Mad Men: The Forecast
April 20, 2015 3:33 AM - Season 7, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Roger pawns off a project onto Don. Joan goes on a business trip. Peggy and Pete clash over how to deal with an account emergency.
posted by Sweetie Darling (186 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
The Forecast is an f-word. So is what Johnny Mathis said to the client. So is what Sally Fucking Draper yelled at Glen for enlisting.

This was a great, great episode. Looking to the past, while trying to predict the future. And what does the show say about that? It's impossible and basically pointless. You think you can look at where Don has been and figure out where he's going? No fucking way.

Don is basically in a supporting role this week. Our thematic guide. Sure, he sells his apartment - well, he helps someone sell his apartment. Talks her into how to upsell the sad, empty apartment of a sad, empty ad exec. And he's almost sad to see it gone. "Great things happened here," he says, but I'm not even sure he believes it himself.

Roger asked him to talk about where the company goes next, but he doesn't know. He's content. at least at work. Contentment is death. He's not dreaming big. Ted is not dreaming big. Peggy is, but that's not enough when Don decides he wants to play with her. "What's next?" A question for the ages.

"Why don't you write down a list of all your dreams so I can shit on them?" One of the great Peggy lines. And she could achieve everything she outlines this week. She's come a long way but she's still got so far to go. Nothing's ever good enough for Don.

Joan is in a similar boat. She's got the job she always dreamed of. She hasn't got a man, though. She always expected she would, by now. And her relationship with Bruce Greenwood is great because she's in charge nearly the whole way. And she's in control by the end, too. I don't need to see Joan settle down, but she deserves to be that kind of happy, if that's what she wants.

I don't know if I needed that much Glen, but if he serves to represent the unpredictability of youth, especially in the 70s, then enlisting to go off to Vietnam, upsetting Sally and rounding out his story with Betty is reason enough to see Weiner's kid come back. I love what his relationship to Sally and Betty said about those two characters - where Sally is in her life and where Betty is in hers.

I think the whole episode pivots around Sally, though. As it must, I guess. An episode about predicting the future should turn on a character we've seen grow from childhood almost all the way to adulthood. She's scared that her past - Don & Betty - has cursed her future. She wants to get on that bus and become another person. But she's already Don & Betty. She has to make the most of what she's got.

I can't believe there is only four episodes to go. After last week's mess of an episode, I'm glad this one had such sharp focus. Now I feel like the stage is set. Where do we go from here? Who knows. Nothing can really prepare us. Especially not the past.
posted by crossoverman at 4:07 AM on April 20, 2015 [11 favorites]


I will miss Pete Campbell making petulant mountains out of molehills. "WE HAVE A PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE PROBLEM!"
posted by Pizzarina Sbarro at 4:35 AM on April 20, 2015 [33 favorites]


This episode was a heartbreaker. Wow. Roberta Flack was just the final knife to my heart.
posted by ladybird at 5:09 AM on April 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Exact same closing shot as last week, but with Don on the outside of his home rather than in the middle of his empty home. He is continuing to shed the trappings of his life, while realizing there isn't that much to shed. The shot of him walking away from the bus in shadow was great. There's nothing there.

Poor Sally.
posted by dry white toast at 5:24 AM on April 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


I found doubling the shot again a bit too much. I'm thick but not THAT thick. Otherwise: A+.
posted by dame at 5:59 AM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


It looked like Don's clothes were wrinkled this week.

Roger is suffering from the same problem that Cooper called him out in Waterloo, he still has no vision.
posted by drezdn at 6:00 AM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


After last week's mess of an episode, I'm glad this one had such sharp focus.

Yessss. This one felt like a show winding down, not just treading water. I loved it.

Except the scene between Glen and Betty was a dream sequence, right? Betty's fantasy about a young man going to war to impress her? They forgot to put in the shot of Betty waking up, but y'know, we're close to the end. I'll forgive the show small oversights like that.
posted by donajo at 6:03 AM on April 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


I hope that isn't the last we see of Sally. It certainly felt like it was a sort of goodbye...putting her on a bus, with one last acidic retort to Don, and off she goes on an umpteen-city tour.

God, Don looked so old and out-of-touch in that dinner-with-the-girls scene. That head full of Brycreme just keeps hanging on 'til the bitter end. He really reminds me of an uncle of mine, who also served in Korea, and also had a head of hair just like Don's, Brylcremed into a perfect, black plastic cap. By the time the 70's rolled around, he just looked so dinosaur-like.

I have a feeling this "What is our future?" speech Don has to write will be part of the finale. A bookend to his Carousel speech that opened the series.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:14 AM on April 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


A little while ago, here or elsewhere, I joked about Scout's Honor being the eventual spin-off from Mad Men. Today, that ridiculous dream that everyone laughed at is one step closer to being real. I could not be more delighted.
posted by .kobayashi. at 6:14 AM on April 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


Except the scene between Glen and Betty was a dream sequence, right? Betty's fantasy about a young man going to war to impress her?

I don't know but 18-year-old Glen was giving me the tinglies and this was possibly the most personally disturbing part of the episode for me. Thanks Weiner for making your kid make me hate myself.
posted by ladybird at 6:21 AM on April 20, 2015 [9 favorites]


I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE Sally's striped tank top.

And OMG I did NOT recognize Glen. Stoopid small screen.
posted by tilde at 6:27 AM on April 20, 2015


Joan said she's been divorced twice. Who else did she marry aside from Dr. Rapist?
posted by dry white toast at 6:30 AM on April 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


Man, that Weiner kid still can't act his way out of a paper bag. And what is with the way he bites the end off all his words?

The last shot was heartbreaking. I watched it in a particularly dusty room.

Joan spends years treating everyone around her like garbage and then wlks off happily into the sunset with everything she ever wanted.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:32 AM on April 20, 2015


In the episode where Joan's friend comes in from Seattle, there's a passing reference to "Scotty" and "the worst six months of her life." I assume that was #1? High school boyfriend?
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:34 AM on April 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


Richard is another Dick Whitman type.
posted by drezdn at 6:40 AM on April 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Weiner said he felt like every episode in this run could work as the last episode of the series. So far I agree with him. It's like he's trying on different endings.

The common thread of each episode so far: each has ended with a shot of Don alone.
posted by dry white toast at 7:02 AM on April 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Zoom out, Don walking down the street, forever alone, marking walls with Hobo code.
posted by tilde at 7:16 AM on April 20, 2015 [11 favorites]


Of all the things I will miss about Mad Men, I think I might miss Sally Draper's looks of disgust at her parents the most.
posted by The Gooch at 7:32 AM on April 20, 2015 [15 favorites]


Space station!

That story Mathis spat out about Lee Garner at Lucky Strike was terrific. It said a lot of about Don and Mathis, sure, but it also said a lot about Roger and even Sal, in retrospect. We're not going to get an official Sal goodbye here in Season 7, but it's a nod in a way: Roger knew way more about that dynamic than he let on, and he let the pieces fall to his own advantage.

Melanie, the real estate agent, looked and moved and acted so much like Betty.

I hope we get to see Sally again. I hope there's a bit more to Joan's story from the job angle.
posted by mochapickle at 7:33 AM on April 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


Can we just talk about Joan and motherhood for a sec? Because that "You're ruining my life" scene and the notion that she will pick Fake George Hamilton over Kevin was HARSH.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:37 AM on April 20, 2015 [7 favorites]


We've been rewatching the first season in tandem with these final episodes, and the arc is freaking amazing - with endless, and I mean endless, callbacks. Mr. Squirrel noticed my favorite: on Don's coffee table in his office, we see the same highball glass and the same twirly cigarette dispenser as in the first season. And that made me think (well, along with a gabillionty other things) - as much as things change, they really stay the same for him. Well at least for Don. Or Dick. I still maintain he's going to return to Dick Whitman, or fade away as neither.

