It was Valentine’s Day on Mad Men, but unsurprisingly no one was feeling the love. At least not in the way they might have expected.
After leaning last week that Don was lying to Megan about his employment status, we got a better look at what a day in the life of unemployed Don looks like. It looks very sad. Don has built his entire life around the idea that if you pretend hard enough you can change the truth and he is handling this new situation the exact same way.
One reason that often nothing seems to happen is that nobody seems to be telling the truth. Without truth, there is scant capacity for growth. The show is all about lies, secrets, and misimpressions. Sally lies to Don about where she’s been. Don, more profoundly, lies to Sally about being employed, as he has lied to his wife. Roger lies to Pete about what went on in the meeting when the conference phone was not in fact disconnected. No one seems to offer the truth about who sent flowers to whom.
Don begins this Valentine’s Day looking for love from other agencies, even though, as he admits to his lunch date, he’s in no position to go elsewhere. (Earlier, Jim Cutler bitterly calls Don “our collective ex-wife who still receives alimony.”) He’s still getting paid, but every week that passes without him working, and with rumors of his Hershey implosion spreading around town, renders him damaged goods to other agencies.
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