Mad Men Recap: Zou Bisou Goodbye

Mad Men Don Megan Divorce Season 7 Recap

Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner has already said there’ll be no spinoff once his AMC series ends, but just in case he has second thoughts, this week’s episode provided the perfect planted pilot: The Calvet Women.

Michael Ausiello will kill me for saying so, but Don’s estranged wife and her French mother and sister put more life into this week’s installment — which also wrapped up Mrs. Draper’s storyline nicely — than the rest of Sterling Cooper & Associates combined.

Excuse moi for saying so, but that’s not a good thing. I understand that not every hour of the award-winning series is going to be “The Strategy” or “The Suitcase.” But I also understand that when fourth-tier characters like Marie and Marie-France Calvet provide the most entertainment in the hour, it’s probably because — as was the case this week— the rest of the action isn’t that compelling.

Allons! Let’s review what took place in “New Business.”

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DRAPER’S LADIES | Don’s making milkshakes for his boys at Betty and Henry’s house, when the first Mrs. Draper enters looking rather done up. She explains that they were at a fancy dinner, then can’t help but add that she’s going to start a master’s degree in counseling. (We’re with you, Don; that seems ill-advised.) On his way out, Draper seems to have a moment as he looks at the Francis family going about its evening. The life not lived? Try, the life you napalmed, Don.

For the rest of the episode, Draper deals with two women: the outgoing (Megan, with whom he is finalizing a divorce) and the incoming (Diana, the waitress from the diner in last week’s episode). Let’s deal with the latter first. As it turns out, Diana’s no longer working at the diner where Roger left the $100 tip. Her new restaurant is a wee bit classier, or at least, that’s what I infer from the pilgrim-esque uniform she wears. He tracks her down, calls her, and she winds up at his place one night after her shift is done. When she plays a little coy, Don says, “It’s 3 in the morning. You know why you’re here. Do you want a drink or not?” Damn, he’s smooth.

Of course they sleep together, and of course we later find out she’s an emotionally damaged wreck of a woman with a sadsack back story (one of her daughters died, the other is living with Diana’s ex in Wisconsin) and a taste for vodka. Still, Don seems besotted, because he’s always good at the beginning of these things. (Remember Megan in California?) But Diana eventually chooses complete and total numbness/self-flagellation over being with Don, which is probably the best decision she’s made in years. Because as we are reminded during the episode, Draper is a ruiner of lives.

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OOH LA LA! | Which brings us to Megan’s presence in New York. She’s visiting to clear the last of her things out of the apartment and to meet with Harry about getting a new agent. For the first task, she is accompanied by her mother and sister, who spend more time lamenting the ruins of Megan’s marriage than they do actually helping her square away her things for the movers. Something about the way that the three women switch back and forth between English and French and casually toss off cutting, passive-aggressive insults really entertains me. Plus, when Marie says of Don, “He drinks red wine?! It’s a wonder you don’t have syphilis,” I FEEL LIKE SHE GETS ME. (Anyone else? Or is this a fromage-stands-alone situation?)

When Megan leaves to meet with Harry and her sister stomps off in a huff about being treated like a servant, Marie is left to deal with the movers — whom she instructs to take everything. She can’t believe it when they want to be paid for the job they did (rather than the job Megan ordered, which cost a lot less), so Marie winds up summoning Roger to the apartment to foot the bill. And then since he’s already there… yeah, they sleep together again, and after Megan returns from the lunch (which ends abruptly when Harry implies that sleeping with him — and others? — would be beneficial to her career), she realizes that her mom is un peu slutty.

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BUY BUY LOVE | Angry and in possession of all the furniture, Megan meets Don at the lawyer’s office to sign the divorce papers. She insults him, but you can tell from Don’s face that all he can think about is what Harry told him earlier: By asking Megan to quit her soap gig and move to California, Don effectively killed any career momentum she might’ve been gathering. So Don writes her a check for $1 million (!), saying, “I want you to have the life you deserve.” She sputters, recovers, takes the money and leaves her engagement ring behind.

Back with her family — and with a cool million giving her a new sense of calm rationalism — Megan dismisses her frantic sister’s cries about Marie choosing to leave their father and stay in New York. “She’s been very unhappy for a very long time,” Megan says. “At least she did something about it.” And that just may be the last time we see Ms. Draper Calvet, everyone!

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SAY ‘CHEESEY’ | A well-known photographer named Pima is hired to shoot the Cinzano ad, and when we finally meet her, she’s a forthright auteur in a three-piece lady suit (and played by Mimi Rogers, who looks… odd here. Took me a few moments to place her. And even once I did, I had to really look hard to convince myself it was her).

Stan doesn’t like Pima’s shtick, which doesn’t bother her: She sees his hostility as something else entirely. “I can feel the tension of your need for my opinion,” she says, which is a line I’m definitely going to use at the office this week. As it turns out, he is in desperate need for her to critique his photography, and when she likes it (but not his girlfriend, who’s his subject), Stan and Pima get it on in the SC&P darkroom.

