Joan Shouldn't Marry Richard On 'Mad Men' Even If She Supposed To Find That "Great Love"
With only a handful of Mad Men episodes to go, it's become very telling to see what the series decides to focus on in regards to each character's individual story arc. And during last Sunday night's episode, Joan developed a new love interest named Richard — a retired, rich man who lives in California. And while the romance at first looked to be just a fun, brief fling, it became very clear by episode's end that this man may play a much larger role in our favorite red head's endgame. Though, to be honest, I'm still not entirely convinced whether or not Joan ending up with Richard would be a good or bad thing.
For starters, the relationship is only a few days old and it already had her saying that she'd give up her son to be with him. Granted, she was more than likely just being sarcastic at the time, but to even broach that subject in any capacity is a surefire sign that this may not be the fairytale we want it to be. Sure, the guy seems nice enough and I don't blame him for being initially thrown by the whole kid thing, especially since Joan had flat-out lied about having any children. (Another marker for any healthy romance, BTW.) But regardless, I'm still not sure he's necessarily the right match for her, at least in any long-term, marriage capacity.
It's not that I don't want Joan to find her happily ever after, because I totally do. In fact, she's one of my favorite Mad Men characters of all time. I've loved seeing her bloom into such a strong and self-sufficient woman who doesn't need a man to take care of her. However, as soon as Richard came into her life, she hasn't been acting quite like herself — secretly resenting her son's presence and constantly snapping at the babysitter — in order to play out this fancy, fantasy lifestyle with Richard, who even now still seems not too thrilled about the whole kid thing.
Plus, let's not forget about the last whirlwind romance Joan was apart of with her ex-husband, Greg. And we all know how well that turned out. I'd hate to see history repeat itself in any way, shape, or form. (Though, to be fair, Richard doesn't appear to be anything like Greg. Far from it, actually.) I guess what I'm really trying to say here is that Joan just needs to proceed with caution as/if this relationship continues.
As strong as their connection to each other may be, it takes more than just an initial spark to sustain a romantic foundation. These two characters are at very different points in their lives and I'd hate to see Joan give up her family, dreams, and career ambitions for a man she just met. He may say that he's willing to give up his retirement plans for her right now, but that opinion can always change and he may end up growing to resent her for holding him back.
Am I perhaps being a little too skeptical of all this? Maybe. But it's only because I've become so invested in Joan's happiness. I'd hate it if the show didn't do her justice. We deserve better than that, and so does she. Plus, if I'm being totally honest, I still haven't given up on the hope that she and Roger will finally reconcile and run SC&P together by season's end. It'd be a great way to see Joan triumph on both the career and relationship fronts, proving that, even back then, women could and should have it all.
Images: Michael Yarish/AMC (2); AMC