April 12th, 2013
[Excerpt from Adam and Amy's new Mad Men tumblr, She's an Astronaut]
For once, the question this opening episode isn’t who is Don Draper?
In many respects this is a Don we know all too well: Don the womanizer, Don the drinker, Don with a past to hide. Don in search of salvation with an existential text in hand. Last season saw him shed those roles and go, to quote Burt Cooper, on love leave, only to come back to find a door in front of him. A door with a dead body on the other side.
Lane Pryce couldn’t bridge the gap between his fantasies and reality, but neither could Don. All those beautiful dreams he couldn’t own, Joan, Peggy, Megan. Especially Megan, the wife he felt compelled to give away so that she could chase her’s. And then he went through another door and found himself in bar.
“What are you, some kind of astronaut?” asks PFC Dinkins
“I’m in advertising” replies Don. A moment of naturalism or an ambiguous refusal on behalf of the script to deny the possibility that, yes, perhaps he is some kind of spaceman? Perhaps this isn’t Earth. The script certainly isn’t sure where he is, is it Hawaii? Vietnam? What’s this, a G.I.’s lighter, Don’s got one just like it… perhaps he’s in Korea. Or maybe this is Heaven, that light, that air, that blue. What about that fire, the bar dripping blood, could he be in Hell? He could ask Jonesy the door man, he’ll know.