Mad Men: In Care Of

Posted on June 24, 2013

If the final episode of season six of Mad Men felt like the final episode of Mad Men, period, that was Mad+Men+S6E13+12probably by design. Matthew Weiner & Co. never did like sticking to the expected story structure of a season and they’ve often revealed all the major shocks and moves forward in the story at the penultimate episode of a season, rather than the finale. So it makes sense they’d shock the hell out of us all during the penultimate show finale rather than the actual one. Pete is free of all family ties and exiled to California; Ted is trying desperately to maintain his family ties by moving them all to California; Megan reveals that she doesn’t want to work on her failing marriage, essentially calls Don’s kids crazy, and walks out the door to California; after a full season of getting buffeted around by the whims of the men around her, Peggy winds up in the corner office, with all of SC&P’s creative department under her feet; and Don Draper is out on the street once again, staring at the whorehouse where he grew up, all of his demons having effectively destroyed his life. Never before have thesMad+Men+S6E13+14e characters all been so scattered and far apart from each other. Another “broken family” in a long line of them in Don’s life.

The grand irony of Dick Whitman’s long exile from the world and feverish need to cover up his true self is that his greatest fear of discovery turns out to be true: people abandon him the minute they find out who he is. Just as Betty walked out once she found out Don wasn’t, in fact, a football star who was angry at his father but instead simply poor white trash, the partners of SC&P forced him out the minute he told them all about his Whershey Whorehouse antics. For a decade and a half, he’s lived in mortal fear of being found out and it turns out all his fears were well-founded, from his perspective. Megan’s the only person who stayed with him after hearing the truth of him but it’s been a struggle from day one for the two of them to stay connected and with last night’s angry monologue after finding out he screwed her over yet again, we find out that Megan isn’t quite as committed to this marriage as she tries to appear. And yet despite all the unrelenting darkness of this season and the constant threat of abandonment hanging over his head, Don Mad+Men+S6E13+4still tries to reach out; to reveal a tiny little bit of himself to the people he’s hurting the most. Don does, in fact, show a little bit of growth here.

EDITED TO ADD: Because several have misunderstood us here; we’re not saying the partners ordered Don out because of his childhood or that Betty left him because he wasn’t a football player. We’re saying that, from Dick’s perspective, his greatest fears turned out to be true each time.

Sally obviously is the young woman most affected by Don’s demons at the moment and just as we said in last week’s review, her attempts to run away from her father by embracing her mother’s desires for her isn’t working, because no matter how hard she tries to, she can’t get away from her father’s influence. Like father, like daughter: they both spend the night “in jail” after getting drunk. Once again Matthew Weiner rests the entire emotional weight of a scene on Kiernan Shipka and once again, she knocks it out of the park. The look she gives Don at the end; that look of understanding coupled with anger, compassion and suspicion; almost had us bursting into tears, it was that effective. She may never forgive him for what he did, but there’s some small part of her that understands him better. But will she run away from it like so many do when they glimpse the truth of Don? The show is deliciously ambiguous on that front.

Having said that, the ambiguity sometimes got a little annoying, if not downright insulting at times. Matthew Weiner says in a post-season interview conducted by Alan Sepinwall that not only did Joan land the Avon account, but that he assumes the audience understands that. This has always been the major flaw in Mad Men‘s writing and the problem that arises when subtlety and ambiguity are goals for the show: the writers sometimes lose track of what’s in their heads and what’s on the page. We’re reminded of either the commentary track or the “Inside Mad Men” video on “My Old Kentucky Home,” where MatMad+Men+S6E13+6thew Weiner goes on and on about what Betty and Don are thinking as they kiss each other at the end of Roger’s party; important, insightful bits of character information that inform the scene and put it in context – none of which appeared onscreen or would be knowable in any way by the audience. On the one hand, we appreciate a show that expects the audience to keep up and figure things out along the way without being spoonfed. On the other hand, the show’s pacing problems grew to epidemic proportions this season and it seems to us we could have been spared 30 seconds of  Dick Whitman’s Whorehouse Frolics in order to get one short line informing us that the most important and dangerous thing Joan did all season actually paid off for her.

Similarly, it feels like entire scenes are missing from Pete’s story this episode as he went from threatening to destroy Bob for his mother’s death to somewhat resignedly packing up his bags and moving to California. We get why he’s off Chevy and we can even understand why he’d choose to go to California, but there was nothing bridging those scenes to show us how he got to that point. Bob humiliated him in front of the Chevy execs and that’s why Pete backed downMad+Men+S6E13+8? Okay, so it would have been impossible to prove that Manolo actually killed his mother or that Bob had anything at all to do with it, but it seems odd that Pete would just resign himself to that fact with little in the way of explanation.

Granted – and we’re likely to get into trouble with this – we believe Bob when he says he had nothing to do with Manolo and Dorothy’s fate. Literally every single thing Bob has ever done in this story was done to advance in his career or protect his job. There has never been any action taken toward any larger plan or scheme. To be honest, we find the whole Manolo thing kind of hokey and silly for this show. We said all along that Pete was right to fire him, since there always was a kind of legacy of gay gigolo types preying on socialites, but to have both Pete’s parents die in such dramatic and similar manners is one of the ways in which the show has lost some of its subtlety this season. We think the writers have been playing around with more soap opera-style arcs this season, using the framing device of Megan’s soap, “To Have and To Hold,” but even so; an aging socialite who gets thrown off a cruise ship to her death by her gay Spanish gigolo husband doesn’t sound remotely like a Mad Men plMad+Men+S6E13+7ot to us.

On the other hand, we’re thrilled that Bob is still in the story, still gay (and if you don’t believe THAT, trust us; this exchange between Joan and him: “I’m gaining weight!” “You can’t tell!” is PURE Gay and his best Fruit Fly, as is, “Gail had her hair done for you!”), and not quite the scary sociopath he sometimes came across as. Looking at it from his perspective, he was kind of right to humiliate Pete like that. Pete just told the Chevy execs that Bob wasn’t going to make it to dinner with them; clearly signaling his intent to screw with Bob’s status on the account. But Pete should have remembered the lesson he learned last week: you don’t tangle with preternatural charmers like Bob Benson or Don Draper. You’d do best to either get out of their way or hang onto their coat tails. For a brief moment, it looked like Pete was going to do just that after last episode, but he couldn’t contain himself and Bob got him yanked off the account simply by smiling and handing him a set of keys.

As for Peggy, she’s HAD it. “Well aren’t you lucky,” she spits out to Ted, “To have decisions.” That’s been her arc all season as she’s wound up in a home and a job that she got pushed into by other men. And while she’s snarled and strained at her restraints all season, she never got that moment of freedom or self-actualization. That she’s now got the corner office to herself is thrilling, but as with so much on Mad Men, it’s likely to be illusory and fleeting. She’sMad+Men+S6E13+9 not going to be made Creative Director, most likely. It’s still 1968 and she’s still a woman, after all. Besides, slimy Duck was right on the scene already with Don’s replacement. But seeing her behind Don’s desk, looking out the window Draper-style, we can really see for the first time just how close Peggy is to realizing all her career dreams. That Stan was standing there to admire her for it gives a whole battalion of Stan+Peggy fans hope for a relationship between the two down the line. That SC&P has been such a ridiculously volatile company in its short five years speaks to the possibility that more upheavals down the road will continue to benefit her if she just keeps her head down and does the work like she always has.

Bullet time, because this is already going long:

