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View Diary: Mad Men: The Collaborators (6.3) (192 comments)

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  •  Defending Don (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thankgodforairamerica, Adam B, melo

    No, not his actions, they are pretty indefensible.  But he is a much more nuanced character than people are giving credit here.  Maybe that is why viewers haven't completely soured on him. The show would never be as popular as it is if he was just a good looking bad boy.  He is a much more interesting character than that.

    Remember, Don was abandoned by women his entire childhood.  His real mother died in childbirth and he was given to someone else.  Now, in the brothel scenes, the women who is identified as his "mother" is betraying him with the "rooster."  That has led Don to a pathological need to abandon women before they abandon him.  I am not defending this, just trying to explain it. He was sure that Betty would leave him some day (she was just a trophy, not his real love anyway).  And despite all of his philandering, despite knowing that his marriage was failing, the only time he got really, really upset was when he found out about Henry.  He also got really upset with Sally's teacher when she was trying to break off their affair, although he did it himself a short time later. Finally, he got upset with Sylvia when she threatened to end their affair at the dinner table.  Remarkably, last week in the final scene he said that he "didn't want to do this anymore." But when she hints at it, he goes ballistic.

    All of this bring me to Don and Megan, who Don seems to have genuinely loved.  But Don got thrown off of the pony when Megan's career started in earnest.  Again, he realized that he might be abandoned by a woman he loved.  In the last scene of last season, the "are you alone" bar scene, Don had gone to the bar directly from the TV set, where he had watched Megan be so enthralled by her acting career.  

    Add to that the fact that Megan had previously refused to have children with Don.  "She says I already have my children."  So Don sees that Megan is refusing to create binding ties, assumes that she is setting him up to abandon him, and goes back to his pre-emptive bad behavior.  

    That is why the miscarriage scene, with Megan proposing to have a "conversation" about having children, hit him so hard.  He realizes that maybe he was wrong, she is not about to abandon him. So he collapses in the hallway, because he has instinctively acted so as to destroy the only good thing he has ever had.  And he knows it.

    In my mind, this is what makes the show so good.  I may have started watching it for January Jones, but I have stayed for the really really interesting portrayals of human nature (OK, and the good looking people.)

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