Mad Men: “New Business” Season 7 Episode 9 Review

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There’s a very rewarding comradery in the office between Don and Roger and then also Don and Pete concerning how much it sucks to go through a divorce. I know, I know, you want to just tell them to treat women better and make logical life choices, but that’s why they’re in a TV show.

The opening scene was a perfect contrast to the issues Don would face with Megan in “New Business.” By comparison, Don and Betty have it pretty good all considering. They’re civil and don’t get in each others’ way. Obviously, season four indicates otherwise, but ever since season six’s “The Better Half,” there’s an understanding between the two. Betty’s got it great. She’s married to a politician and is heading back to school to get a masters in psychology (*pause for laughter*). Don looks longingly as he leaves the Francis residence to go to his lonely apartment.

That’s when Megan calls. Oh Megan, what walking catastrophe you’ve been. I have a theory that these final episodes will be saying goodbye to characters one by one. In “Severance,” Ken Cosgrove got what will perhaps end up being one of the happiest endings for any character. “New Business” didn’t have quite the same rewards in store for Megan, but this could be goodbye, and it would be a fitting one.

While she takes actions of pure childishness in this episode, there are also signs of maturity. When Megan says “I don’t want anything of yours,” to Don after he offers her a cigarette, she’s reducing a complicated divorce to a high school breakup. Don knows better, which is why he gives her a million dollars. He knows she probably can’t totally take care of herself and still cares enough to make sure she gets by. But then there’s the scene where Megan tells her sister that her mother at least did something about being unhappy after she hooks up with Roger again. In the moment, she seems willing to forgive her mother. If this is the last we see of Megan, her life is a mess and she’s kind of okay with it. She always was a drama queen.

In the midst of dealing with his ex wives, Don makes time for Diana. I’m sure the point of all of this will reveal itself in time, but right now this is a subplot that needs to go. There is virtually no chemistry between the two, which is kind of the point. Don’s desperate, but she’s too broken to accept happiness. That’s the farthest thing from what Don needs. Megan was enough drama. Hopefully their final scene in her bedroom is the last.

With “New Business,” the second half of season seven continues to be entirely about Don’s love life. Getting some closure on Megan was nice, but the Diana material doesn’t work that well. With just five episodes left, here’s to hoping Mad Men allows Don to figure things before the curtain falls for good. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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