Monday, August 9, 2010

The Evolution of Don Draper

Isn't it nice to see Don more relaxed and light-hearted than we've ever seen him? While getting busted by Betty about his real identity/his actual past may have ended his marriage, it also changed the course of his life in a positive way. Maybe I'm being too optimistic for him, but I want him to have a life that allows him to live more freely than he ever could before. I'm not saying he's not still a guarded individual, because he is and probably always will be. But he's slowly but surely breaking out of his shell and learning to do what he wants without fear of repercussion. But he always did whatever he wanted and didn't seem to be worried about getting caught, you might say. But something's different now. He's slowly coming out of the shadows and figuring out how to live his life like other people live their lives -- honestly.

In any scenes between Anna AKA Mrs. Draper #1 and Don that we've ever seen (other than the original scene where they first meet and she demands to know why he's walking around pretending to be her husband), Don has always been relaxed and light-hearted like he never is on the East Coast. That's probably in great part due to the fact that, like she told him last night, she knows everything about him and she still loves him. He's never had to live a lie with her; he can just be himself. He can just be Dick Whitman.

Last night, even before he found out about Anna's cancer, he mentioned wanting to bring the kids out to meet her. He can do that kind of thing now! He can do whatever he wants and he doesn't have to be sneaky about it! He can hit on Anna's niece and when she asks what he's doing he can admit that he doesn't really know! He's like a kid learning to navigate his way through this whole new life.

He and Lane can spend a booze-fueled day being loud and obnoxious and making a scene both at the movies and at a restaurant. Normally the only thing I can ever think of when I look at Lane is "For the love of God, man, push your glasses up!" but he can do whatever he wants with those glasses as long as he is holding a huge steak to his crotch and declaring that it's a belt buckle!

Don doesn't have to hide the fact that those girls are prostitutes and that Don's gal has been in his apartment before. Don can now act as pimp for Lane! (I guessed $30 for the cost of a girl, and I was pretty much right on considering Lane gave $5 more than the quoted $25)

I hope 1965 brings Don a sense of calm and peace in just being himself, and I hope this newfound happy harmony doesn't shatter and collapse all around him the next time he faces a challenge. It would break my heart to see Don's bubble burst right off the bat like happened to poor Tim Riggins. Tim had literally just figured out how to be happy when he got busted for the chop shop. I love these two guys, and I just want them to be happy. Is that too much to ask, to have control over the lives of fictional characters?

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