Mad Men: The Wheel (season finale)
(S01E13) "Who knows why people do what they do?" - Don
True story: About 20 years ago, I worked with a woman who was overweight. She wasn't feeling well one day - I think she had an upset stomach - so she left work and went to the doctor. She found out that she was 8 months pregnant. Not a month or two months, but about a month before the baby was due.
I thought of that tonight after watching the season finale of Mad Men. So many things answered and so many doors left open for a second season...
Well, for you readers who have commented on my reviews and guessed that Peggy is indeed pregnant...you're right! Shortly after Don promotes her to a Junior Copywriter (Pete has to work with her on the new Clearasil account and isn't happy at all), she starts to feel sick and goes to the doctor, who promptly tells her she's going to have a baby. I honestly thought that she was just getting fat and an "overweight woman defines herself in the new independent 60s" plot was in the offing, but they actually waited until the season finale to not only unload her pregnancy on viewers but also actually have her have the kid immediately! But she doesn't even want to hold the baby (Pete's kid). That's going to be an interesting plot for the second season.
That was the big revelation in this episode, but not the only one.
- When Francine cries to Betty about finding out via telephone bill (weird telephone bills, a bunch of blue index cards in an envelope??), I knew she'd check Don's telephone bill (I guess wives didn't check the phone bills in 1960?). I thought she'd find Midge's number or maybe Rachel's but she finds the psychiatrist's number? I love how she proceeded to say things to him in the session that she knew Don would later hear.
- Hey, Glen the creepy kid makes an appearance! Is anyone kinda weirded out by Betty wanting to bond with him and talk about her troubles? I expected him to ask her out or something, but his mom might have shown up and ruined it.
- I don't get the scene with Pete and his wife and inlaws near the end. He walks in, they're waiting for him, and he drops his coat on the floor and goes to bed? Someone explain that to me. Are the inlaws so intent on having a grandkid that they come over to make sure Pete and their daughter are having sex every night and doing it correctly?
- It's always fun to see what exactly each episode title means. I had no idea that the Kodak Carousel would not only be what the title refers to but would be the thing that would snap Don out of his secretive, affair-infested, brother-killed-himself haze and see what he had in his life with his family. Too bad they left for Thanksgiving without him.
- If this show was on ABC, Ayn Rand books would be flying off the shelves.
A great end to a great first season. This is the best show on television. It's smart enough to have some cliffhangers in the season finale, but not outlandish ones (a murder, amnesia, an explosion, whatever) . These plots really have you wishing for the new season to start but aren't so wild and mysterious where you think they've gone too far. Too bad the next season doesn't start til next summer.
(If you recorded the show or plan to catch a repeat later, make sure you stay for footage from the wrap party and interviews with the cast after the credits.)
|Don's secrets||414 (38.5%)|
|Pete and Peggy||148 (13.8%)|
|Roger's affair with Joan and heart attack||36 (3.3%)|
|Sal's secret gay life||48 (4.5%)|
|Betty's troubles||131 (12.2%)|
|All the advertising stuff at Sterling Cooper||298 (27.7%)|