There was no physical violence or murder plot carried out, but if we think back to Don’s L.A. hallucination: Megan appeared to him. Surprised to see her, she explained to Don: “But I live here.” She then revealed to Don she was pregnant. So if Don and Megan become a bi-coastal couple, what’s to say Megan won’t move out to L.A., take on a little more of the stereotypical “relaxed” L.A. lifestyle, and get pregnant?
But for the meantime, Megan lets herself get jerked around by Don. First, Don announces he wants to move to L.A. so he can build a desk for SC&P on the West Coast.
“We were happy there,” he tells Megan. “We can be happy again.” He doesn’t want Megan to give up her career, but plans are made after that, and Megan tells the powers that be at work, who agree to write her off the soap. Just when everything is planned, Don gives the L.A. position to Ted, so he can sort out his affair with Peggy.
Of course, when Megan hears Don gave the position to Ted (she doesn’t know the why behind it), she’s pissed. “Fuck the agency,” she tells Don. “I quit my job.” Megan says if he wants to be alone with his liquor and his messed up kids and his ex-wife, that’s fine. Don tries to reason with her, saying they can be a bicoastal couple and telling her he loves her, but she won’t listen and storms out of the apartment.
But since Megan already quit her job and has meetings lined up in L.A., it seems likely she will, in fact, move with or without Don. And just may make Don’s hallucination come true. (And moving to L.A. also seems to extend the parallels between Megan and Sharon Tate even further, although Megan is older than Tate.)
From the beginning of Ted and Peggy’s flirtation, the relationship was set to end poorly, since Ted is a married man. But Ted, who Peggy claimed was a “good man” is almost as bad as Don, running off to California rather than confronting the complexities of being in love with a woman he works with, Peggy, and not being a man who can give up his family.
So after sleeping with Peggy, he tells her he’s going to California. “You can stay here and have your life and career and let this be the past.” Peggy thinks it was Don’s decision to send Ted at first, but Ted explains, saying Don gave up his spot for him. “I wanted this, but I have a family,” Ted tells her. “I have to hold onto them or I’ll get lost in the chaos.”
“Well, aren’t you lucky to have decisions.” Peggy replies. And in that sentence, therein lies the rub for the women on Mad Men.
The men are always running off, creating options where there may not have been options before, and the women are stuck where they were. Megan, although she has control of her own career, had given up some of that power to go along with Don’s decision. She gave up her role on the soap opera for a move to Los Angeles which isn’t happening because Don changed his mind.
Joan tries to make inroads at the firm, but she is stuck in her position as a glorified secretary, because the partners at the firm do not see her as anything otherwise.
Peggy, another who has made advancements in her career, can’t seem to break out of Don’s molding of her. At CGC, she thought she had broken free from him, but then her budding flirtation and relationship with Ted complicated whatever freedom she was feeling. Even if she had been able to make the St. Joseph’s aspirin commercial the way she wanted it, it was because of Ted’s support. She wasn’t rewarded the opportunity purely for her talents, but because of Ted’s infatuation with her.
Peggy tells Ted to get out of her office. Later, we see her working on Thanksgiving in Don’s office, because “that’s where everything is.” When Peggy sits down in his chair and looks out the window, the shot of her profile is the same shot as the profile of the ad man at the end of the show’s credits.
- Mad Men Review: Past vs. Future in the Season Six Finale (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- The suprisingly hopeful “Mad Men” finale (salon.com)