece of his fantasy life. He might give on things like going to Fire Island; he gave on some similar things to Betty such as having the junior league in the house. What he doesn't give on, are things that are deeply personal to him. The big issue: his past. Asking him to give something deeper than surface or strictly material things (his comment to Betty "but I gave you everything" when in reality, he gave her nothing of consequence when she asked).

So Megan has found a way to deal with Don's gaslighting. But abusive and controlling people will find different ways to continue their abusive and controlling ways if one avenue of effectiveness is cut off. Megan has pushed back on all the little tricks he used with Betty. Give him time; he'll come up with others. He already has started to do so. Megan will continue to push back and play her part in "diminishing" the marriage (IMO,there wasn't much there to diminish in the first place...they are both deluding themselves).

Don thinks he loves Megan but IMO, he is incapable of love. He needs her, that is certain. But why does he need her? IMO, it's to be able to say, ok, I fixed all the stuff I did wrong in my marriage with Betty and now I've got Megan and I'm going to do it totally the opposite. I will not fail. So he really NEEDS not to fail because Don is not able to deal with failure, as we've seen in both his work and his personal life. Megan is just another item to cross off on the "to do" list: successful marriage.

I know it sounds cold and not very romantic, but there it is. The unfortunate part is that Don's list involves a living, breathing person: Megan. Even if I don't like the character very much (and I can't figure out if it's the character, the way the character is written or the way the actress plays her), I feel for her finding out what a screwball she married. The question is: does she fully realize she's in over her head? Does she still think she can "fix" Don? Is she already looking at escaping?

Not sure if Megan's parents upcoming visit is going to play out on the show, or if we'll only see the aftermath. But I do think there's going to be an aftermath. It's possible that Prof/Mrs Calvet are going to see right through Don since they're not wearing Megan's rose colored glasses.

#16

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 9:40 AM

I'm still curious about how having a "normal" life (the domestic front), and choosing a woman who fit all the particulars has transformed into this strategy of Don's. It feels like a Weiner decision during the haitus, not really an extension of what we saw set up last season, nor is it an extension of the rationale Weiner originally gave for Don wanting to remarry. I feel like it's a mistake - I feel like Mad Men has way overplayed this part of Don's personality and the audience is totally ahead of him - maybe not in the particulars, but I don't think the audience is riveted by this acting out of his.

There's irony because the one thing Betty has taken hits about is being a child. And she's been judged. Well here is Don whining about orange sherbert and "embarrassing me!" Then he stomps off like Sally. Then he has a temper tantrum. Then he whines and cries. He's a big baby about his wife's time and attention at work. Pair that with how he's "playing house" or I guess playing at his idea of marriage and I don't see how he's any better than Betty. Betty didn't want to go to the political brunch; Don didn't want the surprise party, didn't want to go to Fire Island, didn't want to go to the Campbells, didn't want to let his wife work at her job. Put him in bed with covers up to his chin and toss him some bon bons.

Betty may still be dissatisfied now that she's married to Henry but at least she's actually raising kids, she has a flesh and blood in-law she HAS to relate to, like it or not, and she does accompany Henry on his political obligations. As a personality she probably could do some growing up but at least she's hitting her marks as an adult instead of throwing them totally out the window like Don.

Edited by WaltzinSpringTm, Apr 25, 2012 @ 9:49 AM.


#17

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 9:49 AM

She certainly is not taking the crap that Betty took.


I'm not really getting this. Her outburst in the cafe suggested that she had been taking a lot from Don, maybe not exactly the same stuff he handed out to Betty (there's time for that yet), but stuff that made her unhappy nonetheless. She feels that she basically has to play a role for him all the time with no regard to where she is or how she feels about it - that's a pretty big problem.

Also, I just can't see Betty letting Don chase her round the house like that. She glared him down after he got rough with her when he found out about Henry. Don reduced Megan to lying on the floor in a pile of tears. The next moment, when he's on his knees hugging her, certainly didn't look like a moment of triumph for her. She looked tired and uncertain. She's in way over her head - I think.

#18

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 9:53 AM

Also, I just can't see Betty letting Don chase her round the house like that. She glared him down after he got rough with her when he found out about Henry.

