There will be much talk about ‘Mad Men”s season finale, and I feel like you can just take it for was. I wouldn’t call it explosive, but it was a great ending for what has been a disjointed season. Peggy, a character who has left me feeling a bit disappointed, got what she wanted, though briefly.
All season I thought we were supposed to feel sorry for Don, and for a moment I did. We’ve always know that he is the man falling out of the window in the opening credits, and now it’s just a matter of time until he jumps.
Pete and Bob: Well this was the love affair of the season. Bob was interesting at first, but after it was revealed that he was just another Don Draper trying to get ahead it kind of killed whatever was intriguing about him. He is good to Joan though, and Kevin, giving him a little toy car for Christmas. This irks Roger, he is the kid’s real dad after all, and he tells Bob that he shouldn’t try to play family with his side family.
Pete receives a telegram telling him that Dot is presumably lost at sea, having fell off a boat. When they leave for a flight to Detroit, Pete tries to blame Dot’s disappearance on Bob, telling him that Manolo married and killed his mother for her money. He also tries to keep Bob out of his dealings with Chevy, even though Bob is the reason why they’re there in the first place. So Bob sticks it to him by suggesting that Pete drive one of the cars, a Camaro, in the lobby. It’s a stick-shift, which Pete can’t drive, but he does manage to run into GM’s sign. Game, Benson.
When they return to New York Pete tells his secretary that he’s done in Detroit, but was he fired or did he quit the account? He discusses trying to find Manolo, but after a call realizes that his mother is gone. So Pete’s dad died in a plane crash, and his mother died, possibly, from falling off a boat. He took this all surprisingly well, but had a hard time saying goodbye to Trudy and Tammy as he was leaving for California. Pete is free from everything now, but will Bob continue to be is foil? They do make a good team, even if Pete hates the guy.
Peggy and Ted: Not so great of a team, I expected more of Peggy but the vagina wants what the vagina wants. She catches feelings as she watches Ted leave the office with Nan and the kids. The way Nan looked back at her said good night, you know this wasn’t a surprise visit. To get back at him, she puts on a skimpy dress and makes sure he sees her on her way out to a date. It was a cheap move, but I’m sure she knew what he liked. When she gets home he’s waiting in her hallway, telling her neighbors that he was a cop. He asks how her date went, terribly, but it’s all because he doesn’t want anyone else to have her. They have sex and talk about spending the holidays together, but Peggy instructs him to go home. He does, and perhaps this is where he realized the mistake he had made. Being with Peggy is a nice idea, but it’s not the right one.
The next morning he tells Don that he wants to go to California, and after an awkward meeting with some execs from Hershey’s, Don gives the job in California to him. In her office, Ted tells Peggy that he’ll be leaving, even though he loves her. He just can’t be around her, and that’s probably for the best. I thought the idea of Ted and Peggy was entertaining at first, but it ended up being kind of icky. Peggy stooped pretty low, and for what? So this might be the last we see of Ted, but it was nice having him around.
Don: So Don has been stuck between a rock, a bottle, some thighs and a hard place. He obviously doesn’t enjoy his job anymore, and he’s just barely making it work with Megan. He needed a way out, or a way to happiness and he almost had it. Stan greets him in the lobby and asks that he be able to work for Sunkist in California. Don calls it a “demotion” but when Stan talks about how he wants to use the little office as his own personal agency, this gives Don an idea. At home he has to deal with Sally not wanting to be his daughter. She’s been called to testify about the burglary, but if it means having to see him she’d rather not. Betty calls in the middle of the night to tell her that Sally had been suspended at Miss Porter’s for buying beer, and knows that she’s acting out because she comes from a broken home. It’s nice to see that she finally realizes that Sally being screwed up isn’t entirely Don’s fault.
At a bar after skipping a meeting with Sheraton, Don gets into an argument with a minister. He flashes back to when he was a kid, watching a preacher being thrown out of the boarding house he lived in. And religion, shmeligion, Don feels guilty. He wakes up in a jail cell after being arrested for punching the minister.
At home he tells Megan that he realizes he needs to change and that they can do that in California. She tearfully accepts the offer, but his announcement doesn’t go over so well at work. I think he thought they would be happy to hear that he’d be leaving. Ted tells him that he can’t just quit drinking cold turkey and that he should have one before their big meeting with Hershey’s. That drink might not have been such a great idea. He pitches a simple idea that they love, but then goes into a deeply personal story about how he was raised an orphan and would spend money he took from John’s to go buy Hershey bars. They were “the only sweet thing in my life” he tells them. Uh, yikes. This definitely wasn’t on the same level as his Carousel pitch to Kodak.
After the meeting Roger tells him that he screwed up, but he didn’t care, and maybe he should have. At home, he tells a disappointed Megan that they won’t be going to California, even though she had already quit her show and was ready to leave. She tells him that she always felt sorry for his kids, but realizes that she’s just like them now and then she leaves. When he arrives to work the next morning for a meeting, he sees that Roger, Bert, Joan and Jim have met without him. The basically tell him to hit the road, citing his “questionable behavior” for them letting him go. He decides not to explain himself and they won’t give him a return date. As he’s leaving he passes Duck Phillips and Lou Avery, who worked at another agency, on his way out.
So that’s how they do Don. Fire him and then bring in Duck. I’m sure Peggy won’t be happy about that either. He’s a free agent now, free of everything like Pete, but where does he go from here? He has no job, now wife, but he does have the kids who he takes to see the place he grew up.
I was done with Don before we got here, but I am interested in seeing where he’ll be when we start the next, and final, season. Will he still be with Megan? Will he has moved on with someone else he doesn’t care about? Will he have side burns and a leisure suit? Will he have actually moved forward?
Until next time!