  • Margaret Sterling Hargrove is a spoiled little bitch.
  • Roger indicated to Bob that he would do well to be a “family man” if he’s going to handle the Chevy account, so we wonder if he’ll go the Sal Romano route and find some poor girl to marry him. We hope not, if only because it’s a storyline that’s been done. It’s possible he could make a play for Joan, but it seems pretty clear to us that Joan knows he’s gay, which makes it seem unlikely. On the other hand, we’d love to see Roger Sterling try to tangle with him over Joan’s affections. Bob’ll find out quickly that Roger’s no pushover like Pete.
  • By the way, is Bob the sole accounts man on Chevy now? That’s a hell of a move up the ladder.
  • Two somewhat sad callbacks to the pilot episode, “Band of Gold”playing in the seedy bar, echoing the same song playing in a more glamorous Mid-Century bar in the opening moments of the show, and Pete’s goodbye to Tammy, which was framed exactly the same way as Don’s goodnight to his children.
  • Trudy’s sometimes portrayed as a supernaturally understanding wife figure and we have to admit, we had a hard time buying her kindness toward Pete this episode. He detonated their marriage in a pretty ugly way less than a year before. She’s a single mother in 1968 with the same upper-class expectations for her life that Betty Hofstadt once had. We like that they’re drawing distinctions between her and Betty (who was consumed with rage for years following the divorce), but her calmness and kind looks were a little unsettling – unless Pete and Trudy aren’t really done yet (which we have to admit, is our hope). Pete’s a shit, but he deserves more happiness in his life.
  • For the first time, Betty openly expresses regret over the divorce to Don. We don’t think this signals a return to a relationship for them, but we do think she was only able to be that honest with him on the phone because they’d recently slept together again. We really felt for her when she said that no matter how hard she tries to steer Sally right, the bad always takes over the good in her. She’s her father’s daughter to a T.Mad+Men+S6E13+5
  • The more we think about it, the more annoyed we are that Joan’s story this episode was all about reconciling with Roger, with not a word uttered about Avon. She’s more than who she’s slept or been romantically involved with, writers. Come on, now.
  • We think there’s something subtly interesting about Roger’s reaction to Don’s reveal; a sense that he’s both a little repulsed by Don’s seedy upbringing and more than a little offended by the way in which he revealed it. He’s been let down by someone he considered a friend (in his narcissistic, Roger Sterling kind of way).
  • Also notable was Joan’s look away from Don during that meeting. That was the moment he – and we – realized he had no friends here.
  • Hamm knocked it out of the park with that anti-Carousel, anti-nostalgia Hershey’s “pitch.” “Buy Hershey’s, the choice of whores and fucked-up little kids for generations!” Speaking of which…
  • “FUCK THE AGENCY!” Megan gets her major anger moment and it was a long time in coming. Will Don ditch everything to follow her to California? Granted, he doesn’t have much left to ditch.
  • How chilling was Randian Lion Bert Cooper in that partner’s meeting? The one man on the planet who can get Don Draper to shut the hell up with one sentence. “The verdict has been reached.”
  • Kiernan Shipka absolutely wrecked us with that last look. A devastating bit of wordless acting that is astonishing to see in someone so young.
  • Bob is in a frilly apron at the end.

MUCH more to come in Wednesday’s Mad Style entry, not the least of which will be spent on Peggy’s amazing “I am woman, hear me roar,” polyester pantsuit.

 

 

[Stills: tomandlorenzo.com]

    • Heidi/FranticButFab

      I hope this means Peggy will be wearing the pants at SC&P next season.

      Also: my mom had a pantsuit almost exactly like that in the early ’70s! I think it’s immortalized in one of our Olan Mills family portraits …

      • ccinnc

        I had that pantsuit when I was 13 or so, but in a beige glen plaid. LOVED IT.

        • janneyb

          Me too! Only mine was pink and kelly green plaid AND included a skirt as part of the ensemble. SO chic!

          • ThaliaMenninger

            I had a culotte jumper in that pink and green plaid! It was this weird sort of wool bonded to something that felt like nylon, which made it kind of stiff and keep its weird culotte jumper shape. The polyester pantsuit I had was not plaid, however. Bummer. The pink culotte jumper was in about 68, I think, making me 11 or 12, and the poly pantsuit was probably 69 or 70.

          • ricky rocky

            matching skirt VERYYY CHIC. in 1968 I would buy pastel long sleeve shirts with a coordinated neckerchief. It was very Alexander Mundy in “It Takes a Thief.” Of course I was bullied for being gay. The challenges to being fabulous.

            • formerlyAnon

              One of THE most awful experiences in middle school – just being a witness with no clue, at age 11 how to intervene – was riding the school bus with a kid who was bullied for his fashion choices. It was never actually physically violent, but it was cruel. He was two grades ahead of me so I didn’t really know him. But he did the matching neckerchiefs and polyester shirts, and more stylish (platform) shoes than was the norm.

              The saddest thing was that nothing he wore would have raised an eyebrow had we all been 19 or 20, rather than 11, 12 and 13. (At least until the end of the school year when he obviously said “Fuck it all” on some level and wore glitter nail polish for the last two weeks of school.)

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=572633200 Tanzina Ahmed

              That kid sounds like a total bad-ass. I’m sure he’s still being awesome where he is now.

            • ricky rocky

              whether it’s heaven or earth..

            • formerlyAnon

              Yeah. His instinct for self-preservation was definitely over-ruled by other emotional needs.

            • fnarf

              It was JC Penney’s hippest, as advertised by The Monkees. I have a bunch of Penney’s and Sears catalogs from that era, and it’s great fun to look through. I also have a complete run of GQ for the year 1968, which is just brain-searing.

            • ricky rocky

              GQ was such an incredible magazine back in the day. It was the BIBLE. And it was so gay but they eventually removed the gay and so went it’s edge and real daring..

            • Therese Bohn

              fnarf– You MUST scan and post ALL of your Penney’s and Sears Catalogs from that era on FB or tumblr!!! That’s fashion-nirvana!!! I’ll be your first follower!

            • ricky rocky

              after me. I used to love the underwear section. now kids just go online to see anything they want…lol

            • decormaven

              A poster on TWOP had posted a link to scans of the Sears Wish Book from the 60s. Google on Sears Wish Book and you can see them.

            • Therese Bohn

              Thank you! (Trying to remember what TWOP is!) But I still want fnarf to scan!

            • decormaven

              Television Without Pity

            • Therese Bohn

              Ah, of course! Thanks.

            • formerlyAnon

              I have often wondered. I saw him somewhere later that year wearing honest-to-god make-up (I still remember – ice blue eye shadow, mascara & visible lip gloss which I thought was both totally cool and shocking) which anywhere my 11-year-old self would have been (movie theater? shopping center?), would have been a flat-out suicidal choice for a 13-year-old boy in our small southern city. Psychedelic rock was barely acknowledged and glam rock didn’t arrive for several years.

            • fnarf

              Oh, dear. I showed up at the first day of seventh grade, in 1970, wearing my pride and joy — a fringed suede leather vest, with a flowered shirt and wide-wale cords. I ended that day locked in a locker for an hour until a janitor let me out. Ugh.

            • ricky rocky

              there are people who are still trying to lock us in lockers. f*** those motherf****** your look was so cool that it actually caused people to react violently. well f****** done, man !

            • formerlyAnon

              Ahead of your time for my town. In 1973 you’d have been all the rage. In 1970 I fear your reception (at least in 7th grade) wouldn’t have been much better.

              (Item #203 in the list: Why I Can’t Wait to Ditch this Place for a REAL City)

        • Travelgrrl

          Mine was just like that, but a JUMPSUIT. Totally late 60’s fab.

          • ricky rocky

            funny how jumpsuits (that looked like car mechanic overalls) was the sh*t in ’75.

      • Kathryn Sanderson

        I love that Peggy is wearing the pants, but sorry, I think that outfit is hideous. Schoolgirl plaid but with pants, and the worst of both. In polyester. Barf!

        • Browsery

          I got the symbolism, but I too, thought it was hideous. Sally Draper is only a few years older than I am so I know the fashions.

      • Alice Teeple

        I LOVED her pantsuit. Sorry, I might be in the minority here, but she looked adorable in it.

        • formerlyAnon

          Objectively, I see the flaws. But that time period’s fashion & I are imprinted on each other like baby ducks on their Mama. The good AND the bad.

          • Alice Teeple

            I was much younger than my cousin, and her hand-me-downs had me looking like a cast member of the Partridge Family in the early 80s. I was so embarrassed as a kid to be dressed like that, but when I look back now (after working in a vintage clothing store for years) I think, “you know, it wasn’t that horrible.” I thought Peggy objectively looked sweet in that goofy outfit and pulled it off. I also have been liking Dawn’s clothes (when we see her).

            • CozyCat

              No. The 70s fashions were that horrible.

              The 80s were worse. I really don’t get the revival of looks from those periods.

            • ricky rocky

              au contraire. one word : GIA

            • CozyCat

              Of course Gia was great. But go watch a TV show or a movie made during the 70s and 80s and look at the clothes. Or better yet, talk to someone who had to wear them. Shudder….

            • ricky rocky

              You ARE talking to someone who wore 70’s and 80’s clothes. Calvin Klein, Lagerfeld, Azzedine Alaïa, Versace, Missoni, Fiorucci, Yamamoto, Kenzo, Perry Ellis, Halston, Norma Kamali, Maud Frizon, Thierry Mugler, Claude Montana, Yves St. Laurent, Vivienne Westwood, Armani, Parachute, Complice, Burberry, Gucci, Stephen Sprouse, Commes des Garcon,. I can throw out dozens of more legendary names. Some of these designs are in museums.

              You are confusing people who can’t shop or know what looks good on them with the actual brilliant designers we had… (imho)

            • Alice Teeple

              OMG I know. I just remember the 80s as being a blur of jersey knits and bad graphics. When college kids in my town were starting to do 80s parties and looking for ripped sweatshirts and “Cosby sweaters”, it was a truly cringeworthy fashion moment.

            • CozyCat

              And those shoulder pads. And the Nancy Reagan dresses.

              And don’t get me started on the hair….

            • Alice Teeple

              I am eternally grateful for never having a perm.

