7 Reasons We're Excited for Mad Men's Return
If you're a fan of AMC's Emmy-winning drama Mad Men, you don't need a reason to watch the show's Season 4 premiere Sunday. (It's been circled on our calendar for months!) But since we've been lucky enough to see it, we thought we'd give you extra incentive, in the form of these few mild spoilers.
1. Season 4 is all about fresh starts. Don (Jon Hamm) and Betty (January Jones) ended their marriage at the end of Season 3, just as Don masterminded a plot to create a new ad agency, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. So the sky's the limit, right? Maybe not. Although the first look at the gang's shiny new workspace is thrilling, Don's Greenwich Village bachelor pad — and the life he now lives there — is as dark and sad as ever. Sounds like a perfect metaphor for just about every character on the show.
2. Identity is the key to the season. "If the roles we play define us, what happens when they're stripped away?" creator Matthew Weiner said. "Who are we then, and who do we become?" Now that Don is no longer burdened with hiding his poor upbringing as Dick Whitman from Betty, he can fully embrace the alter ego he has created. It's fitting, then, that the premiere opens with a voice asking, "Who is Don Draper?" Maybe this year we'll finally learn.
3. Draper may be the third name on the door, but this is Don's operation. He's always been the creative genius who made Sterling Cooper a success, but now the scrappy startup seems to live and breathe on the success of Don's ideas. Don's coworkers shower him with flattery on multiple occasions, but one employee chooses to speak plainly when Don becomes agitated: "We're all here because of you. All we want to do is please you."
4. Don makes an attitude adjustment. Despite the praise, the boy from the Midwest's modesty comes across as arrogant in a major interview, putting the entire agency in jeopardy. Worse, a prudish client rubs Don the wrong way. "You were wondering what a creative agency looks like? Well, there you have it," he says during a crucial pitch meeting. "Hope you enjoyed looking in the window."
5. Ah, the old familiar faces. Roger Sterling (John Slattery) and his one-liners are still as dry as the three martinis he has for lunch. Harry (Rich Sommer) is still adorably dim, Joan (Christina Hendricks) is still the real brains of the operation and Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) is still a self-important weasel. Plus: There is one face in the office we didn't expect to see at all!
6. Peggy's all grown up. And who could forget Miss Olson (Elisabeth Moss)? She's made good on her Season 3 finale promise to not follow Don around like a lost puppy. She's working closely with Don, but she's empowered enough to take matters into her own hands, learning that old adage about asking for forgiveness rather than for permission. Her romantic entanglements are also somewhat of a surprise.
7. The marriage may be over, but the fight isn't. And it could get ugly very fast. We'll just say Betty isn't keeping up her end of the bargain in the premiere, and she doesn't look likely to change her mind. We don't really want to see this fight play out all season, but we can deal with it if it keeps Sally (Kiernan Shipka), one of the best child characters on TV, in the mix.
Mad Men's fourth season premieres Sunday at 10/9c on AMC.