March 23, 2012 — -- "You only like the beginnings of things," was Faye Miller's derisive declaration to Don Draper as he ended their relationship, the only one in his history of flame-outs and flings that had a shot in hell of working out.
It's been 17 months since that episode, the season four finale of "Mad Men." Any chance Don has figured himself out?
Given the laws of TV character maturation, probably not. And that's good, because if Don were an up and up kind of guy, things wouldn't be all that fun. There were only two women left in Don's love life by the time last season ended: Betty, his ex-wife, and Megan, his new fiance. Ahead of Sunday's season five premiere, here's a look at how they stack up:
Betty Francis (formerly Draper)
Status going into season five: Not so happily married to Henry Francis but moving to a new home with him. She and Don crossed paths in the season four finale as Betty was clearing the last of her possessions out of the home they used to share. When she meaningfully hinted that her new life wasn't everything she hoped it would be, Don shrugged and suggested that she could always move again. He proceeded to officially obliterate any chance they had of kitchen counter ex-sex by announcing his engagement.
Level of love for Don, on a scale of 1 to 10: If it was a 7 when they first crossed paths in this episode, it dove to a 2 by the time they parted ways.
Three words to describe her: Fickle, depressive, exacting.
Why she appealed to Don: The polar opposite of his prostitute mother, she was the model wife. An actual former model who put her career ambitions to the side to raise a family, she embodied everything Don believed a Madison Avenue mogul should have.
Chance of seeing her this season: Good, later on -- January Jones was pregnant when production started, so don't be surprised if Betty doesn't mosey on in until a few episodes have passed.
Status going into season five: Don's blushing bride-to-be. A slim, svelte, smiley secretary (who's 25 years old to boot), she's a ray of sunshine in Don's life. She accompanies him and his kids to California after Betty unceremoniously fires the nanny who was supposed to travel with the family. She quickly captures the hearts of Bobby, Sally and Gene (what kind of babysitter gets her charges to sing in French before they go to sleep?) and wins Don's shortly after. He admits she doesn't know a thing about him, but when he pops open a ring box in bed, neither he nor she seems to care.
Level of love for Don, on a scale of 1 to 10: 10. As the new fiance of the handsomest man at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (let's not forget he's also her boss), she's on cloud nine.
Three words to describe her: Naive, ambitious, fun.
Why she appealed to Don: Young? Check. Gorgeous? Check. A shiny, relatively recent addition to his life? Check.
Chance of seeing her this season: Certain. She's ingrained in Don's office and personal life now, though how that conflict of interest shakes out could nix her from one, the other, or both.