            • P M

              Oh my gawd – the WIDE stripes, the TALL hair, the flat looking hats… And I was born in ’82 – and I still didn’t like them.

              Now, the mascara and the lipstick that was red as a gash – that I’ll keep

            • andreawey

              OMG I thought it was cute, my mother sewed me pantsuits like that and I was mortified to have to wear them but it looks cute on her. I have been holding out hope for a story line for Dawn, she seems so smart and she’s beautiful!

          • ricky rocky

            that great pantsuit look rocked. a true precursor to the “Maude crocheted maxi vest” You know exactly what I’m talking about.

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              It was more like a contemporary of the “Maude vest.” Remember Megan’s crocheted jumpsuit from a couple of episodes ago (or rather her character’s)? Also, I’ve seen tons of crochet patterns from the late 60s…including Maude-type vests.

            • ailujailuj

              >gasp< yes yes! My mother had a pair of purple suede "hot pants", a white ribbed knit top that had the overly exaggerated lace-up inn the front, and a long (mid-thigh length) crocheted maxi vest.. Of course, brilliantly paired with the tall white patent leather boot. But it was certainly the vest that made the outfit.

            • ricky rocky

              delicious !

        • jen_vasm

          I loved it, too. So have we seen any other female in the office in a pants before? She is totally cutting edge for 1968 officewear, signaling the 1970s. She has laid waste to all of her schoolgirl/man-derived/hot chick ensembles with that pantsuit.

          • Aurumgirl

            Both Megan and Peggy, in this pantsuit especially, made me think of Mary Tyler Moore.

          • Elizabeth Buchan-Kimmerly

            Yes, when the gang stole the agency after firing themselves, Don phoned Joan, who turned up in side zipped capris. But that was the weekend, not a work day. And technically, she was not working there at the time, having quit when she married Dr. Rapey.

        • Chris

          Me too, and of course it would be plaid!

        • something

          Well, let me join you in that minority, if so, cause I got goosebumps seeing her in that amazing pantsuit. Pants at work! In Don’s office! Where she belongs!

        • MandaK

          kitschk

          • Alice Teeple

            I thought the whore red turtleneck was a nice touch in that pantsuit ensemble. Ted really left his mark on her. How Belle Jolie!

      • sockandaphone

        my mom did too! she was in her teens tho during the 70s so it was a bit more youthful but definitely there are pictures with her in it!

      • purkoy28

        yup, good notice, she rarely wears pants and never to the office….. that is what it must represent

        • Chris

          Wearing pants was still a huge deal in 1968. Up into the 1970’s restaurants and other places would refuse to serve women wearing pants. One actress (I forget who) had to pull off her pants and use her tunic top as a mini mini to get in someplace. Pants in the workplace is really cutting edge at this time.

          • Danielle

            It was a holiday though, when the office was closed and most people weren’t there. Dress codes are usually far more relaxed (or non-existent even) in situations like that.

            • Chris

              Yes, that’s true. What I thought was significant was that this was clearly a dressy, work pantsuit. It’s not the casual pants Joan threw on to help clear out SC when they decided to leave. This is a tailored outfit that is meant to be worn instead of a dress. I agree it was worn when almost everyone was gone. Peggy isn’t that much of a trendsetter/rule breaker.

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              Dressy work pantsuit? Maybe it’s because I came of age in the 80s when “Dress for Success” and the Reagan influence had come in, but the colors and the cut of that pantsuit don’t say “work” to me. Dressy, maybe. The top actually reminds me of a Catholic schoolgirl jumper, and the pants….eek! We really are saying hello to the 70s, with bright polyester. When I was in college, dressing for interviews, etc. was all about the navy blue suit (with a skirt) and the blouse with a big bow. Hideous in their own way, I suppose but at least discreet and not neon-bright. (And the blouse didn’t necessarily have to have a bow.) I’m just allergic to 70s looks in general, maybe because I was in junior high in the mid 70s. Traumatic time in life, traumatic clothes. Plus, my tastes are just kinda conservative and my wardrobe runs to classic and (hopefully) timeless styles…and lots of jeans and t-shirts.

            • ricky rocky

              “Plus, my tastes are just kinda conservative and my wardrobe runs to
              classic and (hopefully) timeless styles…and lots of jeans and
              t-shirts.”

              When you are on your deathbed you aren’t going to wish you were more boring. insert awful carpe diem cliche here

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              I’m not going to wish I’d worn more plaid polyester pantsuits, either. Anyway, I express myself in other ways than fashion. My clothes may be boring, but I’m not.

            • ricky rocky

              Point taken. ;)

            • purkoy28

              she is working on thanksgiving holiday, thats why she would wear that pant suit to work, if it was a weekday she wouldnt. even if it is a dressy pantsuit. so i agree with danielle as thats why she is wearing it.

            • Glammie

              Good catch. It was still a bit iffy to wear a pantsuit to work in some jobs–a lot of workplaces had rules against doing so. My grade school, I think, allowed them the following year–and this was liberal California.

              Though is it Thanksgiving weekend at that point?

            • Jackie4g

              In 1972, at my first post college job at Bamberger’s (Before it became part of Macy’s) you could wear pants to work as long as you wore a jacket or tunic that covered the hips. Since all the ‘hip’ shoulder padded jackets were on the short side, “hips” became a loosly defined term.

            • ricky rocky

              tyranny of the boring class

            • Alice Teeple

              I worked a retail job for a woman who did not allow jeans, and preferred female employees wearing skirts and dresses. Really handy when I had to climb over ten billion boxes in the store room to fill orders. I wrecked a great skirt working there.

            • formerlyAnon

              Bamberger’s!

              (Sorry, big part of my childhood & haven’t heard or seen the name in years.)

            • Jackie4g

              Bambergers was a great general merchandise department store and then it became all corporate and uppity. I miss it, too. Macy’s just isn’t the same.

            • formerlyAnon

              My godmother was a hairdresser at Bamberger’s for decades. (In New Jersey) The stories . . .

            • kerryev

              Meaning CYA?

            • Jackie4g

              Literally. It was akin to the WW II genius who decided Betty Grable wasn’t allowed to have an ass crack. They airbrushed that famous glancing over her shoulder poster to give her a solid behind. We were not supposed to show the area between waist and crotch. The jacket length had to cover that area on a woman. There were no rules for mens’ jacket lengths. Oh, and stockboys, which was the actual name of the position, were supposed to wear a shirt and tie (!) under their blue cotton work jackets. So you can date the demise of dress codes to that area. People just would not conform, so TPTB grew less insistant.

            • kerryev

              Hooray for euphemisms allowing for loose definition, then! The old saw about evil being its own undoing may apply to stuffiness too.

          • ThaliaMenninger

            We had a dress code specifying skirts for girls at school until about 1971. Pants (and especially jeans) were verboten until I hit high school. I do remember by mom wearing pant suits to work all through the mid-to-late 70s.

            • Spicytomato1

              My Catholic school let us wear a “pants” version of the ubiquitous plaid uniform skirt starting in 1978. Brown and gold and white…not terribly flattering in skirt form, even worse as bell bottoms.

            • Kate

              My mom and a bunch of other girls wore pants to school in protest that they couldn’t wear pants to school. :) I think she graduated in 1971.

            • Rhonda Shore

              I was part of a pants walkout in middle school, which was called Junior High School back then.

          • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ foodycatAlicia

            I read that story in Vanity Fair – I can’t remember who it was but it was someone fabulous!

            • Glammie

              I kind of think it was Nan–damn name blank-out–famous clotheshorse/socialite

            • decormaven

              You are a winner! it was Nan Kempner at La Côte Basque.

            • Glammie

              Oh good–I’m operating on almost no sleep, but even my sleep-addled brain recalls that story. Go Nan!

          • purkoy28

            ok? so are u finding a way to argue with us or are u agreeing?

            • Chris

              Neither, it was a statement of how cutting edge Peggy was being.

          • Travelgrrl

            I went to a public school, and we HAD to wear dresses in 1968. When it was winter, my Mom said ‘eff it’ and put pants on underneath our dresses.

            • Chris

              I remember reading at Miss Porter’s the girls weren’t allowed to wear pants unless the weather went to 10 degrees or under. They had to wear skirts even when it was below freezing.

            • cateinTO

              I went to a Catholic school that didn’t have uniforms, starting kindergarten in 1969, and when I left there in 1972, girls still weren’t allowed to wear pants. We could wear snow pants (it was in Canada) over our skirts/dresses to play outside.

          • fnarf

            Yup. One thing that’s hard to grasp about this time period is how fast things changed — 1972 is a universe away from 1966 or 1968. Also, things changed earlier in some circles than others — Megan, for instance, could get away with outfits that would get you sent home (or even fired) in an office — though a NY ad office is going to be more advanced than an accounting firm in Seattle.