The truly freaky thing is that the episode we watched right before last night's was the one where Betty meets Glen, in which he tries to watch her going to the bathroom, and asks for (and gets) a lock of Betty's hair.

Hearing Peggy say "Write down your dreams so I can shit on them" has to be a line for the ages. Oh Peggy. I'm going to miss you.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 7:45 AM on April 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


The real estate agent seemed very Betty-like (and in the first shot, I thought it was her).

This episode really hammered home the Mad Men theme of "getting what you want and then finding out your still not happy."

Sombrero Watch 1970: Sombrero is still there.
posted by drezdn at 7:48 AM on April 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


Melanie, the real estate agent, looked and moved and acted so much like Betty.

We hadn't met her before, right? Until it dawned on me that she was Don's realtor, I was trying to place her as a secretary from the office, or maybe another fuck-buddy. She was so familiar with him.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:49 AM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


At first I thought the realtor was the woman from the service who manages his trysts.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 7:51 AM on April 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


Except the scene between Glen and Betty was a dream sequence, right? Betty's fantasy about a young man going to war to impress her? They forgot to put in the shot of Betty waking up, but y'know, we're close to the end. I'll forgive the show small oversights like that.

THIS. I don't know if it was Marten Weiner's weird wooden delivery or what, but that one scene made me doubt myself about how to interpret the whole episode: surely that scene is a dream, so what about the rest of the ep? of the half-season? Everything seems to be going full-on fugue state for these last episodes.

Also: when Don has sunk to the point of asking Meredith for ideas about the future of the company, you know he's scraping the bottom of the barrel.
posted by ChrisTN at 7:52 AM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


And when she said his apartment was a fixer-upper, I was again reminded how outdated Don is. A man out of time, on so many levels.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 7:53 AM on April 20, 2015


...when Don has sunk to the point of asking Meredith for ideas about the future of the company, you know he's scraping the bottom of the barrel.

I dunno. To me, it implies Don is finally realizing that his time has passed, and the future, including the future of the firm, belongs to the younger people still at the bottom of the ladder.

He's made it. He's wealthy. He honestly has nowhere else to go in the business. Thus, he really hasn't any real idea what the future of the firm should be. It makes sense that he get the opinions of the people still working their way to the future. Where do they want to go? What do they want to be?
posted by Thorzdad at 7:58 AM on April 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


I actually felt like it was kind of a blah episode. Don just seemed to be wandering around lost the whole time - deliberate I'm sure. He's back in white shirts with the Brylcreemed hair but I also feel like the bags under his eyes were bigger than last week. Don's sign of stress/floundering/not being in control.

There was a little standard conflict between Pete and Peggy (always fun). Roger stopped by for a minute to show he was being his normal working-but-not-working-hard self.

And I didn't buy Joan's story this week. I could see the initial flirtation and dates with Richard but suddenly they're madly in love? I just didn't buy it. And since when is account executive the job she's always dreamed of? I assume that really just means "in control with lots of money", though. But she never really wanted to work. When Peggy started working on ads in the first place, didn't Joan tell her "I can't advise you. I never wanted to do what you're doing."? And sending her kid away? AV Club says that she was mostly being sarcastic when she told Richard she'd send Kevin away but she sounded serious to me. (And I know it's shallow but 70s business wear is not doing her any favors.)

It was good to see Sally again. She does the parents-suck-teen-angst thing so well. I liked Don's comment to her - "You're a beautiful young woman. It's up to you to be more." I hope she heard him.
posted by Beti at 8:12 AM on April 20, 2015


Main characters who still need an ending: Don, Peggy, Pete, Roger (who this episode told Don to "Come in. Have a seat."), maybe Harry, maybe Ted. Is Dawn still office managing? I'd like to see Dawn again.

The constant presence of the sombrero: I've decided it's a beacon of sorts, quietly urging Don to go somewhere he's never been. What that place might be, I don't know. If Don wears it during the very last scene we see him in, I will cackle with glee for a million billion years.
posted by mochapickle at 8:13 AM on April 20, 2015 [7 favorites]


I believe Joan's statement about sending Kevin away was facetious, that she was reminding Richard that he could come with all the flowers in the world, but her son would always come first. I don't think it was played with as much acidic sarcasm as Joan is usually capable of, but it was not a serious statement. The "ruining [her] life" rant was immediately regretted when Kevin piped up with his little good-bye, and she was still regretting it when Richard showed up at the office.
posted by aabbbiee at 8:13 AM on April 20, 2015 [14 favorites]


Yeah, I didn't take Joan's sending-Kevin-away statement as anything but 100% sarcastic, to twist the knife about what Richard was implicitly asking her to do the night before.
posted by ChrisTN at 8:15 AM on April 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


I liked those scenes with Joan, actually. She could be the type of woman who would leave her son with her mother (or ship him off to school) to chase a rich man. It happens, and she's made compromises before.

By testing those lines, trying them on, she realizes that deep down she's not that woman. She loves her son. Good for Joan.
posted by mochapickle at 8:18 AM on April 20, 2015 [9 favorites]


Thanks. I didn't think we'd ever seen anything indicating Joan regrets having Kevin. I figured the line was supposed to be sarcasm but just wasn't acted quite right.
posted by Beti at 8:19 AM on April 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


There was a little standard conflict between Pete and Peggy (always fun).

I sort of hate that I'm one of the "There's only 4 episodes left! Every second must have meaning!" people, but here I am. When I realized that the point of the Peggy/Pete/Mathis C-plot was so Mathis could tell Don that he's been sliding by on his looks, I felt cheated. That was a lot of nonsense to get to a fairly obvious point. I would have much rather seen more of Don and Peggy talking about the future of SC&P.
posted by donajo at 8:23 AM on April 20, 2015


Mathis telling Don that led him to give Sally the "You're a beautiful young woman. It's up to you to be more" line. So it works for me, but it does seem like the writers have tons of balls left up in the air, and not much time left to catch them all.
posted by drezdn at 8:26 AM on April 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


True, but I think they could've gotten there quicker.
posted by donajo at 8:27 AM on April 20, 2015


(Thanks, drezdn; now I'm gonna have that "Balls in the Air" song from Arrested Development going through my head all morning. Whee!)
posted by ChrisTN at 8:30 AM on April 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


And there's the possibility that Peggy has to come in and save the day with the peanut butter cookie people within the next episode or two. Don's not going in there, so Peggy probably would.
posted by mochapickle at 8:32 AM on April 20, 2015


It occurred to me last night, when we saw what I expect is the last appearance by Glen, that these last episodes are going to be a bit like Haydn's "Farewell Symphony," where the players get up and leave one by one.
posted by dnash at 8:36 AM on April 20, 2015 [8 favorites]


I know it would be terrible plot-wise, but man, Betty nailing Glen would have been hilarious.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:38 AM on April 20, 2015 [14 favorites]


Just a quick note to say how amazing Roberta Flack's version of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face is. According to Wikipedia, it was first covered by Flack in 1969, but got wider exposure after it was used in Clint Eastwood's (directorial debut!) Play Misty for Me in 1971.

Don't really understand how it connects to Mad Men, though--any thoughts?
posted by willF at 8:39 AM on April 20, 2015


And poor Glen! Glen isn't going to make it. Glen never quite seemed real to me, and this ending fits. He's a walking ghost.
posted by mochapickle at 8:40 AM on April 20, 2015 [7 favorites]


willF I think it's to invoke the Carousel theme again.
posted by tilde at 8:41 AM on April 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


I know it would be terrible plot-wise, but man, Betty nailing Glen would have been hilarious.

