Mad Men: Why Don Draper’s Good Boy Act Won’t Last Much Longer
Don Draper (Jon Hamm) will never truly escape his past, but he’s currently doing his best to correct it on Mad Men Season 5. In the most recent episode (Season 5, Episode 5: “Signal 30”), his efforts to stay faithful to second wife Megan (Jessica Paré) are so apparent that we found ourselves wondering who this new “good Don” is.
For one thing, since when does Don obey his wife’s orders? When Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) and Trudy (Alison Brie) requested Don and Megan’s presence at their weekend dinner in the country, there was no way Don was up for it. But Megan managed to convince him to go, and got him to wear that sport coat she bought him.
When Pete, Roger (John Slattery), and Don went out to wine and dine their potential Jaguar client, Don was the only man among four married suits who didn’t cheat on his wife … in the middle of a whorehouse! True, Don grew up in a whorehouse as Dick Whitman, so the whole scene may have not exactly been a turn-on. But we know that Don has no problem having sex with prostitutes (evidenced in Season 4 at his Waverly Street bachelor pad).
Don attempted to explain his newly chaste act to Pete, whose own bad boy image is increasing just as quickly as Don’s good boy image, by saying that if he’d been as happy as he is with Megan in his first marriage, he never would have cheated. And cheated. And cheated, and you get the idea.
But we’re not buying it. Don is already being haunted by his wandering eye in night terrors, where he has to literally kill his desire for another woman just to get it out of his head. How long can Dick Whitman go before the coward in him breaks? We never thought that Don cheated on Betty (January Jones) because of her, or anything he didn’t like about her. Don’s cheating is all about him. Every time he conquered another woman, he proved to himself that he is a man with power.
Unfortunately, Dick Whitman is not a man with power. And if Dick isn’t, then Don will never be.
Molly Friedman is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @MollyFriedman.