            That pantsuit in 1968 would have been very fashion-forward and somewhat unconventional, though not counter-culture at all. I even remember from the time the endless conversations that pantsuits occasioned — “oh, I don’t know, do you think it’s all right?”

          • ricky rocky

            don’t forget women weren’t allowed to even eat alone in many restaurants because naturally they HAD to be prostitutes.

      • KayeBlue

        Since this massive thread is becoming about pants in the workplace:

        Until 2007, yes, that’s 2-0-0-7, female prosecutors were not permitted to wear pants in court in a major East Coast city. A female District Attorney enforced this policy; she was convinced that older jurors would find female prosecutors “too threatening” in pants. Cross my heart, hope to die. Ridiculousness abounds.

        • starrika

          WTF. We’ve been wearing pants in court in bumfuck, Ohio since the mid-90s.

          • KayeBlue

            I know, right? Believe me, it was a massively unpopular policy. Also, stockings were required with the skirts.

          • 3boysful

            Same in Charlotte, NC. But I started out in Dallas in the skirt suits that looked like mens’ suits with the little silk foulard bow ties. Gag.

            • PeachCat

              Hey I’m in Charlotte now and am from Dallas, too! My first job was with “Dallas Magazine” in 1985.

            • 3boysful

              Same year I started practicing law. Did you live in the Village? We lived in a condo behind the Park n Shop (I think?); you know, where the SMU students bought their kegs.

            • PeachCat

              Oh no, I was the anti-Village, Lakewood/East Dallas/proto-Deep Ellum type. I know the Park and Shop, though. Closest I got to the Village was the Half Price Books on Northwest Highway. Were you downtown? I was at a building adjacent to Thanksgiving Square and across from the big Sanger Harris store. Or was it Foley’s by that time?

            • 3boysful

              We bought a house in Lakewood behind the Mockingbird Skaggs Alpha Beta (I always think of the comic who dubbed it the grocery store for ugly sorority girls!), and I officed in the Crescent.

            • PeachCat

              Lots of power meetings at the Crescent Hotel and lots of window shopping at Stanley Korshak. I wonder if that reference was a counterpoint to the Tom Thumb on Greenville, which was known as the “meet market” grocery store. Anyway that became an Albertson’s…were you in the neighborhood that was built in the 1970s with streets like “Bob O Link”? or across Abrams in the “M” streets? I was much further down by the lake – lived on LaVista and later Gaston Ave.

      • lilyvonschtupp

        Like TLo said, Peggy ain’t gonna take Don’s place. At least not that this point in time.

        Why do you think Duck brought old boy in there?

    • nosniveling

      awesome recap for an awesome episode!

    • AnneElliot

      Great recap! But I have to ask — how many lawnmowers do you rate it?

      • Glammie

        MM tends to not do lawn mowers in the final episode. Though this time Matt Weiner did it in the interview–what the hell does he mean by assuming we all knew Joan got Avon? Yeesh. A single line the next episode–“Avon calling for you,” would have done it.

        Only tell was Joan wearing lipstick pink.

    • decormaven

      I loved how Ted initially pitched his California plea to Don. “You put all that energy and optimism back into the business.” Ha ha! I think Ted knew he was screwed in that respect before he started when he saw Don’s hand tremble as he pointed toward the bar cart.

      • Chris

        I thought that Ted mentioning inadvertently that his Dad was an alcoholic in that exchange with Don over the drinks was a nice touch. Ted doesn’t want to screw up his kids childhood like the alcoholism did his? (He’s still a jackass though).

        • Joan Arkham

          Was the “you can’t stop all at once” genuine concern for Don (DT shakes?) or a sabotage?

          • decormaven

            I think it was concern. Ted may not like competing with Don as a business adversary, but he has compassion for a fellow man.

            • Chris

              Yes, I think it was personal and practical/professional before the Hershey’s meeting.

            • MilaXX

              Agreed. They wanted that account and needed Don to be able to deliver.

            • Glammie

              Ted seems to be weak more than mean. *Knew* his affair with Peggy was bad news, but sure didn’t expect to last all of one episode.

          • Chris

            Yes genuine concern at him getting through the meeting. Because he saw it with his Dad he knew Don had to have a belt or he would get the shakes.

          • purkoy28

            it was concern for him but also (mostly) for the account. Everyone who knows people like Don knows that he cant stop cold turkey, especially before a meeting. It was what probably geared him to his big confession, his mind wasnt working the way it normally would during detox.

            • Sue Shea

              i was reading about that last night. super interesting point re: how is brain was not detoxed, even if he had stopped drinking cold turkey.

            • Spicytomato1

              I never would have guessed that stopping cold turkey could be so potentially dangerous until I witnessed it myself. Big drinker friend quit — we all thought it was a very good thing — and 4 days later he was in the ICU with kidney failure. He pulled through but it was a horrific process.

            • ailujailuj

              For the curious, watch Leaving Las Vegas. But do so carefully.

          • fnarf

            It was “don’t blow this important meeting, like all the others”.

            • Spicytomato1

              Yes. But I thought I detected some real compassion as well as concern over the business. Didn’t exactly work out, though!

            • Glammie

              I think maybe it did. I don’t think Don being intoxicated had much to do with his telling the Hershey whore story. I think part of the self-immolation was deliberate. He couldn’t take being Don Draper anymore.

              I also think that while everyone else was rejecting him, the one person with whom he connected was Sally. The only possibility of reaching her was by being honest.

              On some level, though not perhaps consciously, Don decided to pay the piper.

          • Charlotte406

            The DTs are nothing to mess with. I’ve had to have that conversation on several occasions with doctors when my mother’s had surgery. If they know about it, they can medicate you through it. If they don’t the DTs can kill you. My daughter-of-a-drunk take on Ted was “we don’t want you shaky and sweating booze out your pores. Take a belt and do the job. Sober up on your own time.”

            • filmcricket

              There’s a story in the oral history about Hunter Thompson about him going through the DTs after surgery, because he started detoxing before they could wake him up properly and get him drinking again. Didn’t kill him, but sounded horrible.

            • Charlotte406

              It’s not pretty.

    • Joan Arkham

      Does anything say “hello 70s” like that pantsuit?

      I have to say, I’m glad I was wrong about a literal Manson/Sharon Tate ending.

      Does anyone else think Pete’s mom faked her death and is living it up in South America? It’s already (as noted) such a weirdly soap opera plot point.

      • Kate Andrews

        I think the writers let down their hair with Pete this season — he had so many fits of pique, which I love, so I’m not complaining — and the soap-operatic plots (Manolo, his mother, neighbor woman).

        • ideated_eyot

          VERY big season for Pete. Imagining him next season in California… seems as if the show is not only making VK bald, but encouraging him to gain a potbelly.

          • Glammie

            I read that they made him gain 20 pounds. Poor Vincent, between that and his hairline . . .

            • Paige

              I think I read that they are shaving the hairline back, but I could be wrong

            • Glammie

              Yeah, that too. VK naturally looks really young–so they started shaving his hairline and made him gain 20 pounds. Please someone nominate the guy for an Emmy. He’s so clearly a good sport to play Pete-the-slimeball the way he does.

          • Travelgrrl

            I kind of missed the part when Pete got assigned to California? All of a sudden, he was going too.

            I think Pete could do with a little sunshine and a new start.

            • Spicytomato1

              Yes, I was caught off guard by that development, too. Seemed abrupt. But they packed so much into the episode that it’s understandable.

            • ricky rocky

              its was abrupt and weird. he might as well said, “ok, off to get my sex change now” out of NOWHERE

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000570151428 Jo Bleaux

              Yes, I need to rewatch episode, but I couldn’t figure out why Pete was going to California. I thought they established that only one person was being sent out there, and that one person was Ted. I was wondering if maybe his going was an oblique indication that Ted’s bid to go west was vetoed by the partners.

            • lilyvonschtupp

              See this is what ticked me off somewhat. Did Pete decide to leave for CA on his own? Or was he formally reassigned?

              Plus, is this the end of VK’s character on the show?

            • P M

              Say it ain’t so! What would we do if we didn’t have Pete Campbell to hate?

      • Melanie

        Does anything say “hello 70s” like that pantsuit?

        Except for Trudy’s hairstyle this episode? Nope!

      • Susan Collier

        Manolo didn’t kill her; it was her scheming lookalike/identical cousin!

        • Sue Shea

          good one!

      • Mia Hampton

        Sooo obvious to me that Pete’s mom is alive & kicking, I thought they made it obvious to the viewers of 2013 on purpose.

        • 3hares

          What about 2013 made this obvious? I think she’s dead.

          • Chris

            That’s what MW said, he’s usually pretty hesitant to come out and say definitively but he said something like “yes, she is most likely dead.”

            • CozyCat

              Bhah. MW won’t make a definitive statement about ANYTHING.

              “Will the sun rise tomorrow? I think it probably will”

            • lilyvonschtupp

              Before this MW said that nobody was going to die this season.