I don't know what's been more surprising to me the last two episodes - Betty acting reasonably or January Jones doing some reasonable acting.
posted by yellowbinder at 8:43 AM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


If you count Betty telling Glenn that she can't nail him because she's married, not because it's 10 kinds of skeevy, as reasonable.
posted by donajo at 8:45 AM on April 20, 2015 [10 favorites]


I hope he moves in with Midge Daniels
posted by asockpuppet at 8:47 AM on April 20, 2015


Also with Joan, remember Bob Benson's proposal: Bob told Joan she'd likely never get a better offer. I loved Bob Benson, but I'm delighted to see he was wrong.
posted by mochapickle at 8:54 AM on April 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


"man Glen kinda got Neville'd" actual tight an actual adult had last night
posted by The Whelk at 8:55 AM on April 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Joan's childcare woes throughout the series show that not much has changed since 1970: society still has issues with working moms and our social structures actively undermine them. And Captain Pike's galling comment that they could never go see the pyramids because of her son -- of course they can! Glad he figured his shit out and is moving to her, not the other way around.
posted by hush at 8:59 AM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, all I want to do is talk about Joan's blue dress, now and forever, in exhaustive detail.

(Richard has the appeal of a handsome sly man who may or may not have buried several people in the Nevada desert.)
posted by The Whelk at 9:00 AM on April 20, 2015 [15 favorites]


Anyone know who played Maureen?
posted by asockpuppet at 9:01 AM on April 20, 2015


Except the scene between Glen and Betty was a dream sequence, right? Betty's fantasy about a young man going to war to impress her?

I ddon't think that's what Betty thinks, especially after he went on to talk about his parents and flunking out of school.

And I didn't buy Joan's story this week. I could see the initial flirtation and dates with Richard but suddenly they're madly in love? I just didn't buy it.

Yeah, me either. It seemed to me like they were trying to rush some kind of fanfic-y happy ending for Joan.

If you count Betty telling Glenn that she can't nail him because she's married, not because it's 10 kinds of skeevy, as reasonable.

It wouldn't have been very kind to send a young boy off to war with "This is ten kinds of skeevy" being the last thing he ehard from you.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:02 AM on April 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


Keith Olbermann's Mad Men theory.
posted by drezdn at 9:07 AM on April 20, 2015


Last scene of the series: Pete and Don come to blows during a commercial shoot. Rack focus out to reveal Sal is watching them fight (He runs the commercial production company). "They certainly are mad men." Sal says flicking his cigarette. Roll Credits.
posted by drezdn at 9:19 AM on April 20, 2015 [10 favorites]


Someone touches Dal on the shoulder "No, they are really ...Sad Men."
posted by The Whelk at 9:20 AM on April 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


Don decides he needs therapy, walks in to his appointment to discover that his analyst is...Betty?

They have sex.
posted by vitabellosi at 9:34 AM on April 20, 2015 [16 favorites]


Damn that "Previously on Mad Men" for getting my hopes up that Bob Benson would be on this week.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:54 AM on April 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


I actually liked the continuity from last week with Betty essentially acting as a therapist for Glen once he got past his failed seduction.
posted by The Gooch at 10:21 AM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


If there's a God in Heaven then Bob is out Tom Ripley-Iing his way around the world
posted by The Whelk at 10:22 AM on April 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


Also, all I want to do is talk about Joan's blue dress, now and forever, in exhaustive detail.

Yes please! I mean, Janie Bryant always kills it but that blue dress... exquisite. Like the midnight sky.
posted by ApathyGirl at 10:31 AM on April 20, 2015


Maybe blue isn't a death but an ending. That dress was delicious!

Did you notice both Sally and Peggy wearing brown and white dresses, the very color scheme of Diana's uniform? Sally at the bus stop, Peggy during the internal storyboard review. (Peggy's scarf looks like a noose. Peggy is ensnared in her work; they did a similar scarf thing with Joan during the whole Jaguar situation.)

And Joan wore an emerald silk robe! Was it the same one we'd seen before? I covet the aqua-green nightgown she wakes up in on her first morning in California.
posted by mochapickle at 10:44 AM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wait, guys, Joan's dress was gold and white, wasn't it? Guys?? (I'm so very sorry I'll show myself out now...)
posted by ChrisTN at 10:54 AM on April 20, 2015 [11 favorites]


Did you notice both Sally and Peggy wearing brown and white dresses, the very color scheme of Diana's uniform?

Yes! I thought maybe they were drawing another parallel between Sally and Peggy, the woman who worked hard to become more than just a pretty girl.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:11 AM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Richard's character might also show a what-might-have-been for Roger if he had retired after his heart attack (or at least stopped showing up at work so much).
posted by drezdn at 11:43 AM on April 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Speaking of Roger, I'm starting to worry that we'll see his third and final heart attack by the end of the show.
posted by donajo at 11:45 AM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


The final episode will just be 58 minutes of Chauncey's adventures in New York. You'll see how Chauncey was in the background of many important Mad Men moments.
posted by drezdn at 11:51 AM on April 20, 2015 [19 favorites]


Melanie sounds like Allison.
posted by tilde at 11:51 AM on April 20, 2015


That would be awesome. And at the end, Chauncey wanders by a pant leg of someone, not sure who, who has landed after falling 37 floors. And then a few steps away, a sombrero flutters down.
posted by mochapickle at 11:53 AM on April 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


Meredith: "He's very busy."
Peggy: "Stay out of this."

Mathis orders her out, too. Maybe Meredith is a secret Targ. Oops, wrong thread.

Interesting that Lou still has his contract. I don't know why I thought the change would nuke his. Shipping him out to California seems to be a decent solution. I wonder why they're interviewing account men? No one wanted to go (or shined enough to warrant being sent?)?
posted by tilde at 12:03 PM on April 20, 2015


As soon as I saw the teenaged girl with the mole I thought, "hey, it's Don's type!"
posted by codacorolla at 1:11 PM on April 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


I loved Betty giving Glen a beer & Don giving Sally's friend a smoke! Also Sally's line that once either of her parents is shown the slightest attention, they just "ooze everywere."

Also I think the Sally-Don relationship is being handled so beautifully. The conflict between them is far from over, and Sally has so much ambivalence about her roots (as Don did about his, for much different reasons). But Don's engaging with her in a way that shows he identifies with her; and you can see his words are reaching past her resentment.
posted by torticat at 1:17 PM on April 20, 2015 [9 favorites]


"People love talking to me. They seek me out to share their confidences!...

or at least that one creepy kid from down the street in Ossining still does"
posted by Pizzarina Sbarro at 1:21 PM on April 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm wondering if Don is sick of advertising at this point. His questions to Peggy certainly seemed to indicate it. He scoffed at the idea of building anything of worth in the industry, and had a continuous "and then?" response to each of her major milestones.
posted by codacorolla at 1:24 PM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


I like to think Don is, and has been, pushing Peggy to dream beyond his successes, to spare her the hollowness of it all.
posted by ApathyGirl at 1:37 PM on April 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


When Sally says to Glen "Are you fucking stupid" - is that the first time we've heard the f-word uncensored on AMC? I know the show has used it before, but usually it's silence for broadcast and then it shows up on the DVD.
posted by crossoverman at 1:48 PM on April 20, 2015


"Are you fucking stupid" WAS censored, I thought!
posted by torticat at 1:54 PM on April 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


People tweeted about it being censored, but it wasn't beeped on the Amazon instant version.
posted by drezdn at 1:57 PM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


It was censored on my iTunes.

I was annoyed and it took me out of the moment. Boooo.
posted by mochapickle at 2:06 PM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


The more I think about this, the more Richard looks like he's running some sort of con. He could just be trying to get his foot in the door and thought the guy whose name he used wasn't going to show up, or he might be trying to swindle Joan out of money. Something's not right there. (Or maybe I'm happily wrong and he's Joan's happy ending.)
posted by drezdn at 2:09 PM on April 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


It was censored on the AMC broadcast (at least here in New York). Peggy's "shit on your dreams," however, was not THANK GOD.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 2:10 PM on April 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Richard is legit and is totally Joan's happy ending. They have 10 very happy years of marriage together and then he passes on, leaving her millions from some very smart real estate deals, and she buys McCann and fires every harassing little pipsqueak in sight and makes Peggy creative director. By that time, Peggy own three buildings and she's been to Paris a dozen times.
posted by mochapickle at 2:25 PM on April 20, 2015 [14 favorites]


Matt Weiner once talked about the words the network told them they couldn't use. "Fuck" was one of them.
posted by dry white toast at 2:31 PM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Weiner has also dropped a lot of hints that things won't necessarily resolve. He's noted that television writers don't actually do it very well because episodic tv by its nature doesn't resolve. Neither does life, really. I think these episodes are a lot more enjoyable if one accepts this.

