In case you have been living under a rock, in the ICU, or in the middle of big sis week, I’d like to let you know that the premiere of season 5 of Mad Men came on AMC last Sunday. The two hour special caught us up with all of our favorite characters before what I am sure will be an exciting season. As much as I would like to write a column featuring one liners from Roger Sterling and talking about how he is a complete fratstar, everyone knows that already. Thus I decided to ruthlessly criticize the females’ actions on the premiere. As much as I tried, however, a certain dance number dominated the episode so thoroughly, I can only focus on Mrs. Megan Draper née SomethingFrench.
Megan is wife number two of a powerhouse ad executive for whom she was formerly working, and is therefore living the dream. Now, I really did want to like her. The events surrounding the proposal were quite strange, and I was happy to make excuses for both of them. Honestly, even though there’s something a little off with her face and something a LOT off with her horse teeth, she was infinitely better to Don’s children than Betty had ever been. Therefore, I willingly suspend disbelief in order to think he married her for that reason. Last weekend we first saw her in the domestic role when the little Drapers were visiting. She lost points by letting Don make breakfast, but I’ll let that one slide and assume she was letting him have bonding time with the kids. Bonus points for smelling bacon cooking and only having some black coffee.
Mrs. Draper 2.0 is the central perpetrator of the most talked about scene of this season’s premiere, in which she hosts a surprise birthday party for Don and all of his business associates and performs a song in French, “Zou Bisou Bisou,” complete with sexy dance. My girlfriends and (one dude whom I now hate) know that I am a huge proponent of the stripper alter ego. My preferred routine involves an oxford shirt and a strict hands-off rule, but that is really neither here nor there. The most important issue is that you never ever should do anything to diminish your man’s authority in front of partners/anyone who won’t be in his wedding, and diverting blood flow from the big head to the little one is probably the number one method of making a man putty in your hands. If he has no control of his household, why on earth would they think he can be trusted to keep his accounts under control? Honey, save that for the bedroom.
The aftermath is, however, a little confusing. As I would have warned any friend of mine planning such a stunt, Don is embarrassed and upset, and ridiculed at work. Also, naturally, the male staffers have seen her as even more of a sex object than when she started, and she has to deal with the repercussions. In response to this stress, she bitches out one of her coworkers for an offhand remark, then has an emotional breakdown over the actual issue at hand (TSM). All of this is completely par for the course, but Don’s reaction is what baffled me at the end. After leaving work early, and finding her cleaning the apartment in her underwear and yelling irrationally at him, he completely ignores her protests, takes her to Pound Town, and somehow it was exactly what she needed. While it was clear that she had lost the battle, did she win the war?