            • Chris

              Yes, I guess he meant the “major” characters.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000570151428 Jo Bleaux

            I agree — she hardly has the intellectual capacity left to pull off a big scheme. And, Manny, aka Marcus, certainly had no more use for her once he learned of the family’s financial straits.

        • not_Bridget

          On what money? With whom to take care of her? She had a pleasant cruise that ended quickly. Far better than years of increasing dementia, watched over by kids she never cared for. And who returned her regard, at last….

          • filmcricket

            That conversation between Pete and Bud was one of the most darkly humourous ones this show has ever featured.

        • Joan Arkham

          The more I think of it, the more I think it’s the writers reacting/winking to all the crazy conspiracy theories surrounding the show.

        • Travelgrrl

          I think she just wandered off the ship. No murder.

      • Travelgrrl

        I think she just fell off; Manolo was a gold digger but I don’t think he actually killed the woman!

        • susu11

          I’m still not sure about the whole cruise plot…Manolo was deceitful enough to marry Peter’s mother over international waters- who knows if he wanted to cash in on some fat insurance policy/inheritance that he thought could only be accessible to him once she kicked the bucket? The fact that he also had an alias name also is a little questionable. Also didn’t he disappear after her death, which is why the private investigator offered to search and leave “no stone unturned” in finding him? If he’s innocent, I don’t know if he would have ran like that instead of cooperating in finding Pete’s mother. But maybe I missed something? The storyline is crazy soap opera-ish.

          • Travelgrrl

            The guy said “He might run, now that he knows she had no fortune”, not that Manolo had already left the ship (and said he would talk to Manolo). The cost was to investigate and try to prosecute him. That being said, the fake name (another Don D / Bob B) was hardly reassuring.

            I still maintain that she wandered off the ship. Manolo can be a gigolo without being a murderer,, which WOULD be awfully soap opera-ish!

            • susu11

              Ah, thanks for clearing that up! I have to rewatch that phone conversation again. I can totally see why you maintain that he’s a gold digging gigolo and not a killer but the whole thing is just weird to me, that I suppose anything could be possible. There are lots of murder cases just like this that take place on cruise ships. Any way you slice it though, I think it’s kind of sad how dismissive the Campbell brothers were about investigating the case, even if she was an awful woman. I would feel like I would need to know for sure what happened.

            • 3hares

              Imo, it doesn’t make much difference if he pushed her or not. He dragged a demented woman to a dangerous situation and didn’t take care of her, except to marry her for her money.

            • Paige

              Remember, the last words his mother said to Pete were “you’ve always been unlovable.” Not a lot of love and affection in that WASPy family.

            • MartyBellerMask

              The “authorities” are just as gold-diggery as Manolo. They wanted to get every drop of money out of the Campbell brothers.

            • Travelgrrl

              Didn’t think of that – brilliant!

            • decormaven

              Dang tootin’. “No stone unturned, no expense spared.” Ka-ching!!!

            • TeraBat

              That’s kind of how I read the scene – the Campbell brothers could tell they were about to get fleeced, and figured that the guys probably wouldn’t even find Dot/Dot’s body.

            • ricky rocky

              for all we know he was just a “walker” that many women of a certain age have around.

    • altissima

      Correction: Cooper’s line is “The verdict has been reached” (not “rendered”)

    • FunButNutz

      Part of me started to suspect by the end of the episode that Pete may well be a deeply closeted homosexual. I know Chevy was a big account, but his decision to move to Detroit and to work with Bob seemed very fishy to me last time. Now his mother is dead….and his last tie to the upper crust of his family and Trudy’s family is broken. Trudy may not be that broken up because maybe she sensed it too.
      Someone like Pete would only view California very unfavorably, unless it gave him a chance to break away from his past completely, and start a new life.
      Of course, I could be very very wrong.

      • Katerina

        I’ve been thinking the same thing for the past three episodes. I think you’re right.

        • Rhonda Shore

          It’s like Pete pulling a Don Draper, in a way — the chance to reinvent himself.

          • FunButNutz

            You know, everyone’s wondering if Mad Men will do the Stonewall riots. Wouldn’t it be delicious if it was Pete (And not Bob) that gets caught in the bar?

            • MK03

              If they do Stonewall, I really want to see Sal there. I know it’s highly unlikely, but I just want to see him in the background, standing up for his rights and being part of history.

            • Supernumerary

              Stan, or Sal?

            • MK03

              I meant Sal, but for reasons that still elude me, I wrote Stan first. So I fixed it.

            • Supernumerary

              No worries. Stan has a habit of invading my thoughts, too.

            • ricky rocky

              Sal never struck me as very political even if he were able to finally come out. There’s lots of politically sleeping gays now that enjoy all the damn perks we activists achieve with little or no assistance from them. And DO NOT get me started on asshole conservative republican gays.

            • formerlyAnon

              Oh sweetie. Let’s have dinner, I’ll go on about all the “oh NO, *I’m* not a feminists” whose entire lives were unimaginable pre-feminism, and you can get started on your a-political or oblivious gays, and when we’re done venting order a bottle of something really expensive or something really chocolate or both.

            • not_Bridget

              I really don’t see Sal hanging out in the bars. The best I can hope for him–and I do hope, even if we never see again–is that his wife found a man who could give her what she needed. After the divorce, perhaps Sal met a cultured gentleman of his own age, browsing in an antique shop or flipping through original cast recordings at the record store….

            • Sweetpea176

              Also, the Stonewall sounds like it was a real dive — hard to imagine Sal there.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000570151428 Jo Bleaux

              My guess: Less likely a cultured gentlemen of his own age and more likely rough trade. He seems like teen-runaway-rescuer types I’ve known over the years.

            • Munchkn

              Like Lindsey Graham?

            • ricky rocky

              Lindsey “Gypsy” Graham

            • Travelgrrl

              This is years and years later – a lot could have happened to politicize Sal – not the least of which was getting fired because he was gay (and wouldn’t put out for the Lucky Strikes toad).

            • lilyvonschtupp

              I wish people would get the heck over Sal already.

              FOR THE LAST TIME, HE’S NOT COMING BACK!!!!!

            • ricky rocky

              time will tell. other “never coming back” characters have resurfaced before. the character I miss the MOST MOST MOST was Bobbie, the manager for comic Jimmy Barrett. SHE could have had her own series…WOW great. If you liked Bobbie give me a like :))

            • lilyvonschtupp

              LOVED BOBBIE! That was the best affair Don ever had!:0)

            • ricky rocky

              YES. I love you ! At times she had him like a rat in a maze. :))))))))))))))

              New spin-off: THE WORLD OF BOBBIE BARRETT.

      • Chris

        Trudy isn’t that broken up because IMHO she never was that in love with Pete. Not like Betty who was personally devastated about Don’s infidelity. As much as Betty liked status it was Don she wanted. No way she would have been happy with an “I’ll give you an apartment and a radius.” Trudy’s real hero was always her Dad. Every major decision was made by Trudy, where they lived, kids etc. She told Pete buying a house where she wanted was more important than his partnership when money needed to be put in. Their marriage broke up finally because he went against her father, not because he was a cheater. Trudy is fine because she has what she wants and Pete was no big loss, just a means to get it. I’m not defending Pete, she offered him all the chances and even gave him what he “wanted,” I’m just saying Pete was never first in Trudy’s life so it didn’t hurt so much to let him go. Particularly when she had the child, house and life she wanted. Now she can have Thanksgiving with her parents stress free.

        • 3hares

          Yes, she didn’t seem kind to me so much as just still not really bothered or interested. Pete’s mother, who was cruel to him but who he’s been taking care of, got murdered. And while obviously this wasn’t the only conversation they’d had about it her motivational easy fixes seemed as empty as always. This ep was full of people who have cheated on their spouses–and who have done worse things than tell a spouse they saw their dad at a brothel–with more connection.

          • Chris

            Yes, she seemed very cold about the poor guy’s mother. Pete obviously had a very complicated relationship with his mother but he cared for her and neglected his work to put her first often. Given how close Trudy is with her own family, she could have spared a bit more sympathy than “Oh well you’re free of her now.”

            • Melanie

              “Given how close Trudy is with her own family, she could have spared a bit more sympathy than ‘Oh well you’re free of her now.'”

              But, see, I think this is how *Pete* sees things, too, so it doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I was laughing at how Pete and his brother, when they would have had to put their money on the line, were basically like, “Weeeeellllll . . . it’s not going to bring her back. And she did always love the sea.” I mean, come on. They were clearly not that broken up over her death.

            • 3hares

              But he said he didn’t feel that way.

              Dot was an unloving mother. Reaction to her death is not going to be straight up sadness like it would be for Roger–who, remember, was even more blase about his own mother’s death. Grief’s complicated, especially when he’s ambivalent.