Unrelated: hearing Sesame Street on the TV in Joan's house was the clearest signal to me that we're no longer in the "old world" Mad Men started out portraying. Having been born in '77 and growing up with Sesame Streeet, it was maybe the first thing in the show that reminded me of my past.
posted by dry white toast at 2:36 PM on April 20, 2015 [14 favorites]


Seeing Bruce Greenwod show up threw me off for a bit because I most associate him with his role as JFK in "Seventeen Days." My internal monologue was all, "WHY IS JFK ALIVE AND HITTING ON JOAN?!?
posted by dry white toast at 2:40 PM on April 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


I didn't realize the kid playing Glen was Weiner's son. This explains a lot about his horrible wooden acting compared to the rest of the amazing cast. Thank you for clearing that up for me.
posted by olinerd at 2:49 PM on April 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


~When Sally says to Glen "Are you fucking stupid" - is that the first time we've heard the f-word uncensored on AMC?
~"Are you fucking stupid" WAS censored, I thought!


It was definitely censored on my end. It wasn't completely blanked-out, though. You heard the quick, beginning F, then silence, then the ING. That's pretty much how censored language seems to be handled these days. They leave just enough so there's no doubt what's being said, but blank enough to pass scrutiny. FWIW, TCM doesn't censor language, including "fuck".

~Peggy's "shit on your dreams," however, was not THANK GOD.

"Shit" has pretty much been liberated over the past couple of tv seasons. Writers seem to be giddy about the new toy, because they've been littering scripts with as much "shit" and "shitty" as they can.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:10 PM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Seeing Bruce Greenwod show up threw me off for a bit because I most associate him with his role as JFK in "Seventeen Days."

Me too!!!
posted by flyingsquirrel at 3:10 PM on April 20, 2015


I wonder where my uncensored version appeared from, then.

I didn't realize the kid playing Glen was Weiner's son. This explains a lot about his horrible wooden acting compared to the rest of the amazing cast. Thank you for clearing that up for me.


Weiner has talked about this casting a lot, suggesting he didn't want his son cast but other people talked him around. That might just be a line, plus I've never thought he was that bad for a child actor. He just looks bad compared to Kiernan Shipka - but then some of the adults in the show look bad compared to Kiernan Shipka! (Well, not bad, but less... amazing.)
posted by crossoverman at 3:22 PM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


I also loved the little joke Sally played on Betty, when Betty gave her that perfunctory warning about there being boys on the trip.

“This conversation’s a little late and so am I.”
posted by Thorzdad at 3:27 PM on April 20, 2015 [14 favorites]


I love how that little exchange said volumes about how their dynamic has shifted.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:27 PM on April 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


Fuxk is a uncensored audibly on iTunes and Google Play but is presented as (inaudable) in closed captioning.

This is about the fifth fuck though of the series.
posted by tilde at 4:30 PM on April 20, 2015


Breaking Bad was allowed one "fuck" a season, so I wonder why in Mad Men it was censored.
posted by littlesq at 4:36 PM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


They may be saving it. Bonnie didn't say "you're not going to be able to fuck your way out of this" (which I believe was the one audible in S7.1) till E6.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 5:02 PM on April 20, 2015


Man, if this is Joan's happy ending, it's a depressing one. I guess he is at the center of the Venn diagram of Joan's taste in men (smarmy, controlling, fragile sense of self, painfully tan)?

That dress, though. Also the nightgown.

Glen is living in a certain kind of novel, a novel about a troubled young man whose fantasy life revolves around his friend's hot, strictly symbolic mom. I'm glad the show doesn't validate his self-image, and that the people in his life generally seem to realize that he's a couple of shades dopier than Anakin Skywalker.

I think Betty's in a weird place re: Glen -- she's past the blind need for validation that led her to let his youthful creepiness go too far, but on the other hand, she understands her own desires now, and Glen is somehow a hot adult now, so? I really would believe that their scene together is a dream sequence. Betty totally fantasizes about having a dreamboat-eyed eighteen-year-old throwing himself at her, but then rejecting him because she's too noble and stuff.

I thought the focus on Betty and Don's narcissistic flirtiness was interesting -- I think it's very right of Sally to draw parallels between them; there are more than I'm used to talking about, given how much of the fan conversation about the Drapers' marriage was a discussion of their contrasts. And yet Betty and Don are a lot alike, right down to the reasons (the combination of legit tenderness and noble-and-stuff) that Don would've rejected Sally's friend if she'd made a play for him.

(Still, I think Betty has her life figured out better than anyone else as of 1970, and from the worst start. Good for her.)

It makes a lot of sense that Lee Garner was in love with Don and that Roger knew it. I have to wonder how much of everyone's apparent cluelessness about Sal was just a willingness to ignore his flamboyance so long as he played by the rules. They played it like nobody knew, and that seems impossible for such a worldly group of people. I mean, Roger had a bohemian youth and is a Second World War naval veteran. He's met gay men before.
posted by thesmallmachine at 5:23 PM on April 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Tom and Lorenzo:

It would be one thing if Peggy or Roger said something like this to him, but the fact that someone like Mathis, for whom he’s had little regard in the relatively short time he’s known him, can so effectively sum up who Don is and just how flawed he is means that the product Don’s been selling all this time has finally expired on the shelf – and everyone can smell the rot.

I'm not used to agreeing with those men, but there it is, second week in a row.
posted by thesmallmachine at 5:43 PM on April 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Sorry, iTunes did censor it audibly. Google Play did not or I need more caffination.
posted by tilde at 6:38 PM on April 20, 2015


The contrast between Ted and Don just gets sharper and sharper. Their style, grooming, and office decor all scream different decades.

When Don was looking at the magazines about the 70s, he looked so lost I heard Principle Skinner saying "Am I so out of touch? No. It's the children who are wrong."
posted by dry white toast at 7:11 PM on April 20, 2015 [8 favorites]


thesmallmachine: They played it like nobody knew, and that seems impossible for such a worldly group of people. I mean, Roger had a bohemian youth and is a Second World War naval veteran. He's met gay men before.

And the fact that Roger shared this story with Mathis, of all people! Roger thinks Don's a joke, so much so that he's willing to undermine Don's professional reputation just to impress some jerky little copywriter. It's sad.
posted by mochapickle at 8:17 PM on April 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Roger thinks Don's a joke, so much so that he's willing to undermine Don's professional reputation just to impress some jerky little copywriter.

I hadn't thought of it in context, but you're right. Roger and Don's relationship was pretty good for a while, but it has long since reverted to the mean. And it's weird to think that Roger actually won their decade-long struggle for the title of Less Embarrassing Man to Be, which they kicked off way back in season 1 with the hitting-on-Betty/oyster-vomit incidents.

They're still both embarrassing, though. I mean, honestly, that was clear from the fact that a struggle exists.
posted by thesmallmachine at 8:39 PM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


And the fact that Roger shared this story with Mathis, of all people! Roger thinks Don's a joke, so much so that he's willing to undermine Don's professional reputation just to impress some jerky little copywriter. It's sad.

That sounds more like a story Mathis would have overheard Roger telling a group of people in a drunken social setting than a one-on-one conversation. I'd honestly be surprised if Roger even knows who Mathis is.
posted by dry white toast at 8:46 PM on April 20, 2015 [12 favorites]


I am waiting for some callback or reference to Peggy and Pete's child, you know, the illegitimate baby from season 1/2?

