The big spoiler of last night's Mad Men premiere wasn't the gorgeous symbolism—that Chopin nocturne!—or really even the year in which the series picked up. On the pure, oh-my-God-that-happened level, the defining moment of the return came at the end, when Don fell into bed with Sylvia, the wife of his neighbor Dr. Arnold Rosen. But to fans of short-lived TV shows, he just wasn't sleeping with a Dante-loving housewife; he was sleeping with Lindsay Weir, the Army jacket-wearing mathlete heroine of the Judd Apatow-produced Freaks and Geeks.
Prepare yourself for some super weird fan fiction takes on this whole thing:
Wait, if Linda Cardellini has a baby in the 1960s, does it grow up to be…Lindsay Weir?— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) April 8, 2013
Who wants to write the one where the bus to the Grateful Dead concert—the one Lindsay jumps on in the last episode of Freaks and Geeks—actually transports her back to the 60s, wherein she, as Sylvia, attends one of their early concerts? Any takers?
Of course, Cardellini has had a career post-Freaks and Geeks. (And pre, she was on Boy Meets World.) The now 37-year-old actress had an unfortunate perm (in more ways than one) in Legally Blonde, then played Velma in Scooby-Doo, and she was on ER from 2003-2009. Recently, she starred in the indie Return. She won critical praise and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for her role as a soldier coming home form a tour of duty in the Middle East. The film also starred Roger Sterling (John Slattery) and Mona Sterling (Talia Balsam). (Slattery and Balsam are married in real life.)
But Lindsay is Cardellini's most iconic role, so her casting is drawing comparisons to season five guest star Rory Gilmore of Gilmore Girls, née Alexis Bledel. Bledel played a housewife who had an affair with Pete Campbell. (She and Vincent Kartheiser are now engaged in real life; Mad Men strife leads to real life lovel) Is Matthew Weiner a huge fan of television shows set in high school featuring strong female leads? We can only imagine both Lindsay and Rory rolling their eyes at Don and Pete's antics.
It looks like Cardellini doesn't have just a bit part. In a post-premiere interview with Entertainment Weekly, she explained that while she's worked with Slattery and Kartheiser in the past she said, "I wish I could tell you more stories, but then it would allude to who I hang out with on set. It would give away certain things that I probably can't." Does that mean Sylvia meets people in Don's life outside of Don and Megan? We can only hope she gets caught up with some proto-Daniel Desarios.