[Previously on Mad Men Power Rankings: Don despoils Lindsay Weir ... Peggy gives the copywriters a meatball sub ... Beards and sideburns ... Betty goes brunette ... Roger's mom really loved him.]
1. Don Draper (Last week: 1)
"That was the deftest self-immolation I've ever seen," Roger told Don after he doused himself in gasoline, lit a match, and gave a vigorous bear hug to Herb Rennet's plan to carjack Jaguar's national ad budget for his local dealership. But as entertainingly flame-engulfed as Don's sabotage was — he did everything to steer the campaign fatally down-market but pitch a buy-one-get-one-free offer for northern New Jersey's most upwardly mobile sanitation engineers — it couldn't hold a flickering Zippo's worth of heat to Draper's torching of his personal life. The situation with Sylvia has gotten so irresponsibly combustible that we're probably just a week away from the two of them stumbling into the Draper living room in a furniture-torching bout of extramarital passion and asking Megan if she wouldn't mind fetching them an asbestos blanket. (You know how Don feels about dirtying up a pristine carpet.)
Look, not to steal the thunder from our intrepid tabloid expert Molly Lambert, but Us Weekly's exclusive on the IRL relationship between Mad Men stars Vincent Kartheiser and Rory Gilmore is one of the most brain-meltingly amazing pieces of writing I've read this year, well deserving of its own "Etc." section.
[Production notes: The Power Rankings have moved to Grantland! Very exciting. Unfortunately, the content will be in no way improved in the transition; expect the usual shoddy attention to accuracy, laziness of thought, and prurience of intent. Actually, that's not entirely true: There's now an upgraded, more elegant logo with a bigger DDFBTL bolt. Evolution! Also, please bear with us as we remember how to do this; the show's been off the air for 14 years, a time during which we did nothing but drink bargain whiskey directly from a giant plastic bottle with a built-in handle. But now it's back, and we are very, very excited to once again appropriate Matthew Weiner's hard work for our own nefarious purposes.
Season 4 Power Rankings can be found here. Ranks do not carry over from last season, except when they do.]