Later, Pima makes a play for Peggy, who responds with her signature mix of awkward, mean and flustered. But when Pegs realizes that Pima is just hustling whoever’s at hand, she quickly figures out what’s up. “She tried the same thing with me, but she didn’t get as far,” Ms. Olsen tells her shaggy art director. “So that’s why I’m not going to give her another job.” This seems as good a time as any to reiterate that I’m going to eat an ascot if Mad Men doesn’t give me some Peggy-Stan action before the finale.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Did you like seeing the Rosens again? Did you catch the sly Manson family reference at the beginning of the hour? Is Harry even bigger of a slime than you previously thought? Are you happy or sad to see Megan go? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Mr. Tran K says:

    Don Draper will always be a true ladies man.

    • april-ann says:

      Is it wrong how turned on I was by Don being such a gentleman? From the way he treated Diana, especially introducing her straight away to “that” couple in the elevator, instead of douching away from it and pretending he didn’t know her, to the way he treated Megan, who seems to have a very selective memory and though she may be entitled to some money does not deserve respect.

  2. april-ann says:

    Jessica Pare’s acting in tonight’s episode of The Megan Show was atrocious. Although the two other Calvet women provided some miniscule level of entertainment, I hope we won’t be seeing any more of them, and I’m raising a glass to the hopefulness that this is also the last we ever see of Megan. Always hopeful but never confident. But I’m having champaigne, and that’s never a bad thing. The remainder of the show, as dark and as sad as it looks, I would be happy to take it without Megan. But something tells me that’s not going to happen.

    • Agreed. Jessica Pare brings down every scene she is in. No idea why Matthew Weiner likes here so much but I’m confident this will be the last we have to see of Megan. Finally!

  3. rowan77 says:

    There wasn’t a lot of forward motion for anyone but Megan and yes, I think the cheese is gonna be drinking alone like Don, because I DON’T enjoy Megan at all. Her mother is always a hoot and her sister is a hysteric, but Megan is just a pain, and I find her monotonous.

    I get that Don’s trying to find someone who fits his inner Dick Whitman, but Diane is such a wet blanket and now she’s just wacky and morose. Is anyone else noticing that everyone else is dressing and wearing their hair for the times, but Don is dressing and doing his do the same way as he was in 1960?

    Harry always seemed like he was trying to be a sleaze, but no one would take him seriously. This week he crossed into scummy full force. Then trying to cover his behavior by calling her crazy to Don. Ick factor times ten.

    Pima swings both ways, and yes, finally getting Peggy and Stan together for realies would be so right.

  4. Ava Too says:

    As if we don’t have enough characters to follow, two more are brought in: the fashion photog and the waitress. It’s too late in the series to be introducing new characters; old ones can still be used to further character development. And Megan’s mom and sister were dragged into it, too. This was a badly written and acted daytime soap.

    • Amie says:

      And Stan’s girlfriend. And Meghan’s sister. Just what we needed was more people we don’t know and don’t care about.

  5. Carol says:

    For some reason, I felt sorry for Don tonight. He keeps seeing the error of his ways when it’s too late, then when his efforts to make penance are rebuffed, he looks like a sad puppy.

  6. Wallace Hamilton says:

    We seem to be being given the water torture treatment in these last few episodes. Did we really have to wait a year for this! Why bring in new depressing characters like Diana? We are to believe that Don, with all his resources and young stewardess, would suddenly be obsessed with a waitress? Who keeps a million dollars in a checking account to give a departing spouse a la Betty Hutton? I am afraid we will never see these people develop or mature. I am beginning to not care much either. I notice orange is popping up everywhere now. Orange is the new Black. Oh no that is another series!

    • Wallace Hamilton says:

      Correction: Barbara Hutton, not Betty, is famous for giving each departing spouse a million dollars. The only one who did not want her money was Cary Grant. Now there was a man with class!

    • The Kaibosh says:

      Where else do you keep money in 1970 when banking and investment options were a lot more limited? You had a bank account with a bank book and a cheque book.

  7. Cheeky says:

    This episode didn’t do much for me, and that’s concerning to say at this close to the end game. It feels like we’re in the middle of the show instead of winding down with the characters arcs, and I am worried we are going to get an ending like Lost with no closure or lingering questions answered. Open endings are alright, but don’t leave fans forever hanging either.

  8. AnnieM says:

    I find myself wondering if Diana the waitress is supposed to be a human metaphor (for what, I don’t know); her scenes have been just so weird and random.

  9. april-ann says:

    No, Kim, I’m sure it’s a fromage a deux, and could even be way more than that. We just have some ‘splainin’ to do when it comes to the “reals” parts mixed in with the syph parts (or is it all one big imagine part?). Of course, this could be extra fromage, putting even Celine to shame. Regardless, it’s all looking extra cheesy right now.

  10. anna says:

    That waitress character is such an annoying sad sack. Just go away already. And please let this be the end of Megan already. I can’t stand her and her awful mother and sister. And I hate that Don gave her a million dollars yet he gave Betty absolutely nothing.

  11. SROBERTS00 says:

    You’re not alone.

    Personally I’ve never gotten all the Megan-hating, I actually like her character. She’s not necessarily my favourite, but I certainly don’t feel like she’s detracting from the other storylines.

