As Mad Men drew its riveting second season to a close, the world as these characters knew it was coming to an end — both inside and outside of Sterling Cooper. The fears and uncertainties caused by the Cuban missile crisis gave rise to folks getting their lives in order, either by correcting the wrongs of their pasts, growing into the adult they have been pretending to be or confessing a secret and releasing the hidden burden they have been carrying. As death loomed, so did the promise of new life. As confession healed, it also tormented. As power was attained, it was also lost. And the man we've known as Don Draper has accepted that he and Dick Whitman are two sides of the same coin, realizing that his hope (and the hope for the rest of these characters) to see tomorrow rests on finding that comfortable middle ground between the two extremes.
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
10 pm/ET AMC
In the engrossing second season finale, the staff is agog over questions and speculations as to why Don is AWOL in California.
Read on for previews of Amazing Race 13, Desperate Housewives, True Blood and Entourage.
While Don Draper is washing his sins away in the Pacific, Pete Campbell is losing an account over in-law squabbles and Sterling Cooper's partners are allowing the agency to be sold, at least one of Mad Men's characters has it together: Peggy Olsen. Or does she?
One thing we know for sure is that she now has a new office to go with that new hair cut. And while Peggy probably cares most about getting away from that noisy Xerox machine, actress Elisabeth Moss was more than ready for Peggy's new 'do. "I was so glad to be rid of that ponytail," Moss says. "I wore it every day, with a few exceptions. You just have no idea how badly I wanted it gone."
After the jump, Moss teases a "satisfying" answer to viewers' questions and Peggy's big confession.
Sarah Chalke and Josh Radnor
On TV, it's all about living up to expectations.
Sarah Palin and Saturday Night Live certainly achieved that in this weekend's instant-classic and rabidly anticipated guest appearance by the controversial Republican vice-presidential candidate on the resurgent (though still woefully uneven) late-night comedy show. Watching Tina Fey impersonate her from a backstage monitor, palling around with Alec Baldwin (in GOP terms, the next best thing to a celebrity terrorist), throwing the "Live from New York" opener after crossing paths all-too-briefly with Tina, bopping to Amy Poehler's rap groove at the Weekend Update desk, the good-sport Alaska governor no doubt did wonders for her own approval ratings (or at least her TV "Q" ratings) while boosting those of SNL.
So what else is living up to the buzz?
"I always felt we met so both our lives could be better."
No matter how much of a loner Don Draper is in the boardroom, the statement above (and the woman who spoke it) just might explain why it is that, in the two seasons we've known Don, he's always seeking some sort of extra connection. Before fully immersing himself into Don Draper's life, Dick Whitman had a special partnership with the real Don's wife, Anna, and thought he had found something similar in Betty. But of course, he's jumped from woman to woman since then, looking for a partnership that does make both lives better. In this episode, Don reconnects with Anna (and the world), while Betty, Bert Cooper, Pete and Joan all make (or break) their own special partnerships.
Now that Mad Men's Don (Jon Hamm) has left the house, his future with wife Betty is left hanging in the balance, without much time left in Season 2 to figure it out. Yet, as Betty has slowly become more emboldened in recent episodes, her newfound independence is leaving her portrayer, January Jones, in a bit of a conundrum as to her hopes for the couple's storyline to come.
Jones wouldn't say exactly what does happen in the season's two remaining episodes, but she did share her hopes for Mr. and Mrs. Draper. "I'm old-fashioned. I'd really like to see her and Don work it out," she told TVGuide.com. "But, on the other side, if it were me, actually me, I would have kicked him out a long time ago, so I don't know."
Yet, she continued, "I have high hopes for her. I think these last couple of episodes have been a huge deal for her. I don't know what's happened that's made her have this strength all of a sudden, but I think the ticking time bomb went off."<
David Duchovny and Natascha McElhone, Californication
10 pm/ET Showtime
A lot more than food finds its way onto the table when Hank and Karen host a dinner party for an eclectic mix of friends.
Read on for our previews of Desperate Housewives, Mad Men, Entourage and Brothers & Sisters.
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
All of you "Don Draper" and "Joan Holloway" lovers-wannabes rejoice: Lionsgate has exercised their option for a third season of the Emmy-winning drama Mad Men.
However, there is still a question of who will be at the helm of the show next season as negotiations...
William Petersen and Gary Dourdan, CSI
TV Guide's Senior Critic Matt Roush takes your TV questions. Have a rant, rave or burning question about your favorite show you'd like addressed? E-mail him here!
Question: I just wanted to give props to the amazing season premiere of CSI last week. I was a fan of the show from the pilot, but I stopped watching around the fourth season because the stories seemed to start repeating themselves too much. But after watching this stunning, well-produced, gripping premiere, I may have to declare once again that I am a CSI fan. So here's my question to you: Why do you think Warrick's death was so effective, while many other TV deaths aren't? Was it because Warrick Brown has been in our lives and in our homes for eight years? Was it because the characters around him acted like real human beings, and not "TV characters?" What was it about this episode that stuck with me so much? —Marcus
Get Matt's response, plus questions on The Amazing Race, Grey's Anatomy, Mad Men and more after the jump.
Throughout this season, Don Draper has told a number of characters to "move forward," forgetting the past and making the most of the future. But in this episode, old habits died hard for both Don and his Sterling Cooper rival Duck Phillips. Similarly, Roger Sterling was up to his old tricks (though to be fair, he never really gave them up) and Peggy again found herself falling for the wrong man. All the while, Don is miles away from the action, both at the office and his business trip, indulging in what can only be described as Mad Men's most surreal plot to date. And luckily, he left his "baggage" behind.