To be honest, this episode did not do much for me. I saw Greenwood and thought, "What is Captain Pike doing with Joan?" However, I thought that blue dress was fabulous. I guess Joan gets her happy ending with a Roger Sterling who actually bit the bullet, retired to other adventures and willing to take on a child.
posted by jadepearl at 8:50 PM on April 20, 2015


I had a total Mad Men immersive experience this weekend at the exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. It was a little cramped, and crowded, but chock full of costumes, sets, props and script notes. Some of the most interesting things were Weiner's notes about the Megan/Don relationship. Apparently it was always meant to throw Don's aging into relief. An actual quote was "getting to know Megan will be a bummer." I concur.
Anyway, I got to see Peggy's thermos, Sally's silver dress and white boots, the chip and dip, the Zu Bisou dress, the Ossining kitchen (complete with S&H Green Stamps on the counter), Don's current office (sans sombrero) and a secretary's desk.
For those of you with theories regarding the opening credits - they had the storyboards for the other 4 or 5 concepts that were thought up for the credits. So if things had gone a little differently we might be concocting theories about the show ending with Don getting in an elevator.
If you get a chance to see it, I heartily recommend it.
posted by Biblio at 9:04 PM on April 20, 2015 [13 favorites]


Don't really understand how it connects to Mad Men, though--any thoughts?
posted by willF


Read today at Esquire that one that the stalker character in the Eastwood movie ("Play Misty For Me") in which the song was featured was named Evelyn Draper. DAH DAH DUUUMM.

She was played by Jessica Walter, who modern audiences should know better as the matriarch in "Arrested Development" and the voice and physical inspiration for the spy agency head/mom Mallory in "Archer."
posted by raysmj at 9:17 PM on April 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Writers seem to be giddy about the new toy, because they've been littering scripts with as much "shit" and "shitty" as they can.

Surely some of them must be Mr. Lahey fans.
posted by juiceCake at 10:03 PM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


I love how Joan and Richard's dates were played as a gender-swapped rewrite of the "married men dating unmarried girls" scenes from the first season. Joan tells him when and where to be, and takes a superior/mocking tone in conversation; while Richard worries that she's hidden her wedding ring, is leading him on, and won't really to commit to a new relationship.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 11:09 PM on April 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


Sally has no idea how right Don is when he says she's like him. If you'd asked the eighteen-year-old Dick Whitman what he wanted to do with his life, "get on a bus and get away from my mother and father [-surrogates], because I want to become something different than them" would be his exact goal.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 11:13 PM on April 20, 2015 [8 favorites]


So what was the deal with Don's hair in the scene with Roger? I thought maybe it was an attempt at growing it out to seem more with the times. But after Roger's crack about needing to bring his barber in, next time we see Don he's back to his normal state.

But I guess it's because he's just not well put together after being woken up by his real estate agent.
posted by zsazsa at 11:38 PM on April 20, 2015


I actually shouted, "Betty, no!" at my television. I blamelove you people.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:30 AM on April 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


So what was the deal with Don's hair in the scene with Roger? I thought maybe it was an attempt at growing it out to seem more with the times. But after Roger's crack about needing to bring his barber in

I didn't notice his hair was out of shape, but I think Roger's comment about the barber was because he needed a shave. Next time we saw Don, he was shaving in his own office.

But yeah, either way I think he was disheveled because he'd overslept.
posted by torticat at 4:38 AM on April 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


So if things had gone a little differently we might be concocting theories about the show ending with Don getting in an elevator.

My brain first took this in as "Don falling down an elevator." Which might also work!

(I still think of that image of him looking down the empty elevator shaft, right after Megan quit work and left the office, as one of the most ominous/nightmarish things I've ever seen on TV.)
posted by torticat at 4:43 AM on April 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


The real estate agent, at the end of that very first scene where she's standing in Don's open doorway looking out at New York, was really evocative of that infamous end-of-season shot in the new office building. I don't know what the significance might be (could be that there's only so many ways a person can stand in a window) but she's posed exactly like Joan was in that photo, and right in the middle.

Right from that scene Don is surrounded by people that see right through him. "I've sold a lot of bigger things than this," he tells the agent. She only says, "Can you go?"

Who would have thought we would see Don fade into nothing at the end of his career -- and it shouldn't be the end, not really -- but he's just another old guy fixed on the glory days of the past, with nothing left but his looks and a lot of money.
posted by tracicle at 5:01 AM on April 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


After reading T&L, I feel like the only way the show can end is with Don leaving everything of his life as Don Draper behind and just...disappearing. Maybe to reappear later as Dick Whitman, maybe to try being a new Don somewhere else. But the last thing we'll see is him walking out a door to who-knows-where.
posted by tracicle at 5:14 AM on April 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


He's in the position to do that, with his possessions mostly gone and a ton of cash in his pocket, but I think he won't. He may have been thinking of it lately, but if the Diane story had any in point it may have been showing Don that running away again won't make him happy.
posted by drezdn at 5:57 AM on April 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


Anyway, I got to see Peggy's thermos, Sally's silver dress and white boots, the chip and dip, the Zu Bisou dress, the Ossining kitchen (complete with S&H Green Stamps on the counter), Don's current office (sans sombrero) and a secretary's desk.

I was there too!

The level of detail in the sets - especially the kitchen - was just phenomenal.

No Mets pennant in the office set.
posted by gaspode at 6:39 AM on April 21, 2015


I'm kind of stumped on what a satisfying stopping point for Don might be. He could die, he could be murdered, he could suicide, he could move to a new town and start a new name/persona, he could introduce himself as Dick Whitman, he could fall in love, he could walk west and keep walking until he hits water and keep walking until the water envelops him and all that's left is just a dissipating shimmer of Brylcreem. I don't know.

So much of fiction pivots around character motivation. Don's looking for motivation but coming up empty.

I'm not sure Don will ever be happy, but is there a way he could be content four episodes from now?
posted by mochapickle at 7:04 AM on April 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


The consensus around the space station here is that Don's losing everything - Wives. Daughter. Apartment. Reputation As An Advertising God At The Office - and he's going to take his millions, walk away and just be Dick Whitman again.
Small town. Maybe advertising or writing, but something simple.
We see him fall from great heights at the opening of every episode, and I'm sure that is purely intentional.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 7:54 AM on April 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure I want a grand finale. This show has not been plotted like a novel, and it would feel very artificial if it ended like one. One thing I'm really feeling about this run is that ten years feels like not a lor of time. When you're young, ten years feels like forever. As you get older, it feels shorter and shorter. A lot has happened to Don since 1960, but it all still feels very recent. He's still wearing a hat, for god's sake. I'd be happy to watch another ten years of this, really.

Also, coincidentally I saw the 30 Rock last night where John Hamm has hooks for hands. I would watch that man do anything. He is just fantastically handsome and charming.
posted by rikschell at 10:28 AM on April 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm not the only person who finds Don the most boring of them all, right? I'm not sure if it is just the exposure that comes from being protagonist, him being just another Modern Man, or my being actually interested in how the business of advertising is changing, but man, I could spend the rest of the episodes watching the creative team and Joan and Roger and Sally and then another tiny coda of Don standing alone in an empty room being sad.
posted by dame at 11:15 AM on April 21, 2015


Yeah, I think even Don realizes that Don was a lot more interesting when he used to focus on the creative work: the pitch, the line, the idea. It all comes too easy now. That conflict has been hard on him, but there was a real joy in creation (and tussling with accounts folks to bring it to birth) that's been missing for a long time in the show.
posted by rikschell at 12:03 PM on April 21, 2015


leaving everything of his life as Don Draper behind and just...disappearing

I can totally imagine that .... except the milkshakes. Try as I might, I don't see this character as a man who would walk away from his children (even Sally, especially Sally) and never see them again.
posted by anastasiav at 12:36 PM on April 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


He would totally walk away from Gene, and maybe even Bobby. In fact, Don's pretty sure that Betty switched Bobby with someone else's child at some point, maybe several times. Don cares too much about Sally to abandon her... BUT if he feels she is ready to go it alone, he might be willing to hit the road.
posted by drezdn at 12:55 PM on April 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think in the last few years, Don wasn't that interesting, but I'm actually intrigued by where Weiner has him for the last few episodes. He's wealthy, the agency is secure, his relationship with his first wife is civil, he sees his children somewhat regularly, and his biggest secret is widely known and accepted by the people he loves. His drinking is sort of under control. For most of the show, Don either dreaded or romanticized the future. I don't think he knows how to imagine a future from a position of honesty, acceptance and security. He did try to self-destruct a bit by casting himself as Diana's savior, so he's definitely still got the old urge.