            • decormaven

              Pete and his brother have never been close with their mother. Remember the Fourth of July cookout Pete & Trudy hosted at their apartment in S2’s “Maidenform”? Bud says something like, “I spoke with Mother the other day and you were all she talked about, ” and Pete says, “Really,” then Bud says, “No”, and they both laugh. There was no love lost for Mom from either son. With Pete’s dad draining the family fortunes dry, they were not compelled to feign affection for her.

            • Travelgrrl

              I kind of love Bud.

            • Chris

              Pete cared enough to jeopardize his career several times for her. If he really had no feelings for her he could have had her locked up or put in a home. He went out of his way not only to provide for her, but make sure she could live a comfortable life being taken care of in her own home. He told Manolo how important his mother’s happiness was to him. Just because his feelings weren’t 100% happy regarding his mother doesn’t mean that what Trudy said was kind or appropriate.

            • Melanie

              In my view, Pete did what he did for his mother this season out of filial piety – that is, a sense of family responsibility, not affection. Remember, he tried to pawn her off on Bud, and when he balked, essentially telling Pete, “It’s your turn,” Pete was not kind to her. He felt compelled to keep her out of a home, sure, but I think that’s guilt more than anything.

            • 3hares

              Whether it’s affectionate enough or not, she’s his mother and he has strong feelings about her. He wasn’t particularly unkind to her, though he was often angry at her. This is the woman who told him he never deserved love even as a child. But when she accidentally offered to have the cook make his favorite for dinner it stopped him cold. Dealing with a parent who never loved you is not going to look like affection, imo.

            • Melanie

              I don’t think we disagree that Pete’s feelings for his mother are complicated. I just think he does finally feel “free,” as Trudy put it, even if he wouldn’t feel comfortable saying it out loud (which I think he would see as a betrayal of the family).

            • purkoy28

              she said it was hard to love him as a child, not that he never deserved love.

            • 3hares

              She said “You’ve always been unlovable.” Iow, she blamed him for the fact that he wasn’t love. Whether or not you use the word “deserve” or not, she was saying that it was his fault no one loved him. Trudy’s father, iirc, said he didn’t deserve to have a child.

            • filmcricket

              Absolutely. He wouldn’t want a Dyckman in a public nursing home unless there was no other choice.

            • Vanessa

              This is why Trudy said–“you may not see it this way now, but you will see that you are free.” The burden of taking responsibility for a parent who gives you nothing emotionally and actually says things to you like “you were always unlovable” would be horrible.

            • SFCaramia

              Having been in that situation myself, it is amazing what a burden it is while it goes on. Those of you who haven’t had mothers like Pete don’t know what it’s like.

            • purkoy28

              when did he jeapordize his career for her?

            • Chris

              By missing important meetings including the first SCDPGCG partner’s meeting where he was late, lasted three minutes, then had to leave. He also missed flying down to meet the head of Mohawk with Ted and Don. There were several scenes where it was shown that his dealing with his mother was negatively affecting him at work. With everyone in the merger scrambling for accounts Pete lost the edge in several situations by not being there.

            • CozyCat

              Pete’s mother didn’t just let him know she didn’t love him, she told him it was because he was unworthy of her love.

              He’s spent his entire life trying to prove his worthiness. So of course he had to be the good son and take care of her. That’s how people like her keep other people under their control–by emotionally blackmailing them.

              It’s not surprising that someone outside the relationship (Trudy) would see that going on and not be too sad at her passing, either in general or for Pete. In a sense, he IS free now.

            • jen_vasm

              I’m not sure, but I think the decision to not institutionalizing his mother was more due to the social stigma vs. love for her. I think the Trudy comforting of Pete re: his mom happened closer to the event: they seemed in a good place on Thanksgiving. Her comment about him being free was on the mark & was similar to Betty speaking to Don a few episodes earlier. She can see clearly that Pete was overwhelmed with the life he felt he had to live, which made him unable to appreciate what little he had good. She was being kind to him by telling him he was free to start over without those burdens.

            • 3hares

              I don’t think there was a lot of social stigma to her being in a home. The whole point of a home is the person is out of sight. Nobody has to know where they are.

              I just find it hard to look at a character who’s been defined even in the commentary as crushingly lonely all season and describe him as free of the burden of family. It seems like telling Ken he’s lucky to be free to give his left eye a rest. It was a reminder that he’d destroyed everything and it was his fault so he could realize he ruined his life–at least from MW. Maybe Trudy was supposed to be being nice. It is in her nature to turn devastation into a simple motto to be better.

            • jen_vasm

              I would really like to have more information about the pervasiveness of the upper class institutionalization of elderly people with mild/moderate dementia like Pete’s mom in the 1960s. I do believe it would be frowned on in his social circle because the sanatariums are not like they are now. I would think that the live-in caregiver option was more accepted.
              Trudy is and has been a hardcore character from the beginning that did what she had to do to get what she wanted: homes, family (manipulative, but never deceptive). She realized early on that she married a childish man and basically managed him throughout the marriage until he crossed her line. I wonder to what extent she feels responsible for placing that burden on him. I don’t think Pete was ever built to appreciate or draw strength from a family – he didn’t know where to start.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000570151428 Jo Bleaux

              Where I live, in New Orleans, in the 60s it was very acceptable for the upper crust to institutionalize demented elderly people, as long as it was in the right kind of place. In N.O., for instance, the Poydras Home. But, those places weren’t cheap.

            • Sweetpea176

              I didn’t see Trudy as comforting or encouraging of Pete as much as twisting the knife a bit. Maybe she was sincere that he could benefit from some time alone, but I think that was her way of letting him know that he really, really blew it. “You’re free” = “you’re not getting me or Tammy back, either.” He says, “it’s not how I wanted it,” and she says “well, now you know” = “too late jackass.”

            • 3hares

              That’s exactly how it played to me.

            • MK03

              Keep in mind, Pete’s mother NEVER liked Trudy. She felt Trudy’s family was too “new-money”. It makes sense that there was no love lost there.

            • purkoy28

              lol, she doesnt want her crap in her house…. i wouldnt want it either.

            • Travelgrrl

              I bet those were some nice antiques.

            • Travelgrrl

              Yet she tried to get Peggy/Trudy to reconcile with Pete.

            • ricky rocky

              you are on it ! i want to watch this show with you.

            • Travelgrrl

              C’mon over next January!

            • Beth

              Hang on- several seasons back, Trudy pleaded with Pete, “Don’t go to that well-it’s dry”, re: wanting his mom’s love and encouragement.

              I think Trudy tried for years to make things work…in many ways. All Pete’s infidelities, tantrums, etc…would have made him an extremely difficult person to be married to, and everyone has their limit, including Trudy! Pete’s a broken person.

            • kerryev

              That scene was one of the few times I really liked and believed Trudy.

        • ConnieBV

          I think Trudy was touched because she, being a Daddy’s girl, can’t help but be affected by the fact that her daughter won’t have what she did. She is witnessing her father say goodbye to her, and she doesn’t even get to be awake for the memory of it.

        • purkoy28

          hat show were u watching? Trudy was very in love with Pete and the marriage had its last nail in the coffin after he slept with the neighbour, not because he called out her dad.

          • 3hares

            They were coming back together after that–it was him calling out her dad that led her to tell him to get his things and leave.

            • purkoy28

              also the fact that if he saw his dad in a whore house then pete was there too, but she hadnt taken pete back at that point, he was invited on easter and snuck into bed , he wasnt invited to stay the night, and when he came to the house to tell her about her dad, she was surprised he was there cause she told him hes not allowed to come by without invitation. That doesnt sound like they were back together yet to me.

            • purkoy28

              that was in reply to chris

            • 3hares

              Never mind–not replying to me.

            • Chris

              Trudy was very pleasant to him when he came and got into the bed and made a point of saying she had noticed how he was trying. They were also still operating according to Trudy’s rules and were not going to divorce. It was implied Trudy was intending to let him come home if he kept behaving. Even the opportunity to have a facade marriage ended when he brought up her father.

          • Chris

            Trudy had almost agreed to take Pete back. He was sleeping in the bed with her and she had pulled out her fancy nightie knowing he was coming. She acknowledged that he was making amends and she had noticed. It was implied he was very close to getting back in full time. It wasn’t until he said all the stuff about her father that she said definitely “we’re through.” Even before that with his cheating etc. she wanted to keep up the facade and have him come for weekends, holidays etc.

          • not_Bridget

            Trudy gave Pete numerous “chances.” His snippy attitude during the Missile Crisis would have hacked me off. When it appeared she couldn’t have kids, she devoted herself to him & his career–and he loved it. Then she had a baby & wanted a suburban life. He hated leaving the city & no longer being the focus of her attention.

            Now he’s left the city for a very different life. They will keep in contact because of the child–and they still might have a chance.