    I LOVE Julia Ormond and rewatch her scenes all the time. I think her and Jessica have a great rapport.

    Perhaps it’s also being a Canadian I’m extra-partial to the franglais. ;)

  12. Robbie-Rob says:

    The pace felt too quick at the beginning, with several quick cuts and poor transitions. Waitress Diane feels like a dead-end unless Don’s going to end the show by driving out to Racine, Wisconsin to live out his life. Megan’s passive-aggressive nature makes everyone crazy. Loved watching how her fake niceness to Harry so quickly shifted when he touched her hand. She eats up compliments like a child and seems genuinely shocked when something is asked from her in return. (Of course, Harry’s disgusting, but she was there to flirt with him to make him do what she wanted him to do.)

  13. Marilyn says:

    Always love to see Roger. He’s so eager to accommodate and please the ladies. Wish he would ditch the facial hair.

  14. Behzad Sandila says:

    Michael Ausiello is an amazing man but always kinda hard on Megan so I get what you mean Ms.Roots, haha! I personally always loved the dynamic between Megan and Marie-France (Julia Ormond is simply brilliant). But in terms of propelling action, I like where things went with Peggy and Stan too.

  15. Gilberto says:

    First two episodes suck I see no closer…I have a bad feeling this is not going to end well for the fans of the show….

  16. Ron Stander says:

    I have one question: Are we now to believe that Don Draper is a moron? Only a moron would keep one million dollars in a checking account. Or are we about to learn, when the check bounces, that Don is a manic depressive?

  17. Mehvash says:

    Roger Sterling’s mustache continues to be the best new character of the final episodes.

  18. Marlo says:

    This recap was awesome! “Is this a Fromage stands alone situation?” – that was brilliant! I, too, will eat an ascot (love it!) if Peggy doesn’t end up happy with someone. Anyone. — And this line…“It’s 3 in the morning. You know why you’re here. Do you want a drink or not?” – Only Don Draper can get away with that kind of comment and be even HOTTER.

    • Nero tTVf says:

      Fear not – Peggy will find someone soon during the remaining episodes. It may end up being someone she already knows. Remember, Ted is still floating around the office. ;-)

      Don’s comment to Diana is a great line – only he could get away with it, but that’s what makes him ‘Don.’ :-))

  19. GuessWhat says:

    Hated this ep.
    The new lady looks like Rachel Dratch to me — and she turns out to be such a Debbie Downer — so that’s fitting.
    No Joan, one little scene with Betty, but a full ep of Megan?
    Seriously, no one wanted this.
    Uggh. What a mess.
    Hate to see such a great series end on such a boring note.

  20. Heathers says:

    april Ann, I totally agree. It felt like Jessica Pare was reading her lines from a cue card, and is halfway illiterate. This episode wasn’t very good.

  21. Amie says:

    Wasting an episode on Meghan and her relatives, plus Don’s apartment mistress and her husband AND a couple of characters we’ve never seen before (Stan’s gf and Mimi Rogers) was SO annoying when we still haven’t seen Sally and there are so many better characters to spend time on. When Sal got fired, we never saw him again. I doubt we will see Ken or Ginsburg or Kinsey again. It would’ve been just fine to say that Don was now divorced from Meghan, done, over, whatever, and then give us more time with people like Sally, Joan and Pete, who should be more important.

  22. Addie Becnel says:

    Betty:How ironic that Betty is getting her masters in psychology because people love to tell her their problems; she was such a help when Don was opening his heart and soul to her about his true background.
    Meagan: Don may have emotionally bailed in his marriage to Meagan first but she’s the one who called it quits. She’s still young, beautiful, and talented. At least he’s trying to make amends in Don’s sort of way. I will miss Meagan.
    Diane: I hope this is the last time we see Diane. Her story is tragic. Don is not capable of helping her.
    Peggy: Can we explore her lost relationship with Ted?
    Roger/Pete: Nice to see the dialogue between Don and Roger and Don and Pete. It’s what I liked about the show.
    I will miss this show as I miss my childhood. So many scenes bring back so many memories.

  23. bill says:

    At times It seems like Don subconsiously wants to go back to being rural Dick Whitman. Maybe he’ll end up quitting the ad game and moving out of NYC.

  24. Clandestine Green says:

    These last two episodes have been horrible…it is like sitting in the dentist’s chair. With so few episodes, you would think that they would have a little more action.

  25. Marci says:

    Good riddance, Megan. I never liked you, or your mother. As for that fantasy Calvet Women spin-off–no thank you!

  26. Beth says:

    the best part was Don walking into his empty apartment at the end, lol.

  27. evababy says:

    God this was boring.

    Don’s fascination with the most drab, depressing waitress ever is baffling.

    I will absolutely own my hate for the character of Megan. Can’t stand her. The amount of screen time the character had gotten over the years has done absolutely nothing to give her any amount of depth. What a shame because I actually liked her when she first came on. But the sheer relentlessness of her presence each season coupled with the vapidity of her character soured me on her over time.

  28. I would literally rather take my own life than watch such a show.