Matthew Weiner’s Feelings About The Draper Marriage Are “Unambiguous”

There’s a fascinating interview with “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner over at The Daily Beast. He has some insightful things to say about the season finale of “Mad Men” and where things stand with the Drapers. (If you still haven’t watched Sunday night’s episode: a.) What are you waiting for? b.) Stop reading NOW!). On the Draper marriage:

“It’s so unambiguous to me that this marriage is over, but the audience seems to cling to the idea that they should be together because we want to believe in those things. The marriage was not good. It was built on a lie and the lie was exposed. In the end, Don coming clean really damaged his relationship with her, more than the lying, her seeing who he actually was. I do believe when he says his mother was a 22-year-old prostitute that Betty is looking at something that is very far from what she had planned for herself … When Henry Francis (Christopher Stanley) came on to her… a switch went off in her head of what was missing in her life, which was a true, romantic attachment. In the end, that combination with her gut feeling that something wasn’t right in her marriage and finding out the truth, they don’t belong together anymore, kids or not. You’ve got to take it pretty seriously when someone’s flying to Reno to get a divorce.”

On Betty ending the marriage:

“I knew from the beginning that this would be the end of their marriage and I worked my way up to that. I didn’t want the marriage to end because she found out who he was; I wanted the marriage to end because she didn’t love him anymore. Her concept of what love is is a lot of what the season was about… I think Betty Draper is an impulsive person and she may have an arrested state in terms of what she was taught to expect from her life, to be taken care of by a man, to be loved and worshiped and adored… Has she grown up or is she just so frustrated with the status quo that she can’t take it anymore? I don’t know, but she definitely put her foot down and I’d like to believe, not just as a dramatist but as a human being, that that is growth.”

On Betty’s new love:

“Betty married Don because he was the whole package. He looked good on paper and that’s what she wanted. I think that Henry Francis does but in another way. Being put on a pedestal, being worshipped and adored, being accepted, in a way it’s almost more flattering to have a man be that attached to you who doesn’t know you. I think she’s very susceptible to that. Don has not given her any of those things, as far as she’s concerned. He said that to her: “I’ve given you everything you ever wanted” and Henry said, “I don’t know what you want.” She might not even be able to express it, but what she wants is for all of her needs to be met, with anticipation.”

In other words, if you’re still holding on to any hope that Betty will get to Reno, realize she doesn’t know Henry at all, and decide she misses Don and wants to give their marriage another chance — give it up. [The Daily Beast]