        • Travelgrrl

          I kind of disagree with Tom and Lorenzo that she was nicey nice to him in the scene. She absolutely refused to let him come to Thanksgiving dinner, even though he’s moving 3000 miles away.

          I also didn’t understand that she’s moving back with her parents?

          • Chris

            I think Pete was leaving furniture there, but she was continuing to live in the house. It was confusing because I think she was leaving to go to her parents house for Thanksgiving.

            • Travelgrrl

              I could have sworn she said something about shutting up the house and moving to her parents? It did seem odd.

        • filmcricket

          I agree that Trudy’s relationship with her parents has always been more important to her than her marriage, but I don’t agree that she didn’t love Pete. I think on some level she still loves him, and her little speech to him was sincere. “This couldn’t make you happy, but now maybe you have a chance to be. Go with God,” or whatever.

          • Chris

            I agree. I didn’t say she didn’t love him, just that it probably wasn’t as strong as say Betty’s love for Don which seemed pretty all consuming to her. Trudy has always been more flexible with Pete about his affairs. Don’s destroyed Betty in a way for a while.

      • Eric J.

        I kind of hope Pete isn’t gay, because even with moving to California, he’d probably be in for another 10 years of furtive, drunken shame-filled encounters before he can start admitting the truth to himself and those around him.

        • formerlyAnon

          yeah. Only so much ‘personal growth’ Pete can accomplish at once. And (all his awful behavior aside,) I’d like him to be happy or at least to have one firm ally on his side that he *realizes* he can depend on and that he *appreciates.* Professionally, personally, both, I don’t care.

      • Mia Hampton

        The way Pete told Bob to take his own cab. Well, if two male lovers were in a tiff, isn’t that how it would go down?

      • MisScarlett

        These are all VERY valid points, and certainly have me thinking that way now, too.

        • ricky rocky

          Funny, gay here and get absolutely no indication Pete’s flexible. Wouldn’t we have seen this a LONG time ago ?

    • Jessica Chastain

      ~ The only unpardonable sin is to believe that God cannot forgive you ~

      Don just very successfully told yet one more great big bullshit lie to get a product that doesn’t need advertising.

      He saw his shaking hands from all the drinking he’s had to do to keep up all this lying, and decided to tell the truth. Then give Ted California. He decided to be good rather than bad.

      And of course it cost him the “everything” he’s been working to have/keep all this time, but he actually gained now, the ability to have something better and real. His soul. His children… A future where he might not keep waking up from blackouts to find his world all fucked up…

      As a child the preacher told him “the only unpardonable sin is to believe god cannot forgive you.” He then takes Sally (and Bobby and Gene) to the exact spot he was told this to seek forgiveness from her.

      Don realizes you can run away from people and problems, but you cannot run away from yourself.

      Pete visiting Tammy & Trudy watching was the same shot as the ending of the pilot [Don & Betty].

      Betty’s shaking hands – SEASON 1 ; Don’s shaking hands – SEASON 6.

      The music in the bar is the same song from the pilot – Band of Gold.

      Don calls Betty Birdy and Pete calls Trudy Tweety.

      So Season MVP : Betty.

      In Care Of : Until the Hershey Bar moment, Dick Whitman left his life “In Care Of” Don Draper, his proxy to deal with the world around him that he felt Dick Whitman wasn’t fit for. Showing his kids his past through the whorehouse, Dick is finally “home” again, does not need to leave his life in care of Don as he did when he lived in Don Draper’s home, as one would for mail.

      This is the greatest television series ever made. No contest.

      • Eric J.

        Great connection of Don’s shaking hands to Betty’s. I always forget about that plotline, because it seemed to be just a mechanism to get Betty into therapy.

        • Quinky

          Betty was trying to hide the truth of her own unhappiness and Don’s infidelity from herself. Thus the anxiety that led to the shaking hands/car crash.

      • ThaliaMenninger

        I hadn’t really thought much about what the title meant. Interesting…

      • Travelgrrl

        A thousand times yes to all of this.

        Joan shuttering her eyes at the partners meeting told Don that it was hopeless.

        Sally and Don’s final glances just killed me. I cried hot tears!

      • tempworker

        The Jesus references and Don/Dick’s testifying in the meeting reminded me of John 4: Jesus tells the Samarian woman, “You told the truth; god is spirit and wants those who worship in spirit and in truth.” (paraphrasing) Don/Dick told the truth, in public, in the workplace, in a meeting. Truth was his only hope for any kind of redemption. He lost everything, and gained a possible future w. his kids, and with his own soul. Don Draper died, so that Dick Whitman might possibly live again. It was funny to have Mad Men send me reaching for my NT. Don’t know if any of this was intentional but the Jesus moments and the power of Don finally telling the truth was stunning and why I watch this show; that was after six seasons, revelatory in terms of the character. Now we will see what happens next.

      • lilyvonschtupp

        A wise man once said: It’s all fun and games until you get shot in the face.

        MM is great shit, no doubt. But I still hold a candle for The Sopranos. (rip J. Gandolfini)

    • Chris

      Well I don’t know if I am happy or sad to say TLO stole my thunder for the most part and said much of what I wanted to say about Peggy and Joan (that 99% of the other recappers seem to have missed). Everyone is crowing about Peggy wearing pants in Don’s office, and it is a powerful scene, but the reality is it’s not her job. And it’s not likely to be as they are bringing in that “anyone have a Vick’s cough drop” jerk from McCann we saw at the first class airport lounge. Ted is still overseeing her and her direct boss, unless things change, will be some other jerk she doesn’t even know. Peggy (in the most cliched storyline ever) was the one night stand of Ted who loves her but decided (after stalking her and waiting at her place) post sex, he really cannot leave his family. Hasn’t Peggy been taught this lesson enough during the season 1 illegitimate baby birth and trip to the mental ward? Just as TLO said above, MW stated Joan did get the Avon account but couldn’t afford one line to mention it? Her big season finale storyline is to provide a Happy Thanksgiving gathering spot to poor rich boy Roger and the living Patrica Highsmith character. (Am I supposed to be happy the guy who introduced a murdering psycho to take care of Pete’s elderly, suffering from dementia Mom, is carving up the turkey for little Kevin?) Can’t we celebrate one real professional victory of the women instead of them just being there to fulfill the emotional needs of the men who are professionally winning? Sigh.

      • EveEve

        This. All of this! Please, fewer soap bubbles next season, MW.

      • Frida

        Yes, exactly this. I thought Peggy’s ‘Well aren’t you lucky, to have decisions’ was about the most poignant line of this episode, and maybe the whole season. And just the most perfect delivery by EM, that mixture of venom and heartbreak. The smallness of her office really framed it well, that sense of claustrophobia when the doors shut on you unexpectedly. In some ways all the characters have had decisions forcibly taken out of their hands this season but the way Peggy was pushed around was really just the most galling. And in the end, it wasn’t Don that caused the worst instances of this, but rather Ted. Aside from the obvious, remember it was Ted’s idea to merge the two companies, which led to her effective demotion and being shoved back in that glorified broom cupboard. I really hope next season sees her and Joan get some screen time doing actual professional work.

        • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

          “And just the most perfect delivery by EM, that mixture of venom and heartbreak. The smallness of her office really framed it well, that sense of claustrophobia when the doors shut on you unexpectedly.”

          Well put.

          • Frida

            Thank you – it was a line that gave me goosebumps.

            Needless to say, really looking forward to Mad Style. That final Ted/Peggy confrontation was the ultimate culmination of the blue-and-green emotional disconnect theory if ever there could be one. Can I be the first to congratulate you on a drum well beaten?

          • artsykelly

            And she’s also wearing the same dress she had on when she met Ted at a diner to negotiate leaving SCDP.

            • Alanna

              True! Though I noticed that this time she pulled down the neckline to show much more cleavage than when she was meeting Ted in that diner.

        • Chris

          Yes, she wasn’t just feeling Ted’s betrayal in that instance, but the whole series of them: merging with SCDP with no warning, Abe coercing her to buy the lousy apartment, mentioning their “kids” then dumping her. All the men strung her along then stuck it to her.

        • Alice Teeple

          Well put! (But it was Don’s idea to merge the companies…Ted was the one who agreed to it because Gleason was dying.)

          • Frida

            Oh yes right you are.

          • Sue Shea

            i think that ted could have out manipulated don on the merger. i think he made don *think* it was don’s idea. i know i’m in the minority.

            • Alice Teeple

              No, Don clearly said at the Detroit bar, “us…that’s interesting.” Then Ted protested and said something about not being able to do that, because they have partners, but he knew CGC was a sinking ship anyway so the merger was easy to do. I think that was an interesting parallel to this merger storyline: Ted protested out of propiety, then went ahead and merged anyway, and it blew up in his face. He managed to avoid that fate with Peggy in this episode. It stayed with the theme of revisiting a situation with different outcomes that this whole season had been about.

