For MONTHS we’ve been arguing about whether or not Don Draper is “alone.” In an incredibly successful season finale, the writers of Mad Men kept us speculating up until the premiere. Will Don go back to his old ways? Has Megan really reformed him? Casting a vote in favor of the old Don (and better ratings), Anya argued for a bad to bone Don, unable to conquer his old demons. Paul hoped against hope that the answer was no and that Megan had managed to change Don’s philandering ways. Now we know the answer, and Anya was right (per usual). We’re going to try to do a brief weekly recap of some of the best moments and then a rundown of some of our favorite looks. No promises that the late night screencapping won’t start to wear on Paul, but we’ll do our best to make it a regular feature.
In earlier seasons, the writers tended to leave something to the imagination. We were able to enjoy the gorgeous clothes and snappy dialogue without being slapped in the face with a doom and gloom theme or blatant motif. Much like the audience for Lucky Strike ads, “we ignored it”. This season promises the same departure Don tried to sell to the Hawaiian Sheraton, a “jumping off point”. Delivered with a bit of a heavy hand, “The Doorway” shows us the doors closing in front of Don and Roger, at the same time that they’re opening in front of Peggy. Betty is focusing (consciously or un) on the doors that she could have gone through, with her attempts to put Sandy back on a sunnier path.
Now, a disjointed list of some of the most entertaining moments:
- Stan’s glorious (but admittedly dirty) beard
- Ginsberg’s creeper stache
- Harry’s ridiculous everything
- Betty always taking it a step too far (completely inappropriate rape “joke”!?)
- Velma randomly showing up to be Don’s not-so-surprising mistress
- Roger really wanting his therapist to like him
- Peggy’s phone conversation with the pastor
Now, neither of us have ever boasted of being mega trendy fashionistas, so these are just a series of looks that jumped out at us for a variety of reasons, ranked by how much we enjoyed them.
7. Betty’s Bottle Job
Starting our list is Betty’s shocking dye, which also ends our list of favorite moments. After one of the village kids comments on her blonde hair being a “bottle job,” Betty reacts in true Betty fashion (where her entire self worth is determined by what people, specifically men, think of her) by dying her signature blonde hair a dark brown. Nothing is that spectacular about the outfit, the purple perhaps a nod to the Liz Taylor look Henry seems to think she’s channeling, but we didn’t have sad middle-child Bobby’s hilarious response of, “I hate it; you’re ugly.”
6. Megan’s Seasonal Travel Garb
This is a look that we both enjoy, although one of us is not completely behind it. Megan is the young, stylish actress who wows us with her late 60s clothes the way Betty did at the start of the show with her late 50s wardrobe. While Anya can get behind the fuzzy newsboy cap, she finds it completely inappropriate that Megan is waltzing around a New York winter with that much leg hanging out. Paul loves the drama of it all and believes that there will always be New York women willing to freeze for fashion and that she really only spent a collective minute outside between the airport and the taxi ride home, with what looks like a brief stop at the grocery store.
5. Roger Wearing Blue!?
Roger retiring his father’s gray suit for this vibrant blue double-breasted suit jacket produced a collective, ‘WHATTTTT IS GOING ON HERE!?” John Slattery looks great in blue (a suit color usually favored by Pete... coincidence?) and we’re wondering who/what convinced him to shake things up in the style department. Also, what’s the deal with this weasel newcomer, Bob Benson? Nothing good, if you ask us.
4. Peggy’s Super Bowl Green Coat
We only got to see this coat for a few seconds, but we loved watching Peggy walk in wearing this great trench coat in an amazing color (which she has only recently began to embrace) and show us how great she’s doing at work. The outfit underneath the coat is quite nice as well, but nothing else that she wore in this episode was able to match this. We’re looking forward to what this season has to offer for Peggy, but we’re not sure that Abe (along with his disturbing hair choices) is going to go along for the entire ride.
3. Henry’s Hunting Sweater
Great sweater or greatest sweater. Everyone should own a cowl-necked sweater with hunting dogs and flying pheasants on it. This almost flew under the radar with Betty’s shocking dye job, but this is definitely our favorite thing that Henry has ever worn (Henry being someone we haven’t ever spent a lot of our style attention on). If you’re not with us on this, you’re against us.
2. Megan’s Colorful Caftan
This was another look that we only got a brief look at, and only the barest of glimpses from the front. We also once again diverge on Megan here. We are both completely in love with this flowy caftan Megan pulls on as she rouses from a naked slumber and glides out onto their Hawaiian balcony. The colors and patterns are so much fun and we wish she had worn this to the beach wedding so we could have gotten a better look at it. However, while Paul finds the stripped down, slightly sunburnt beautiful and refreshing, Anya cannot wait for that girl to get her shit together and slap on some much-needed makeup. At least some goddamn chapstick!
1. Jane’s Rich Bitch Funeral Outfit
Oh, Jane. Jane is a character who we hated when she first appeared on the show, but have grown to love due to her fondness for fabulous hats. Like Betty in life, Jane always takes it a little bit too far with her clothing choices, and we love it. While Megan gives us fun and extremely current fashion, Jane gives us eternal drama as she sashays around the room reeking of money. Also, how great is that wheelchair dame’s embroidered lap blanket?
Feel free to use our wonderful screencaps, provided that you credit us with a link!