Matthew Weiner tells The Hollywood Reporter he was “shocked — really shocked” by Alessandra Stanley’s recent New York Times review of Sunday’s Mad Men premiere because she revealed that in the fourth season, Don and Betty Draper are no longer married (along with a few other non-crucial plot details). Which is weird, because the season-three finale featured a trip to a divorce lawyer and shots of Betty on a plane to Reno with her new boyfriend. Also, making this even stranger — last November, Weiner himself gave an interview in which he declared the Drapers’ marriage officially over.
On November 11 of last year, he responded to the following question in the Daily Beast:
While there have been cracks in Don and Betty’s (January Jones) marriage before, their marriage appears now to be well and truly over; is there any hope for the two of them to mend the wounds they’ve inflicted on each other?
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… That was the whole story of the season. 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.
Oh, spoiler alert.