I'm very curious to see if he can stay in this life that he's built, or if he'll tear it all down out of habit.
posted by gladly at 12:58 PM on April 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Isn't Bobby supposed to be just a couple of years younger than Sally, who's supposed to be 15 or 16? Why is he running around playing guns with his little brother? No 13-14 year old I know wants to play with a 7-8 year old. And why does he only look to be about 8 years old?
posted by LizBoBiz at 1:23 PM on April 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sally is 16. Bobby is 13. Mason Vale Cotton who plays Bobby is 12 but probably 11 when these episodes were shot. I think brothers will play together when they are at home and dressed for bed and there's no one else to play with.

As for Don's ending, I imagine some of the tension will come from "Will he run away again?" And I don't think he will, not from his family at any rate. He might leave Manhattan and the advertising agency for something quieter. Sometimes MAD MEN has been about writing for television. So maybe he'll run away to be a novelist, where he can be in complete control.
posted by crossoverman at 1:47 PM on April 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


Sometimes MAD MEN has been about writing for television. So maybe he'll run away to be a novelist, where he can be in complete control.

Yeah the creative dept has always been mad Men talking about itself and the *idea* of writing for TV.

And yes, becoming a novel writer is what bored white guys with too much money and feelings DO, DON. Get a pseudonym, Ken did.
posted by The Whelk at 2:32 PM on April 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Get a pseudonym, Ken did.

Don is his pseudonym.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:41 PM on April 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


"THE CAROUSEL OF SOULS: A DICK WHITMAN DETECTIVE NOVEL"
posted by The Whelk at 2:48 PM on April 21, 2015 [11 favorites]


My theory: In the last 2-3 eps, some kind of crisis hits. Can Don save the day? He does, sort of, although it turns out that the crisis wasn't really that big a deal anyway. It's just advertising, after all.

In the process, Don looks like he might make a major move - out of SCDP, to another profession, to another city. But in the end, he doesn't actually decide anything. Everything is back to status quo. He lights up a cigarette, pours a glass... and then gets a twinkle in the eye, picks up the phone, says, get me
posted by adrianhon at 4:03 PM on April 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


He lights up a cigarette, pours a glass... and then gets a twinkle in the eye, picks up the phone, says, get me

...and is whacked from behind?
posted by torticat at 4:24 PM on April 21, 2015 [1 favorite]




I wouldn't be shocked if one character dies in an act of random violence. The show constantly has the dangerous crime of the 60s/70s in the background, but I wouldn't be surprised for it to finally hit someone we know.
posted by drezdn at 4:40 PM on April 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just rewatched this one with Dad, and I'm not so sure why everybody is running down Marten Weiner. I actually think that's just how Glen would act. Glen is performing how he thinks people want him to behave. He has since he was a boy asking for a lock of Betty's hair.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:35 PM on April 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


He has a very weird affect that may be due to lack of acting ability...but at the same time, that affect works for Glen's character.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:46 PM on April 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


ob1quixote, agree completely! But then I've always kinda loved Glen. I was a bit disappointed to discover this ep that he never did get over his infatuation with Betty, which brought "creepy Glen" back in spades instead of the really lovely Glen who genuinely befriended Sally and stayed in touch with her over all the years, and once punched out a friend who got handsy with her.

They alway played off the "creepy Glen" thing, like when he visits Sally at the apartment and she asks "What do you want to do?" (uh-oh.) But then he comes back with the totally disarming "go to the natural history museum of course!" and he's just a great kid. And I don't remember the conversation they had at the museum, only that it was frank and kind of charming (before she got her period, of course, and bailed on him in a panic!).

Anyway back to the acting--I agree that he's "wooden" but not that he's a horrible actor. Some people ARE wooden, and awkward. That's Glen.
posted by torticat at 5:48 PM on April 21, 2015 [11 favorites]


Also going back earlier in the thread, I thought Betty's "because I'm married" (as opposed to "I'm twice your age and the mother of your close friend, you weirdo") was an attempt to treat him with respect as an adult... since he WAS an adult--tragically--of age to enlist. I thought she was showing compassion.

But then, I also took Don's word for it that he was only trying not to embarrass Sally's friend. Not that I can't see how that looked from Sally's perspective (what a GREAT shot of her, across the table but between them, when Don was lighting the friend's cigarette)--but of course Don would neither have been interested in nor even flattered by the girl's flirtation. It reminded me of the time he was at some rock show (with who? was it Harry?) and a teenager came on to him and he just stood there looking bemused.

Very interesting parallels between Betty and Don, in those scenes in this episode. Maybe I'm giving one or both of them too much benefit of the doubt. Betty definitely looked starstruck when she realized this new young man was GLEN, keeping her eyes on him while telling Sally to go get her purse, touching her hair, and all that. But I thought she came through and was simply kind to him, in the end.
posted by torticat at 6:03 PM on April 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


One more thing and I'll shut up on the Glen analysis. Sally was also definitely aware of and pissed at Betty's behavior with Glen; I think she was framed in the shot there too as behind but between them.

So Sally was probably already primed to be disgusted at her father as well; hence her astute (though maybe misplaced in these instances) and true observation about this similarity between the two of them.
posted by torticat at 6:15 PM on April 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


It reminded me of the time he was at some rock show (with who? was it Harry?) and a teenager came on to him and he just stood there looking bemused.

Don and Harry went to the Rolling Stones concert.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:19 PM on April 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Weiner literally had to kill his children to end this show.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:57 PM on April 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't be shocked if one character dies in an act of random violence.

Well...Sally is on a long bus trip. Accidents happen, y'know.
Not that I'd want that to happen, of course. Sally's the last character on the show I would want to die.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:33 PM on April 21, 2015


I was a bit disappointed to discover this ep that he never did get over his infatuation with Betty, which brought "creepy Glen" back in spades instead of the really lovely Glen who genuinely befriended Sally and stayed in touch with her over all the years, and once punched out a friend who got handsy with her.

Maybe he wasn't as creepy as we thought? When Glen reveals he's reporting, he first says it's to defend all those kids who are dying out there. Then he presents it to Betty as a rite of passage now that he's an adult man. It's a gambit: her attention has always been soothing to him and he's always been able to push the limits with her. But then Betty, ten years older and a little wiser now, manages to get him to confess that he is only going because he's dropped out of school. He seems relieved to be able to tell her the truth he's probably never told anyone else: He literally has nowhere else to go.

It's got me thinking. Probably he was a weird, lonely, sensitive kid with parents who fought endlessly, and Betty's attention and beauty was a welcome distraction from that. The whole situation makes me mourn a little more for Glen: If Betty had been this mature back in Ossining in 1960, she would have cut right through any creepy and seen the truth that Glen was just an odd kid looking for comfort, and perhaps she'd have been a champion for him, or at least a more wholesome friend. It's a shame because he's demonstrated himself to be good kid all along and a good friend to Sally. And Carla would still have her job!

Don was able to pull some strings to get the Rosens' son out of going. It seems Betty and the Francis family would have similar connections or alternatives, but those are unreachable for Glen.