But that was Betty of S3, 10 years into her marriage. I think the Betty of S1 would never have gotten to the point of being chased around the house because if Don abandoned her at a HoJo's, she would have stayed there and been meek when he returned. It's really difficult to compare the two women's situations.

#19

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 9:55 AM

It's an interesting take that Megan is essentially putting Don on notice that dishing out "the gaslighting, the disappearing in social situations, the casual cruelty" will not be tolerated. The "stunt" with the car was awful enough. Why should anyone expect they'd have to "cope" with the things Don did to Betty?


Looks like it turns out I'm echoing Jenn here, but to me that abandonment at the HoJo's and the chase around the apartment is already upping the ante compared to what Betty dealt with. It's apples and oranges since by the time we've seen Betty Don's been wearing her down with disrespect for years and has built up an entire shadow life that he doesn't have with Megan. Betty was more a death by a thousand cuts than the kind of stabbing Megan got here.

But Betty did have Don had a little bit of a leash with her demands for courtesy. The kind of insults she got from Don were colder and hidden--she searched for days and couldn't find proof of the affair because he'd kept it out of the house. But I don't even know what Betty would do if Don had left her beside the road because I think her icy Mainline demeanor would have kicked in and I just can't imagine him doing it. When Don looked like he was going to get physical she confronted him with "You gonna bounce me off the walls?" to shame him with exactly what he was doing. Megan not only stiffly went through the motions of comfort by referred to what happened as "everytime we fight" and lamented it "diminishing" them. As opposed to taking the position that she would not be treated like that.

Edited by Sister Magpie, Apr 25, 2012 @ 9:56 AM.


#20

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 9:58 AM

What I'm trying to say with regard to Megan not taking the crap that Betty took, is that she calls Don on his gaslighting and stand up to him. Unfortunately, the result of that is that she participates in the escalation of the fights which culminate in the type of scene we saw this week with Don driving away, Don kicking down the door, Don chasing her around the apartment.

We have no way of knowing this about Betty and Don, but their first year of marriage could have looked similar, until Betty figured it was easier to just withdraw than to engage Don on that level. If Don were mentally healthy, Megan's approach might work better because Don would change his behavior. And Betty's approach didn't escalate the violence, but it did reinforce Don's behavior. He kept getting away with the tactics, so he kept using them. With Megan, Don has to develop new tactics to keep the upper, controlling hand.

And if these fights keep escalating, they could get very ugly. We've only seen two of them, but we've gone from wild make-up sex on the floor to a chase scene, a football tackle and a crying jag by both of them. That doesn't sound like forward movement in a relationship, to me.

Edited by rogaine2233, Apr 25, 2012 @ 10:00 AM.


#21

Jenn

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 10:29 AM

It's really difficult to compare the two women's situations.


I agree that they're two very different women - culturally as well as in terms of personality. it's hard to say how Betty would have reacted to being abandoned like that. We see Don do it to her socially frequently in their marriage - but Betty is more limited in her responses because she usually also has the children with her. She couldn't create a huge scene at Sally's party - for example - because it would have ruined Sally's day. Megan doesn't have the ties Betty did - and could therefore decide to cut and run, if she wanted to.

And Betty's approach didn't escalate the violence, but it did reinforce Don's behavior. He kept getting away with the tactics, so he kept using them.


I don't know if I would say he 'got away' with the tactics. Betty sought therapy, she confronted him about his deceptions, she threw him out. Don acted like he was taking these measure on-board - and would then virtually walk out the door and start deceiving her again. Betty could only have faith that every new leaf was sincere, until she found out it wasn't. It's hard to say how Megan will approach things.

And if these fights keep escalating, they could get very ugly.


The physicality is pretty alarming - and it could easily get out of hand.

I think the isolation in this relationship is worrying, too. Nobody at work can be properly close with Megan - she's the boss's wife. Don seems to resent her relationship with her family. It's pretty stifling.

Edited by Jenn, Apr 25, 2012 @ 10:36 AM.


#22

WaltzinSpringTm

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 10:33 AM

My favorite Betty moment vis a vis Don was when he was bitching that she had a life raft in Henry (like DUH - who wouldn't!) and got threatening. Her delivery on: "There will be no more of that." when he implied he was going to get physical and made threats about taking the kids was just wonderful.

