The “Mad Men” Likability Index: Megan Has A Dream
Did last night’s episode feel like filler to anyone else? So far this season, Pete tried to sleep with a high schooler, Don and Megan had a violent chase-fight around their apartment, and Sally walked in on Roger receiving a blow job from Megan’s mom. So last night’s episode was like a Friday night home with the Netflix, as opposed to the all-out ragers we’ve been delivered all season. But anyway, that made most people more likable than usual! Onto the Likability Index.
Noticeably unfulfilled by her Heinz baked beans win last week, Megan decides to quit this week to become an actress (slash housewife)! She even sneaks off after work to audition for a play, lying to Don about going out for drinks with friends, and to Peggy about going for dinner with Don. On the one hand, lying is bad, but on the other, could she have lied about something more innocent? Her decision to quit work with Don to try her hand at theater makes her a lot more likable, I think because she always seemed like a huge attention-seeker, from her drag queen night makeup to her embarrassing-but-maybe-not “bisous bisous” song-and-dance number in the season’s first episode. Anyway, best of luck Megan! When there’s not a play that needs to be acted, there’s probably always a thick cut of meat that needs to be cooked so Don can eat it.
Likability score: 86%
I think Peggy was so angry at Megan for quitting less because she thought Megan was a huge asset to the team (I’m sorry, but martians in space helmets eating beans?) than because she knew Megan quitting would leave her saddled with extra work. Also, she just wasted all that time training Megan and trying to make her good at her job (which, she evidently succeeded at). So sure, it’s not entirely unfair for her to be angry at the woman for “taking up a spot.” But what was more awesome than how she didn’t even hide her bitterness toward Megan — who she later tells Joan is probably just “one of those girls who’s good at everything” — is that she actually seemed happy for Megan, even if it was an angry way. And what was more awesome than that was how she yelled at Don at the end because he had no right to be mad at her for messing up the Cool Whip skit when he was just directing his discomfort surrounding Megan having her own life at Peggy. Don was so disarmed he had no idea how to react.
Likability score: 96%
I don’t think Don is some great savoir for allowing Megan to quit the firm and pursue the thing she really wants to do. He married her, so he has no choice, really, unless he wants to be a total dick of a husband — like some of those men on the Real Housewives who ask their wives how they’ll take care of the kids if they start doing side jobs. And I actually don’t think his discomfort surrounding the situation was that unusual, since in a relationship, when one person’s life changes that can make the other person’s life difficult. But to his credit, I think Don realizes this change will be good for him because he can’t have his plaything around all the time because she’s not his plaything. Although I do think he should be worried, because if she succeeds and becomes some huge star, why would she want to stay with him? Which is another reason he has to be supportive — she has enough reasons to leave him, so he needs to start giving her reasons, beyond money, to stay.
Likability score: 82%
Pete banged his train friend’s wife, which I guess is a step up from trying to bang a high schooler or paying for sex with a hooker. I think he was so attracted to her because he spied the same misery inside of her that lives inside of him! A pervasive dissatisfaction with the way things are. Also, she refuses to carry on the affair, which only makes him like her more, because evidently nothing turns this man off more than a woman who is easily made happy by him and happy to be the mother of her children. But Pete is still a tool for cheating all the time (I guess the writers think someone has to, if Don isn’t doing it) and a creepy one at that for showing up to her house with her husband. That was just unnecessary.
Likability score: 49%
God bless Joan for being the only character to say what amazingly no one else did: that Megan will be a failed actress — turned housewife! I don’t think this is that mean, actually, since tons of people fail at acting all the time, so it’s really just sort of practical. Joan just didn’t bother with the “but you never know” line people frequently attach to these sorts of sentiments. However, I think she’s wrong when she says Betty and Megan are alike — yes, they had spotlight-seeking career interests (Betty was a model) but I don’t think Megan will settle for a miserable housewife-ian life the way Betty did with Don and continues to do with Henry.
Likability score: 96%
I am just glad Roger is happy now that he’s left Jane, taken LSD, and realizes not having to do that much work while collecting his large salary actually isn’t that bad. He is in a much better place than he’s maybe ever been — or at least in a good enough place to give Pete free skis.
Likability score: 85%
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