Warning: spoilers below.
Mad Men is off to a pretty solid start this season. Last week’s episode was well-received, and last night’s episode provided us with some intriguing revelations about Don’s past and the roots of his philandering.
However, something about the plot of last night’s episode didn’t quite add up to me. Maybe some readers have a theory or some insight to help resolve my issue.
Last week we learned that Don’s new mistress, Syliva, is the wife of his downstairs neighbor.
At one point in last night’s episode, Sylvia sees Megan tearfully breaking down in their building laundry room after she fires her maid. The two women go to Don and Meagan’s apartment to talk things over.
Megan confesses that she is upset because she had a miscarriage. Apparently she was “sloppy” (presumably with her birth control) while Don and Megan were in Hawaii six weeks earlier, and she got pregnant.
What’s more, Megan feels guilty because part of her is glad she had the miscarriage, since a baby could have interfered with her acting career.
Okay. So far so good. It’s understandable why she’d feel upset and a little guilty about that. I’m sure a miscarriage is a terrible and confusing thing for a woman to go through. Layering on a feeling of relief on top of it would make any normal person feel guilty.
What doesn’t make sense is Megan’s proffered reason for feeling guilty about being relieved. She says it’s because of her Catholic upbringing. Specifically, the stern nuns at her Catholic school indoctrinated her against the evils of abortion.
It seems weird that Megan is scarred by her Catholic upbringing to the point that an unintentional miscarriage gives her guilt, yet she’s completely carefree in her use of birth control. If she’s so burdened by her Catholic guilt, why has she been using birth control all this time? This has never come up in the show, so we can assume she has been using birth control guilt-free throughout her entire marriage to Don.
Now, I get that Weiner was probably trying to make a pro-feminist statement about the damage that a “pro-life” upbringing can cause.
But it just doesn’t ring true with the Megan we’ve come to know. Apart from birth control, Megan’s made no secret that she had plenty of premarital sex before Don. And isn’t her dad a Marxist intellectual? Why did he let her submit to Catholic indoctrination?
Maybe I’m thinking about this wrong. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.