Weiner says he doesn't strive to meet audience expectations but I'm sort of curious if the direction Megan/Don has taken is Weiner was "shamed" in any way by audience pushback in how Betty was handled last season. It's like the show went a fair pace to let Don off the hook in his marriage to Betty, and is taking it all back this season. I also feel the writing is slightly kinder to Betty - when she came home in her brief appearance last time we saw her first thing she did was scoop up Gene and call anxiously for Sally. And vis a vis Sally's phone call to her mother Sally prefers it when her mother is home to being tended to by Grandma Francis (even though I love GF) and Don agrees.

#23

Tafatia

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 10:41 AM

I made the comment in the other thread that Megan does not put up with the same crap as Betty, however I am not saying that in totality that I think that Megan is a stronger or better woman than Betty - I love me some Nordic, currently Fat, Mean Mommy Betty. BTW, I am getting my threads mixed up here, so I am not sure if my points ping on stuff from this thread or the Megan thread. I agree with whomever said that Megan does not have the same stuff on her plate like being the mother of three children. Also Megan has not done as good of a job as Betty has throwing parties and entertaining clients, there's room to grow but she is not there yet. Most importantly Megan is the beneficiary of Don failing at one marriage and failing at being single, so IMO Don is more determined and invested in this marriage / relationship.

I guess I am not too put out by the volatility in the Draper marriage, it may be shocking and disturbing but so is amputating a limb, but sometimes that is what's needed. I just cannot see someone having a 21st century, couples counseling approved conversation with Don over his running away, casual cruelty and not taking something seriously that is important to his partner, in this case Megan's job. I think in his own way Don respects Megan, but she ain't no Bert Cooper, she lacks his gravitas. And it is not as if Megan is not getting baptized by fire, how many warnings did she get about throwing Don a big, surprise birthday party and yet she stubbornly plowed ahead, and got the double whammy of Don telling her he did not like the party or her special present, and later walking in on Harry mocking her.

What is unclear to me is will Don and Megan learn from their mistakes, and if so will it help them sustain their marriage? That remains to be seen. Now I do not trust Don, Matthew Weiner nor my instincts about Matthew Weiner any further than I can throw them, but one hopeful sign was that after the dream where Don murdered what's her name, in the next episode he went to a whorehouse and did not indulge, so maybe that is a hopeful indicator. Again it remains to be seen.

Edited by Tafatia, Apr 25, 2012 @ 10:52 AM.


#24

rogaine2233

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 10:50 AM

I think the isolation in this relationship is worrying, too. Nobody at work can be properly close with Megan - she's the boss's wife. Don seems to resent her relationship with her family. It's pretty stifling.


Typical abuser/controller tactics. Isolate your victim. He did it with Betty by shutting her out of all aspects of his life except mother/children. He wasn't interested in her friends in Ossining, nor any of her clubs and organizations, though he did not forbid her to attend them. Megan might be the beneficiary of Don coming out of a failed marriage, but Don's response is to reign her in even closer than the box he kept Betty in, by having her with him at work, social, home, etc.

one hopeful sign was that after the dream where Don murdered his what's her name, in the next episode he went to a whorehouse and did not indulge


I'm not sure how much Don actually indulged in whorehouses anyway. It probably brought up bad memories for him. The only time we ever saw him with a prostitute was when he hired one to come to his apartment.

I think the fact that he passed on a bachelor weekend with Roger shows some indication that he knows he is weak in this area, though it might have primarily been driven by his seeing the opportunity to get Megan alone in a bedroom for 48 hours.

#25

BBDi

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 10:55 AM

Well, I think if Megan's 'rents come to visit, we're likely to find out more about her, too. Maybe as the baby in the family she's struggled with not having her endeavors taken seriously--as in, oh, Megan wants to be a copywriter now, isn't that cute? Or the parents might have more in common with Don than they do with Megan. Or we might find out that her father is a charismatic middle-aged man who's dismissive or ignores her, or that she's very attached to. Or Don might just for the first time get a close-up look at a very tightly-knit family, if that's what they are. Or her parents might expose some minor or major truths about Megan. There are lots of possibilities.

