'Mad Men' goes back to Cali
August 9th, 2010
03:57 PM ET

'Mad Men' goes back to Cali

Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for the Sunday, August 8 episode of AMC’s "Mad Men."

On this week’s episode of "Mad Men," everything happened and nothing happened. It was a decidedly Don-centric hour, and we learned that goodbyes suck and Don is capable of striking out with the ladies on both coasts.

With the offices of SCDP closed for the New Year’s holiday, Don took a detour in California on his way to Acapulco to visit Anna Draper, widow of the real Don Draper.

The palpable shift in Don’s personality is so refreshing when he makes the trip out West, and his chemistry with Anna is wonderfully warm and familial. I found myself thinking it would be a shame if something were to happen to this relationship, perhaps the only honest relationship Don has. Sigh.

After spurning Don’s lecherous advances – Really! She’s half his age! – Anna’s niece Stephanie tells Don that Anna has aggressive terminal cancer. Way to bring everybody down, show. Worse yet, in that can-only-be-chalked-up-to-questionable-1960s-medical-ethics way, Anna is blissfully unaware of just how sick she is. This might be due to the amount of grass she smokes.

Anna’s sister pleads with Don to leave before he breaks the bad news. Conflict and inner turmoil ensue and Don tells Anna he has to leave. Their goodbye is heartbreaking and sad - anyone who has dealt with a sick or dying loved one knows how painful those goodbye hugs are. You don’t want to let go for fear of never getting that chance again.

It will be interesting to see how Don processes Anna’s inevitable demise as she is the sole connection to his past and the one person who has ever really accepted him for who he truly is. Who is Don Draper? Only Anna knows. Will the positive aspects of Don’s personality die with Anna or will he turn over a new leaf in her memory?

Upon returning from California, Don arrived at the office to find Lane, who later confided that his wife left him. The two went on a man-date to cheer themselves up, commiserating over Gamera, hookers and good scotch – a fitting way to ring in 1965, no?

What did you think of last night’s episode?

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Filed under: Mad Men • television • TV recaps

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. rety

    Online TV

    August 13, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |

    Must say this was the best episode of the season. It wasn't a total Don fest like the other two were. I have enjoyed MM for the last three seasons and own all three on DVD. I was really worried when the first episode of season 4 aired as it really was a let down to me. Now I feel with last nights episode there might just be hope for season 4!

    August 9, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. evan7257

    Nothing about Joan's abortions, and their potential illegality?

    August 9, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. C. Tang

    What? Nothing about Jane? I thought her scenes were great. And the flower mix up, her reaction, and the explanation were the highlight of the show.

    August 9, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Alice C Brown

    Why is Mad Men not a soap opera?
    1. the writing
    2. the 'bad guy' sometimes acts legitimately nice, just like real people do
    3. the historical references and settings and clothes are spot on
    Any other reasons?

    August 9, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |

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