'Mad Men': Could Megan be cheating on Don?

mad-men-megan-cheating.jpgThere's been a lot swirling recently about what's happening with Megan Draper on "Mad Men." Is she pregnant? Is she Sharon Tate? Was she really in "Hot Tub Time Machine"? But one of the underrated elements of Megan (Jessica Pare) this season has been her role in the slow and subtle demise of the Draper marriage.

Everyone is caught up in whether or not she's going to die -- she's not, according to Matt Weiner -- but I think the real angle as this season plays out could be found more in how she exists within her marriage to Don (Jon Hamm).

Here are a few reasons why Don might not be the only one cheating in this marriage.

1. Cuckolded by Her Career

In a sense, she's been cheating on Don ever since the end of last season. Regardless of how you feel about the socio-political elements at play within the Draper relationship, Megan's relationship with her budding acting career has been presented as a sort of infidelity.

Whether it's the impending threat of the head writer and leading actress for Megan's show just DYING for a  threesome or a scene where Megan is written to be literally cheating with someone, the implication of infidelity is clear in both practice and pretense.

Last season's ending played off this idea because, in understanding that Megan was "cheating" on the original conceit that Don had for their relationship (a modern girl that would fit nicely into his traditional set of marital expectations) by pursuing acting, it almost punched Don's ticket to begin cheating himself whenever he liked. The last scene ("Are you alone?") of Season 5 played right into this idea.

2. It Fits The Season Narrative

A lot of this season has been filtered either through the cultural developments of 1968 (MLK, Bobby Kennedy, etc.) or through the professional developments at SC&P (Chevy, the merger). But one of the more important developments this season in terms of story and character has been in relation to Don and his women.

Whereas before Don always dictated the terms to the women in his life, this season has seen a substantial regression, and in some cases outright upheaval, in that relational dynamic. Think about how many women have utterly rejected him:

  • Sylvia (In the casual affair sense)
  • Betty (In the random hookup sense)
  • Peggy (In the professional sense)
  • Sally (in the parenting sense)
  • Joan (in the professional sense)

So, given this pattern, it only stands to reason that Don would face a final sort of rejection from Megan. And we even have that dangling thread swinging in the wind now that his affair with Sylvia has been exposed.

In a lot of ways, "Mad Men" has been the story of Don Draper and his rise, right? So wouldn't it stand to reason that it will also be about his fall?

3. Her Mystery Agent

We've never met her agent, but his presence has been implied several times within this season through phone calls and conversations recounting their time together.

Is that enough on its own? No. It's extremely circumstantial, but I think in geographical terms, the only other male close to Megan besides Don is this faceless agent. And wouldn't it be very melodramatic/soap operatic for Megan to be cheating on her husband (cue melodramatic music) with her agent?

But in a more practical sense, we know that Don is a person who drives people away with his distant coldness. With Betty, this wasn't a huge deal because she freely admitted that she came from a people who were icy.

But Megan's always been warmer and more hopeful. Her idea of a successful modern family involved both her and Don pursuing what they loved but also being able to talk about it. And up until this point, Don has had essentially zero interest in talking about Megan's career. He can barely watch it.

So couldn't this conceivably be a driving factor toward Megan seeking solace in her agent's arms?

4. The Relevance of Jeff Hunter

Speaking of her agent, his name is Jeff Hunter, who presumably is modeled after the noted William Morris rep of the same name. I have no idea what his reputation was or how he handled himself with the female talent, but for the point I'm making here, it isn't important.

What is important though is his name: Jeff Hunter.

If we bend our minds a bit, we realize that there's another important Jeff Hunter who helped sabotage maybe the greatest love affair in the history of the Western world

jeff-hunter-saved-by-the-bell-mad-men.jpgThat's right: College Guy Jeff Hunter. The destroyer of Zack and Kelly's iconic romance on "Saved by the Bell."

Perhaps there's no connection and perhaps it's all a silly coincidence. But keep in mind that "Mad Men" has gone to great lengths to create a sense of nostalgia with some of its casting choices: Alex Mack, Rory Gilmore, Lindsay Weir.

And when you do that, you not only invoke the idea of nostalgia that is so close at hand already within the "Mad Men" universe, but you trade off ideas that exist already within that nostalgia.

Is the name Jeff Hunter foreshadowing a breakup? I don't know. But in a lot of ways, you could certainly make the connection between Don and Megan and Zack and Kelly.

Both Megan (French Canadian) and Kelly (Polish-American) have non-traditional backgrounds and both Don and Zack are depicted within their respective shows as having unique relationships to time (Zack can stop it, while Don has been subject to unexplained jumps in time).

Also both operate around authorities that, for all intents and purposes, have been castrated (Burt Cooper and Mr. Belding).

We won't know definitively until the season plays out (and even then, perhaps not. Does the show really want to proceed with two ex-wife storylines?), but it certainly seems like we are moving towards some kind of resolution given last episodes big reveal regarding the Don/Sylvia relationship.

What do you think? Is Megan cheating?

The post 4 Reasons Why Megan Draper Might Be Cheating on Don appeared first on TV ASYLUM.

Photo/Video credit: AMC, NBC
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