I keep thinking about these characters. I think the storyline really paid off here.
posted by mochapickle at 7:37 PM on April 21, 2015 [28 favorites]


mochapickle, I favorited your comment but as a fan of Glen just had to also say, I LOVE that analysis.
posted by torticat at 8:13 PM on April 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Weiner could say he's ending the show because he wants closure or has some big noble ending, but in the end he just got cancelled by his mean stepdad (the network) who's gleeful to see him go out in a blaze of ratings. But he doesn't want to go.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:43 PM on April 21, 2015


Was the bluish box on Don's desk the electric razor or The Carousel?
posted by mynameisluka at 8:52 PM on April 21, 2015


Apropos of nothing, I like how Glen has grown into a strapping fine young Jean Ralphio.
posted by adrianhon at 4:41 AM on April 22, 2015 [19 favorites]


I'm still pulling for Sally to grow up to be Kim Gordon.
posted by box at 5:41 AM on April 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


I keep thinking about this episode...particularly the fantasy Don sells the real estate agent about a man who has moved to France, for whom everything is alright. The reality is sad, but it's also really diffuse and unclear. Then Mathis both wants Don to sell a fantasy, but gets mad at the fact that Don IS fantasy. Don's frustrated with the fantasy that getting some big business will somehow make SCPLetters any better, or life any better. Other characters' fantasies and realities are contrasted and teased out in this episode...and it ends with Don literally kicked out of the place that's been the heart of the fake, fake dream.
posted by mynameisluka at 6:41 AM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Mad Style is up.
posted by palomar at 8:23 AM on April 22, 2015


Also up is this incredible oral history of Mad Men that everyone everywhere should read immediately:
Matthew Weiner: Joan knows that a shark is going to eat her on her 200th birthday, and it doesn’t bother her at all. Every evening, she gets a phone call from a wizard in the middle of the night, and the wizard says, “A shark will swallow you when you are ancient,” and Joan always says, “So fucking what? I can’t wait.” The reason why Joan is destined to live until she is 200 years old is because her father accidentally ran over the wizard in his car, so the wizard put a curse on his daughter. This backstory informs every aspect of Joan’s character, even though it’s only hinted at a few times over the course of the show.
posted by palomar at 9:29 AM on April 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


From Mad Style:
His hair’s long and dry because he overslept and didn’t have time to Don Draper himself up for the world. It’s interesting to note that Roger, he of the mustache and sideburns and ruffled shirts, thought that Don looked terrible and asked him if he needed to have his barber brought in.

Interesting that they, like zsazsa upthread, focused on the hair and not the 5 o'clock shadow and apparently they didn't notice he was shaving in the next scene.

However, I hadn't noticed either the hair or that he was apparently also brylcreemed up later in the day, too. So yeah, I guess it was all about the oversleeping and doing all the grooming in the office.

I like his look without the grease.
posted by torticat at 9:55 AM on April 22, 2015


The OG #IWokeUpLikeThis.

At least aesthetically, Joan really was served so well in her storyline. Lit well, costumed exquisitely. I'm so glad T&L include screenshots; seeing that blue dress up close, it is even more beautiful on Hendricks.

I'm not convinced on T&L's conclusions a lot of the time, but they have convinced me that Janie Bryant is a genius.
posted by gladly at 10:05 AM on April 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Can we just get John Hamm in the Cary Grant biopic already!
posted by vitabellosi at 11:58 AM on April 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


I was interested in T.Lo's remark that it's odd that Joan has never changed apartments -- or even, so far as I can tell, the decor of this one -- when she's come dramatically up in the world and spends money freely on jewelry and clothes. Richard even jokes in this episode about the undesirability of her neighborhood, something like "I'll be buying some property in New York"/"Okay, I won't be buying any property there." (Though I figured that his remark had more to do with the West Village's reputation as a gay haven than anything else.)

I agree that it's strange, but for me, it makes sense that Joan never moved. She's always been a strange combination of conservative and liberated, and a perfectly preserved 1958 bachelorette pad a few blocks from the Stonewall Inn seems right for her. It's the apartment she threw her terrible husband out of; it's the place she welcomed Bob into; it's the place where she feels powerful and where the decor complements her coloring. Joan might change her hair, but her dress silhouette stays the same. And she might change partners, but she'll hang on to that apartment 'til death do they part, at which point it will probably sell for an unbelievable amount of money.
posted by thesmallmachine at 12:15 PM on April 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm kind of stumped on what a satisfying stopping point for Don might be. He could die, he could be murdered, he could suicide, he could move to a new town and start a new name/persona, he could introduce himself as Dick Whitman, he could fall in love, he could walk west...

He'll go back to his hometown, rent some dingy hovel, and try to blend in with the background while penning (unanswered) letters to Sally inquiring about her life, attempting to forget he once had the world on a string and all the people whose affections he yo-yoed.

Then one day he goes to the post office to discover a card from his daughter, belatedly inviting him to her wedding a few days hence. He hurriedly turns to the next person in line, a drab old woman, and asks where the nearest dry cleaners' is. She squints at him with approbation and declaims, "You're not from around here, are you?"

Close up on his eyes: panicked, resigned, lightless. Fade to white.
posted by psoas at 1:29 PM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Or: he makes good on the entire premise of the series and shuffles off to old Californy and--in a move surprisingly redolent of Ugly Betty's finale in London--he and Megan pick up again, tentatively, as friends with the implication that maybe you don't actually have to escape your past with someone important to you, you can just build on it in a new direction.
posted by psoas at 2:10 PM on April 22, 2015


Those windbreaker shots of Don/Dick look like California, all sunshine and spiky plants here or there. I could see him in California, maybe in a house like Anna lived in, maybe a neighborhood like hers. Don Draper began with Anna, after all, so why not end the series here. When he visited Anna, the worry would fade from his forehead. His eyes would soften. He just seemed gentler there. He'd work on cars. Maybe after that sense of worry dissolved a bit, he could write a bit. He was always reading (we haven't seen him read in ages!).
posted by mochapickle at 2:20 PM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


My eyes were drawn to Betty's sandals. Those wide-heeled shoes with wide straps. The clothes are starting to get so familiar. Bobby wanting to watch The Brady Bunch (and yes, I did think he looked overly young).

I still wonder if Sally will end up at some protest event, I know it was said that she wouldn't go to Haight Ashbury, but she seems primed to ditch it all and rebel.

Diana looks like Anna Draper, to me. And then Don is not only comforting her, but himself. He leaves because he knows there is no comfort he can give her, she is in her own private hell.

Peggy, Peggy, Peggy. If only you had found your passport that night. Instead, you get to go back to the world of assholes like Don shitting on your dreams.

I actually liked Megan's speech, because she was right: what was her crime, except for being young? Every time she tried to have fun, Don was clamping down on her. What would it be like to be young and married to a guy who hated you for having fun? And I was glad that he realized that, and gave her the money so that she could have her freedom, the freedom that he had denied her during their marriage.

I can't say how much I love Pete. Vincent Kartheiser is a true artist, and I truly admire him. Truly. LOL. He's fantastic.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:00 PM on April 22, 2015


I really like how they dealt with Dally, she could've been so stereotypical, but instead she's a pretty realistic view of a perpetually-disgusted at her parents, left learning prep school girl. She's the most conversative of her friends and God, Sally just screams "rich teenager" in so many ways. I still say she's on a bullseye target to politics - that's what people in her class do with themselves.

Also, Mad Style re: Joan's apartment ...YOU NEVER GIVE UP GOOD REAL ESTATE. even pre housing market insanity people would stay in so-so relationships so they didn't have to move! There are vast and entrenched networks of property moving hands and being rented by family members, that's not an apartment, that's her son's real inheritance.
posted by The Whelk at 3:12 PM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


The talk of California has me thinking. Lou Avery might quit the California office so he can work on "Scout's Honor" opening the position up. Don could leave to California with a slightly clearer mind than the last time he thought about it.
posted by drezdn at 3:42 PM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Pike is going to give her an apartment in a better place, obvs.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:04 PM on April 22, 2015


I still wonder if Sally will end up at some protest event, I know it was said that she wouldn't go to Haight Ashbury, but she seems primed to ditch it all and rebel.

