TV watchers sure love turning on a show they previously worshiped, and Mad Men is the most recent recipient of this wide-scale mutiny. I myself did not hop onto the hate-wagon myself because I found the show’s six season to be thoroughly compelling on practically every level. And the finale? Well it was just plain spectacular.
The season’s finale hour rightfully focused on Don who underwent a complete roller-coaster of life-changing moments. The standout scenes are honestly too numerous to count but I’ll try my best. First off, the Hershey’s pitch was downright magnificent – cementing its place as one of the most affecting and impactful pitches Don’s ever put together. I adored the transition from his faux fairytale story into the Hershey’s whorehouse reveal. It was wholly unexpected and remarkably powerful.
But this monumental revelation was further topped by the partners shockingly letting go of Don. Looking back at Don’s downward cycle over the last couple of seasons, it’s a pretty fitting and organic development, and yet I still never saw it coming. In fact, I found myself completely gobsmacked by this surprise. I have absolutely no idea what Don will do next, but I’m excited for whatever adventure he finds himself on next season. It’s a safe bet he’ll be starting his own agency no?
The episode’s final sequence was also a stunner. Don takes his kids to the “bad part of town”, and shows them his childhood home (the infamous whorehouse). The look on Sally’s face says it all, as for the first time, she finally understands the pain behind her father’s eyes and the origins of his immorality. It’s utterly glorious stuff, and Kiernan Shipka sold it all beautifully.
This finale simply felt like a whole new chapter in Mad Men’s journey. Don now seems poised to accept his past (while currently unemployed), Joan’s let Roger back into her life, Ted and Peter are off to LA, Megan’s probably gone, and Betty’s come to the realization that she’s not the perfect mother. I’m just ridiculously excited for next year and I can’t wait to see what Matthew Weiner has in store for Don Draper’s final saga.
Pitches & Pieces
– Roger jealously telling Bob to back off from Joan really amused me. If he only knew…
– Just when you think Don’s hit rock bottom, he goes on ahead and wakes up in jail (for punching a minister no less). Ha!
– Stan was at his most entertaining this week as he exploded at Don for trying to take the California job.
– Chanel no 5, lots of cleavage – Peggy sure got desperate this week! My how she’s grown.
– I freakin’ loved Bob forcing Pete to embarrass himself in front of the clients by driving a stick and causing destruction. It was the perfect revenge.
– Betty got one moment this week and it was wonderful: after six seasons, she helplessly admitted to Don that Sally comes from a “broken home” and she wasn’t able to raise her right. It was quite satisfying (yet heartbreaking) to watch unfold. January Jones was superb.
– Awesome moment with Ted telling Don to pour himself a drink before the meeting because he “can’t stop cold”.
– I didn’t really care about Pete’s mom falling off the boat, although I was amused by how just how easily Peter and his brother let the investigation go. “She loved the sea”. Sure she did.
– Beautiful touch: After kindly offering Ted the California post, Don shockingly wished Dawn a happy thanksgiving. If only he was always this nice.
– I think Megan saying fuck was the first time someone said the word on the show. I could be wrong.
– So is Duck Phillips taking over Don’s position? Or is it Peggy? That shot of her in Don’s chair was awesome (and as many have pointed out, a direct reflection of the show’s opening title card). Don’s replacement could also be rival businessman Lou Avery who arrived with Duck in the elevator.
Bob: Manny wouldn’t hurt a fly.
Pete: Even if he thought it was rich?
Must Download Tune
Both Sides Now by Judy Collins
Poignant and unexpectedly shocking, this was a positively stunning season finale from Mad Men.