(SPOILER ALERT) With all the foreshadowing about Megan as Sharon Tate, could it get any more obvious near the end of “A Tale of Two Cities” when Don sees his wife during his near-death experience? Having seen it only once, I imagine there was more going on that I missed. But she does tell him about a “second chance” and that she is once again pregnant (yet another Tate comparison). He then sees the soldier from Hawaii. He’s missing an arm and says his wife thinks he’s MIA when, in fact, he is dead. (The dead made plenty of appearances in Sopranos dreams, too.) So this must mean Megan is dead—plus she was wearing black. Then we learn Don and Roger went straight from the airport to work. Don tells his secretary to get his wife on the phone, end of episode.
Now normally those teasers for the next episode are pointless. But we did see clips of Megan and Don in the apartment. So she’s not dead … yet. If next week’s Mad Men is called “Helter Skelter,” we’ll know what happens.
And yet, as my wife points out, the whole thing could be a sixties send-up, similar to the conspiracy theories at the time about Paul McCartney being dead, with clues from Sgt. Pepper’s (album art) to Magical Mystery Tour (“I buried Paul”) to the White Album (“the walrus was Paul”) and, of course, Abbey Road (album art).
As for the rest of the episode, the gay theory about Bob Benson may be right. Clearly nothing happened between him and Joan at the beach since Joan subsequently goes on a blind date that turns into potential business with Avon. And when Michael Ginsberg asks if he’s “a homo,” Benson gives the nondenial denial. But so what if he’s gay? There’s got to be more to his arc than that.
While this is all happening, the Democratic National Convention in Chicago blows up. “The whole world is watching!” the chants went. And for the first time, Ronald Reagan is mentioned. During the Carnation meeting (hasn’t that company been trying to get us to buy that breakfast drink for decades now?), the head exec says Nixon is an opportunist and “Dutch” Reagan is a patriot. Also, wasn’t California so much cleaner the first time round in the “Jet Set” episode?
But one thing did get resolved: The new company will be Sterling Cooper & Partners, with Draper, Chaough, and Cutler willing to forgo their own names on the letterhead, sort of like McCann.
Photo credit: Michael Yarish / AMC