In four years the Ramones will play their first show; in five years the Sex Pistols will start playing gigs in London. Just to note.
posted by jokeefe at 6:07 PM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Don't miss Clickhole's oral history of Mad Men.
posted by Catblack at 6:29 PM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


In four years the Ramones will play their first show; in five years the Sex Pistols will start playing gigs in London. Just to note.

And in the now of Sally's life, the Velvet Underground, The Stooges, and Jonathon Richman, but not many paid to much attention to them then.
posted by juiceCake at 5:56 AM on April 23, 2015


Sally ends up playing bass in an ersatz Talking Heads.
posted by drezdn at 7:08 AM on April 23, 2015


Clearly The Hamm is going to return his Trophies to the army and then blow himself up.
posted by codacorolla at 7:25 AM on April 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


I just realized Don's middle name really is Francis. And then Betty goes off and marries a Henry Francis. Why so many Francises?

I really do think he could leave Bobby and Gene. The whole scene with the milkshake, with Henry stepping in quite naturally where Don left off, was kind of a nod to that: the boys are young and they are going to turn out OK with Henry. Which makes Don's situation more dire.
posted by mochapickle at 7:45 AM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


I love the idea of Sally getting into punk, too, but The Whelk is right - TLo have done a really good job of showing the subtle-to-our-eyes ways that Sally is culturally pretty conservative, if not politically so. It's interesting how this makes her not just conservative, but actually a bit dated/unfashionable in this particular era.

I see her as being more of an activist for this reason - Sally may not be countercultural but she has a strong sense of justice. I'm totally holding out hope for her to get involved in women's lib in college and to be that one woman in the campus feminist group that still wears sweater sets or whatever while she's petitioning for a women's studies department. Betty will simultaneously hate it and love it, which will be perfect. Then she will obviously go to law school.

It seriously bums me out that we will never get a "Sally goes to Barnard" spinoff.
posted by lunasol at 4:41 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just realized Don's middle name really is Francis. And then Betty goes off and marries a Henry Francis. Why so many Francises?

Also, Matthew Weiner's real name is Francis Muscles.
posted by oulipian at 6:39 PM on April 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


You guys, I had a dream about the finale last night: Don was helping Peggy birth a baby in a birth pool in a 70s lesbian separatist community. He had a very hairy chest.

Also the realtor in this episode was totally channelling Sosh from Girls in her delivery.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:53 AM on April 24, 2015


I just looked at Mad Style and noticed that not only did Peggy and Sally both wear brown dresses with white trim; they also both wore tops with horizontal stripes in the orange family.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:15 AM on April 24, 2015


So, this season has us, more-or-less in April of 1970. I mention this because something pretty fucking momentous happens in May of '70. It makes me wonder if they will deal with this in any way? Especially with Sally?
posted by Thorzdad at 10:17 AM on April 24, 2015


It had just happened before this episode. When Glen announces he's enlisting, Sally summons it up: "What about Kent State? You were crying!" It definitely affected Sally.
posted by mochapickle at 10:23 AM on April 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Ah. I missed that. Well, that answers that. I have a hard time targeting the dates on this show beyond what year we're in.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:26 AM on April 24, 2015


I think Kent State happened between the premiere and "New Business." Don's check to Megan at the end of "New Business" was dated at the end of May 1970, so I assume "The Forecast" was towards the end of June -- Sally's out of school and headed on her Teen Tour. It's always a little weird that about a month elapses between episodes.
posted by gladly at 10:28 AM on April 24, 2015


I'm pretty sure that the conversation between Glen and Sally references Kent State.
posted by aabbbiee at 12:07 PM on April 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can anyone think of any major historical events on 1970 that you think will be referenced before the end? I wondered about the Women's Strike for Equality - can you imagine if Peggy went out on strike?

But it's odd to me that 1970 is such a dividing line for culture and history - I know so much about the 1960s and was looking for several things each season Mad Men was on. But 1970? I can barely think of anything - especially now we've passed Kent State.
posted by crossoverman at 3:52 PM on April 24, 2015


My bet was always that Don was going to end up back in Pasadena working on cars, but Megan being there makes that feel incongruous now. One way or another I think he ends up running off with Sally. His relationship with Anna mirrors his relationship with Sally in a lot of ways. It was never romantic or sexual, but it was sincere. There were no expectations. They took each other as they were. Also, they didn't choose each other. Fate just sort of thrust them together.

Amazingly, Don's advice to Sally was probably his best moment as a parent.
posted by dry white toast at 5:35 PM on April 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Every episode had ended with Don being one step further removed from, well, Don Draper. What's the next thing to be stripped away?
posted by dry white toast at 8:24 PM on April 24, 2015


The very last thing to go will be the Brycreamed hair helmet.
posted by The Whelk at 11:41 PM on April 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Every episode had ended with Don being one step further removed from, well, Don Draper. What's the next thing to be stripped away?

I'm betting that in this next episode we'll see him lose something tangible that is physically close to him (e.g., his hat, shoes, wallet, Anna's ring) OR someone emotionally close to him, such as Peggy or Sally. We haven't seen much personal tragedy of the random sort lately, and my spidey sense says it's around the corner.

Sidenote: what they're doing with Peggy and Joan these last two episodes btw really reminds me of what they did with a major character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, right before that character made a tragic exit. A new man randomly comes into their life, there's flowers and promise, which sets them up to be happy but not, um, able to experience it.

I also found it really meta-funny how Megan was literally written off (the show) with a fat paycheck.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:06 AM on April 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hmmm, the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act was passed into law in 1970. And all cigarette advertising on TV was banned as of 2 January 1971.
posted by crossoverman at 6:09 PM on April 25, 2015


The final four episode titles have been released:
- "Time & Life"
- "Lost Horizon"
- "The Milk and Honey Route"
- "Person to Person"

Time & Life is a reference to the Time-Life Building, in which SC&P resides.
Clips from the 1937 film Lost Horizon were seen in the 7th season premiere. (I almost wondered if this might be a reference to the 70s musical remake, but that was released in 1973.)
The Milk and Honey Route is a book from the 1930s, subtitled "A Handbook for Hobos".

Person to Person is deliberately vague, it could be a reference to a lot of things.
posted by crossoverman at 2:24 AM on April 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


Tomorrow (4/28/2015), PBS is premiering a documentary about Kent State and other events of May, 1970: "The Day The 60s Died."

It seems a bit odd to me that such an important event barely got a mention in the show.
posted by dnash at 11:31 AM on April 27, 2015


Disagree. The show pretty explicitly hits on major events as they affect these characters. Kent State did not necessarily impact the lives of the SC&P crew, unlike say, MLK's death. Sally obviously is an exception.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:38 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I love how this show never brings us catharsis. Nothing is tied up in an easy, neat little story with a happy or sad ending and we exhale thinking "ok that's done". It's all just so uneasy. Like real life, sure, but it's an unusual thing for a TV show to do. It's great.

I also loved the shot of Joan and Richard joyfully in bed together. It's the third image in this JPG up on Mad Style, where she's in a full robe and he's completely naked and they're in bed together. It seemed like such an intimate image and a reversal of the usual male gaze thing where the camera lingers on the woman's body. This time we see his curves, his slightly fleshy crease in a slightly awkward pose as he caresses Joan. Very human and sweet.
posted by Nelson at 7:19 AM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


I am rewatching 7a and just realized the bold girl at dinner, Sarah, is the one whose mother died in S7E2, A Day's Work, which brought Sally to the city for the funeral.
posted by mochapickle at 12:13 AM on May 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oh wow, mochapickle, that's a great catch and gives that scene at dinner a lot more emotional resonance.
posted by lunasol at 11:23 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


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