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Last night's Mad Men twist: brilliant or risky (or both)?

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 26th 2009 11:40AM
Mad Men
I continue to be amazed by Mad Men. I don't mean the overall quality of the writing, the acting, the direction, the production. It's easy to be amazed by all that. I'm talking about where Matthew Weiner and his writing staff are taking us.

I think we can all agree that, beyond the bigger picture of how the 1960s changed America, the big story on the show has been "Who is Don Draper?" It's the big secret that he's been keeping since episode one and it has really been the driving force of the show. But last night Weiner and Co. blew the show wide open by having Betty confront Don about the box in the drawer. And when she did, Don actually told the truth! And this wasn't even the season finale!

Betty's reaction was great and rather unexpected too. So, a couple of questions for fans. Is this a good development for the show? Where do we go now that there are no more secrets from Don (well, except for the womanizing)? Did you want the show to keep this secret going until the last season or are you fine with it being revealed in the middle?

Me? I'm fine with it. Not only do I know that the show has stories that are just as good and interesting as the Don Draper/Dick Whitman saga, I also love how Weiner and Co. continue to surprise us and really mess with what any preconceptions we have about how a TV show is supposed to progress. Actually, I'm more than fine with it, because this plot development gets me really excited for what's to come with this show. It's a brilliant move.

And Jon Hamm deserves an Emmy for last night's episode alone.

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Bite Me

I'm a little confused by one thing.

I thought in the first season while Betty was talking to some friend or lunch date she had said something along the lines of "Don was married." or "He's been married before." I thought Betty already knew Draper had a previous wife. If so, what shocked her about the divorce papers? The fact that Don bought a house for the ex?

October 29 2009 at 9:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hana deHaya

This last episode was magnetic.....each scene......I Tivo-ed this, and then 1 hour later watched it with no advertising....the suspense in this episode was very great.
It was not disappointing to have Betty find out about Don's past, and show compassion.
MadMen is such a compelling show, that by now, it has all viewers so rapt, that it doesn't matter that this episode was not the finale.....the viewers are "hooked." This plot
was not risky, because the creative talent of MadMen has the viewers in the palm of their hand.

Besides, this show is so well written, acted, directed, perfect set designs, that each segment is a little jewel all by itself.
Matthew Wiener is a genius. I hope this saga never ends.

October 29 2009 at 1:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
the dude

i thought that this was a great episode as it moved things along well - we are at holloween so the november events are coming up quickly now - plus we have the sale of SC by the brits hanging there - and where is that darn duck? - the key line of the episode tho was the guy handing out the candy asking don ".....and who are you supposed to be?". i think that the series is what it always has been about - don.

October 27 2009 at 12:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Blogging Dirty

Keep this in mind: When "Don" signed the contract with SC to appease Hilton - Bert Cooper's comments were "who is really signing that anyway?". Betty isn't the only one who knows and will be interesting to see how it further reveals itself.

October 27 2009 at 10:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nacho

I didn't get a chance to watch this episode until just now, but I already saw this headline on TVSquad, so the entire time I was watching it I was waiting for a (potentially brilliant and risky) twist and was fairly disappointed at the end when I didn't get one.

I guess you could say that it moved the overall narrative forward a step or two, and definitely changed the dynamic between Don and Betty, but a twist, it certainly wasn't.

October 26 2009 at 11:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gay

The episode was amazing, but remember we are just adding Betty to the list of people who know the secret. Campbell stole Don/Dick's mail and he ratted him out to Cooper. I think the drama will be how the people who know his secret will possibly use it against him. If the information gets to Roger or the Brits or Duck....it could lead to problems.

I was pretty nervous that the teacher would go psycho and come in looking for Don during our touching moments. A 2009 psycho would never walk away.

October 26 2009 at 3:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

My first thought is that it's still a secret. Yes, Betty knows, but that won't change the dynamic at the office.

My second thought is that this would have been a pretty weak finale. Viewers have been predicting the JFK assassination finale since the season premiere, and it seems to be lining up perfectly.

I know most people see Don as the central character, but I think Peggy is the heart of the show. Don is all back story; Peggy is the one changing in front of our very eyes.

October 26 2009 at 12:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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