Psychologists Say Don Draper's Wedding Proposal is Madness

PHOTO Jon Hamm and Jessica Pare are shown in a scene from "Madmen."
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The minute Sally Draper ran into the arms of her father's new French Canadian secretary in a rebellious frenzy over her own mother's madness, fans sensed a new narrative playing out.

Don Draper, the philandering advertising genius on "Mad Men," would find his way into Megan's arms. Don's biggest emotional vulnerability is he never had a mother.

In AMC's season finale, "Tomorrowland," Don (Jon Hamm) hires his beautiful secretary Megan (Jessica Pare) to look after his three children after hard-as-nails ex-wife Betty fires their longtime maid and babysitter, Carla.

The couple, who'd had a quickie in the office, went off to Disneyland, cavorted with the kids in the hotel pool and ended up again in bed, where Don surprisingly proposed marriage.

Megan sang French bedtime songs to the cooing kids, wiped up a spilled strawberry milkshake without any Betty-like reprimand and warmly displayed her best maternal instincts.

Interesting from a Freudian perspective -- that Bobby was drinking milk, not a Coke.

Don fell hard, giving the dark-haired beauty (despite the off teeth) the ring that another mother figure, Anna Draper -- the wife of the real Don Draper -- bequeathed to him.

"I don't know what it is about you, but I feel like myself when I'm with you -- the way I always wanted to feel," he says.

Megan obviously doesn't know that Don stole his identity from a fellow soldier in the Korean War.

Faye Miller, the woman he'd only slept with days before, does. But she, after all, had no knack for kids. She also has a father in the mafia, so who knows if Tony Soprano will show up in the fifth season and seek revenge or reveal Don's secret past.

"Women I have talked to disagree, but I just don't buy the impulsivity of Don Draper, who does so little of that, except when he's drunk," said Brian Davidson, 51, a devoted "Mad Men" fan from Boston. "Maybe he's drunk with love instead of alcohol for a change."

"It's funny," he said. "When Jane Siegel married Roger Sterling, Don told him he was making a fool of himself. I found it interesting that he was quick to scoff at the bubble airhead but not the French Canadian."

Jessica Pare, who didn't know about the plot twist, told New York magazine she thought she was relieved to see that she didn't suffer the fate of poor Mrs. Blankenship, who died face-first on her desk.

"I think one of the things that attract Don to her is that she's not complicated," said Pare, who speaks French and is from Montreal. "She's straightforward. She says when they first sleep together, 'I'm not going to run crying out of here tomorrow.' And she doesn't, and they're able to continue their professional relationship without a hitch."

"When they go to California and he asks her if she thought about this, she says, 'It was the first thing that crossed my mind.' She is pretty earnest. As far as I know, I don't think it's a calculated thing. But again, it could turn out to be something else, because we all know that the writers of this show like to switch things up on you."

Will Don fess up to his past? What do they have to say to each other? Note the language barrier when Megan calls her own mother. Motherhood even comes up in Joanie's subplot. She never did abort Roger Sterling's baby.

Mommy Effect Is Powerful for Men

Psychologists say the mommy effect is powerful and transcends the 1960s backdrop of "Mad Men," but those relationships rarely work out without some kind of therapy.

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