“Ya never know…”
Yes, I posted that oddly ambiguous Facebook comment following last week’s penultimate Mad Men episode (spoolers herein, so run away now if you dont want to be spoiled). Of course, it was inspired by Lane’s untimely self-offing.
Upon reflection though – we do know.
In the Art imitating life debate we’ve reached the turning point for Mad Men it seems. I’ve been a fan of the show since its first season. IMHO one of the best parts of the show back then was all of the mysteries.
Who is Don Draper?
Who is the mystery friend in Cali?
How is it possible for Pete to be such a douche?
It was nearly LOST-esque.
But we’ve transitioned – the writers have removed mystery and replaced it with surprise and blatant symbolism/metaphor/coincidence.
The surprises in the form of characters doing things outside what we’ve come to expect from them. Lane’s suicide. Joan’s self-imposed whoring. Betty’s new husband’s (whatshisname) lack of motivation following ‘Rockie’s’ lack of rocket-esque self-motivation.
The blatant symbolism/metaphor/coincidence?
At least one example (I’ll have to go back and rewatch the season for more examples) – In a single episode, Don caused one person’s suicide, while on the other end of the spectrum his offspring enters a phase of her existence she can actually create life. Duh.
The mystery’s gone, now we’re just being taken down a twisting path of surprises and coincidence. We’ve exited Hitchcock-ville and entered Craven-land. Not that that doesn’t have its own set of pros and cons – they’re just different.
Not that I won’t keep on watching the show – changes in story structure aren’t particularly uncommon at this phase of a series’s arc . But I’ll definitely be looking for more mystery and less surprise for the sake of surprise. Unless of course they want to have Pete sprout wings and fly far far away (surprise!)