#26

WaltzinSpringTm

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 10:56 AM

And while Megan did make "mistakes" such as the surprise party, if she avoided all mistakes she'd end up enabling Don's toxicity and she may as well throw in the towel on ever getting anywhere at her job - which seems hopeless now anyway, but she hasn't given up, or she would have gone and spent the night at her parents (only an hour and a half away versus seven). The most pitiable, and, IMO, sympathetic thing Megan did in the entire episode was take the bus home so she could go to work the next day.

I thought it was funny that Don said "There have to be some advantages to being my wife." when the thing he saw as an advantage Megan saw as a disadvantage.

Edited by WaltzinSpringTm, Apr 25, 2012 @ 11:15 AM.


#27

Sister Magpie

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 11:34 AM

I'm not sure how much Don actually indulged in whorehouses anyway. It probably brought up bad memories for him. The only time we ever saw him with a prostitute was when he hired one to come to his apartment.


And Don, imo, gives himself credit for things like that. When he claimed that if he'd married Megan first he wouldn't have thrown it all away etc., I think he sees things like going to a whorehouse and abstaining as giving him a point of reassurance that he is a Good Husband now. Then he's blindsided when Megan shows him that he isn't.

I thought it was funny that Don said "There have to be some advantages to being my wife." when the thing he saw as an advantage Megan saw as a disadvantage.


Yes--what really works for me in the ep is I really do think that Don thinks he's being awesome during this ep. I think he very believably understood all of Megan's negative lines about even going to HoJo's as her feeling guilty about having a great day and not an actual desire to be at work, just as he though his idea for orange sherbet was something Megan just forgot she really wanted.

Edited by Sister Magpie, Apr 25, 2012 @ 11:36 AM.


#28

Tafatia

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 12:01 PM

I can see Don giving himself more credit than he deserves for being a good husband, but I am not sure that Don would go to a whorehouse disguised as a "party" with his colleagues and a client and sit at the bar while his companions are in the rooms. I don't know what to make of the "I grew up in a place like this" because it does not square with the backstories that we have seen thus far, but there have been multiple allusions to Don being promiscuous / indiscriminate, so I can see him hooking up with prostitutes over the years. The whole thing with the slapping is kinda telling. I can see Don being more adventurous sexually with his mistresses, but I cannot see him being with someone like Rachel and wanting her to slap him, so I can see him ordering up a prostitute when he has a hankering for that kind of encounter.

Edited by Tafatia, Apr 25, 2012 @ 1:04 PM.


#29

Luciaphile

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 12:22 PM

I agree that they're two very different women - culturally as well as in terms of personality. it's hard to say how Betty would have reacted to being abandoned like that.


Also, Betty is very much a product of her time just as Megan appears to be of hers. Betty came of age in the 50s and the push was for women to marry out of high school or out of college, to look at her husband as lord and master and to find fulfillment in being a Wife and Mother. To not step out of that box. It's a very different world for Megan.

#30

Nell Huxleigh

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 12:57 PM

Betty was with Don before he was really Don. I'm actually very curious as to what their marriage was like when Betty was taking care of infants on her own and Don was probably actually working in the office until the wee hours of the morning. To me, that is interesting. When and how did Don turn away from that?

Megan seems lower stakes to me. Part of it is that I'm not really connecting to the character the way I did Betty. But Megan could divorce Don pretty easily and go on with her life at this point. She has so much more power in the relationship than Betty did, that I can't really compare their reactions because they have completely different circumstances and even husbands to deal with. So, if Megan sticks around in all this insanity, I have to think she's getting something she wants out of it.

I don't think Don would have chased Betty like that because Betty is Betty and Megan is someone completely different. I got the sense that Don was a little scared of Betty in some ways, but I don't know if that is because Betty was mother to his kids or something in Betty herself. Compare Betty and Don's weird, awkward floor sex that left him on the floor to Megan and Don's passionate relationship. Betty left Don confused but feeling like everything was normal, and Megan leaves him comforted but excited.

I'm not sure Betty would have stayed at the hotel. I don't think she would have taken a bus, either, but she was fairly independent and took care of herself. I can imagine her calling for a ride from a friend or going to a different hotel. I bet Don never had any clue ever about her affair with the man from the bar. I don't think Megan is capable of that sort of compartmentalization.