I totally agree, Devin - this was a fantastic episode, and it shows that Mad Men is most definitely still in its prime after a brutal 17-month hiatus.
There was a lot of speculation in the comments section of your post (and online in general), and much of that seems to be about whether Don and Megan will remain happy throughout the season - or if we’ll see him grow bitter and alone again just like he was with Betty.
I’m not going to jump into the game of predicting what I think will happen just yet, but I would like to put in my vote that I wouldn’t mind seeing them content all season long. I could certainly understand Megan's staying with him even though he’s the old man in the room now (forty!), because, shit, he’s Don Draper.
And Don is once again living inside an image of the American Dream that he’s so frequently trying to sell, and living in that picture should keep him happy enough for a while. He had that with Betty, of course, except that the home in the suburbs really felt like it was her American Dream, and Don had been happy enough to provide it for her.
This new apartment, complete with a young wife who tidies up in her underwear, feels like a two-page spread from a magazine that Draper would actually subscribe to, and a better stab at being the American Dream for him rather than her. Plus, whether it was her fault or Don drove her to it, Betty was a bitch. And that led Don to jump ship out of that dream over and over and over again. If Don does start treating Megan like shit, I don’t see her sticking around long enough to become a total bummer like Betty did. After all, it’s just a milkshake.
As for the team at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, there’s not a lot to be added to the conversation about how great Pete was. He’s a fantastic character, even if I don’t understand how he keeps tricking clients to sign on with a firm that’s quickly running out of steam.
But what about our man Cosgrove? I loved that he seems to grasp what happens to the old men who give their entire lives to that agency and, after moving around between a few different firms, he’s got a nice grip on his work/life balance. He’s not Pete Campbell, and he doesn’t want to be. I hope we get to spend some time at his home this season, too.
Tune in next week when Film Crit Hulk and Meredith give their two cents on the return of the great AMC drama. And as always, feel free to join the conversation in the comments.