Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature,"Mad Men: Where We Left Off," for which I re-watched every episode of Season 4 of Mad Men (in a 36-hour period) in order to remind you where we left Don Draper, Peggy Olson, Joan, and the rest of the characters when the season ended.
Television, like advertising, is typically a swift-moving beast. But it’s been a staggering 17 months since Mad Men aired its last episode. At the time, no one could have predicted that it would be March 2012 before AMC aired the highly anticipated fifth season of Mad Men, which returns this Sunday evening with a sensational two-hour season premiere.
The reasons behind the delay are known far and wide, as protracted and very public contract renegotiations behind the scenes of Mad Men resulted in a longer than expected hiatus between seasons, and the show’s devoted audience is only too keen to catch up with the staffers of 1960s advertising agency Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Strict embargoes on the content of the season premiere (“A Little Kiss”) prevent us from spilling too much about the long-awaited return, but creator Matthew Weiner will surely allow it to be described as gorgeous, provocative, and well worth the wait. Despite its, er, rest, Mad Men isn’t at all sluggish; in fact, Season 5 kicks off with an installment that propels the plot, the characters, and some of the show’s most important themes, amid a turbulent time of change that is personal, political, and social.
Given the lag between seasons, it’s only natural that you’ve forgotten the details about what happened during Season 4. Just who did Don (Jon Hamm) end up with at the end of the season: was it vivacious secretary Megan (Jessica Paré) or driven career woman Dr. Faye Miller (Carla Buono)? Why was Lane (Jared Harris) beaten by his severe father? What passed between Joan (Christina Hendricks) and Roger (John Slattery)? Who was Miss Blankenship (Randee Heller)? From Don and Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) to Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) and Sally (Kiernan Shipka), get back up to speed on all of the players before the new season of Mad Men begins.
Continue reading at The Daily Beast...