            • Chris

              I thought it was interesting that Ted seemed to take some of the blame on himself for Don’s behavior saying “I don’t know what I brought out in you but I believe deep down you are a good man” or words to that effect. Ted had an idea of being Don’s partner and Peggy’s love would be like but reality ended up being different.

            • Alice Teeple

              I think Ted found that road to hell that was paved with good intentions last night.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=572633200 Tanzina Ahmed

          Yes, beautifully said. Even as Peggy appears to be heading upward in her career, all her agency in both her love-life and in her work-life keeps being stripped from her. She has all the semblance of power and none of the command of it.

        • UsedtobeEP

          I am going to go out on a limb and say that Megan suffered from lack of freedom to make decisions almost as much as Peggy did. She’s constantly watching Don’s kids when he doesn’t show up unexpectedly, and then he talked her into moving and then changed his mind but shoved her out the door anyway. I noticed that telling her to ask for her job back was never an option. I was glad to finally see her not take the high road. It’s been a long time since the HoJo’s.

          • verve

            Perhaps that’s what the title refers to… all these people with some aspect of their lives in the hands of other people and what that’s done to them when it all comes to a head.

          • ailujailuj

            There isn’t a woman on this show – and relatively few of that era who made decisions confidently, singularly, selfishly, or without lamenting the immediate consequences of how it affected a man and/or child or acquiescing to prioritize them. Or, as in the case of every woman on this show, harboring guilt for making any other choice. Until very recent history, women’s lives have always been “in care of” men’s.

            My grandmother, who is one of the sharpest women I know refused to watch the show because the misogyny toward the beginning of the series was just too familiar to her. I always embraced the authenticity of this particular color of the story lines but am feeling betrayed in a weird and almost embarrassing way that their story – the women character’s stories – weren’t resolved better than this. Oh, the irony, that I have so little patience. Looking forward to S7.

            • urbantravels

              “Until very recent history, women’s lives have always been “in care of” men’s.”

              Very interesting point. An old legal term for the status of a married woman was “femme couverte” – covered woman. It means the woman is “covered” by her husband and they become one identity in the eyes of the state – this is where we got the old laws about married women not being able to own their own property, enter into a contract independently, etc. etc.

              (There are still remnants of this floating around, even though most of the law is gone – the custom of a wife taking her husband’s name, the fact that husbands and wives can’t be compelled to testify against one another, and so on.)

              So that old legal doctrine of coverture is very literally what you’re talking about – women being “in care of” men.

            • ailujailuj

              hey – thanks for the historical references – I will be using them. ;)

        • filmcricket

          “Well aren’t you lucky, to have decisions” An echo of Betty’s retort to Don in S2 after he comes back from California. “Must be nice, to just take time for yourself.”

      • LondonMarriott

        I can’t help but think that Ted never intended on leaving his wife. He wanted Peggy, but he ultimately wanted to be seen, by himself and others, as a “good guy.” So he sleeps with Peggy because he wants to, gets it out of his system, then goes back to his family so he can sleep at night, believing he did the right thing. Moving away makes it easier to resist temptation – yet another way he can tell himself he’s a good guy. As much as I’d love for one man on the show to be genuinely good, especially him, this and past scenes make me feel otherwise. Douche to the extreme.

        • Chris

          Kevin Rahm said that Ted did mean it in that moment and I buy it for how they played it. I’m just disappointed in the writing because to me I felt that was exactly how things would play out and they did. It would have been far more interesting to make Ted be the “good” guy and move away before sleeping with Peggy, or have them have a real affair and start a life together, or have Peggy reject him because of his waffling. I wouldn’t even have minded seeing Peggy be a villain for a change instead of just getting used again. In the end it seemed like another cautionary tale “Nice girls- don’t get mixed up with married men because you will get burned.”

          • purkoy28

            well, i think thats a tale worth telling. i love peggy and dont think that her and teds affair is cheap or sleazy like all of Dons, they have real love and respect for eachother. But she fell for a married man who was trying his best to keep their feelings far away as so not to wreck his marriage. she is smart and should not be too shocked. 99% dont leave their wife, even if the man think thinks he will themself. If u play with fire u get burned. I love Ted , he is such an upstanding man. Most men in the show would keep both women for himself.

            • Chris

              I wouldn’t agree with upstanding because he did kiss, then sleep with Peggy. He is a flawed man who does his best to be good. He is better than 90% of the men at SC however. He has made mistakes but he has tried to rectify them in the way he thinks is best for all parties (whether the other parties agree is another story).

            • jen_vasm

              Ted might be kinder than the rest of the Mad Med bunch, but he has always been so self-centered. He constantly thought Don was doing things to undermine him, when most of the times, Don was acting out from his personal demons. He has always assumed that Don was in a head to head battle with him when Don barely considered Ted. As for the Peggy/Ted affair, it was no better or worse than any other affair on the show – hopefully it will spur some self knowledge for both of them.

            • fnarf

              Ted was like that with Don LONG before they ever worked together. When we first met Ted, he was obsessing over Don Draper.

            • Glammie

              Yep, I think Ted’s kind of childish–that’s how he was treated by his wife, his other partners–he’s not a terrible person, but he’s not a grown-up.

              And when he got in trouble he pretty much begged Don to solve his problems for him. And Don, I think probably to protect Peggy, agreed and pretty much took the fall as a result. If Don had gone to California, Hershey wouldn’t have happened (Ted would have been handling it) and the partners wouldn’t have put him on indefinite leave.

            • Redlanta

              Don self sabotaged. He was tired of running and hiding. he finally realized all the baggage follows until you let it go. Maybe he will become an independent free agent. Dick will rise to the surface without all the shame and self loathing finally…

            • Glammie

              I agree that he self-sabotaged, but I’m not sure he would have if he’d still been going to California. Or the partners would also have thought that Don being off-kilter wouldn’t have been as big a deal if he were off in a branch office in California. Some part of Don/Dick was finding SC&P toxic and looking for ways to get out.

          • Mia Hampton

            Personally, I think Peggy will wreck Ted and she will do it with precision and cunning. I do not think she will lie down and take this one.

            • formerlyAnon

              From your mouth to God’s ears. (But really, I don’t think our Peggy has it in her.)

            • Chris

              I can’t see Peggy taking revenge, only because we have never seen her do that with anyone, not Pete and not Don. It would be quite a departure for her character, plus Peggy never lets anything interfere with work.

            • ricky rocky

              Too bad there’s no more of Peggy’s mom. She was so irritating.

            • lilyvonschtupp

              I thought she would show up at Peggy’s singing the “Told You So” song and dance.

              But there’s no way she’d go to that neighborhood.

        • Rhonda Shore

          Ted’s ultimately a coward who wanted to have his cake and eat it too and did exactly that. Now he’ll run away, proving he’s no better than any of the other men in the show. “Aren’t you lucky to have decisions” said it all. Superb writing!

          • purkoy28

            if that were true then he would have continued his affair with peggy past that 1 night, until he got caught by his wife. peggy was the 1 who said not to tell nann, and if he wanted he could have continued sleeping with pegs and go home to nan…like don. he chose not to so he wouldnt string peggy along and wreck his marriage. He is a good guy who fell in love but stuck to his vows. A coward who ate his cake is not the way he is portrayed. But considering u didnt mention peggys part in the blame and the way u dont think the men on the show are all bad, then u probably have a hate on for alot of things guys do or for men in general.

            • Rhonda Shore

              He stuck to his vows by having sex w/Peggy? OK…And i don’t “have a hate on” for anything. :-)

            • not_Bridget

              No, he didn’t stick to his vows. He kissed Peggy, then played “oh, I love you”–“but I love my wife & kids” again & again. One quick poke & off to California! With a sanctimonious “you’ll thank me later.” He’s not a total villain–just a bit weak….

              Your message is a bit too personal–it’s possible to criticize a male character without hating all men. And your language is a tad childish….. “u”?

            • Rhonda Shore

              Thanks not_Bridget…i was sort of stunned by that response above but i had faith that a bitter kitten would throw an assist…

              I agree, Ted’s not a total villain, just a bit weak.

            • ricky rocky

              I think he’s human and presently floundering but can man up and do the right thing.

          • CozyCat

            Doing well is the best revenge. She just needs to keep at it and wait for the next good moment to make a jump elsewhere.

        • MK03

          I think there is one man on the show who is genuinely good. *loud stage whisper* STAN. IT’S STAN.

          • formerlyAnon

            One hopes. But we haven’t seen enough of him to see what he gets up to given a really meaty sub plot of his very own. That rarely bodes well for a character’s well, “character” on this show.

            • Spicytomato1

              And I thought Stan was going to have his “meaty sub plot” with California. It was exciting to me, for all of the two seconds it was an actual possibility. Loved it when he said he had to eat his sandwich before Don got to it!

          • purkoy28

            i thought TLo would comment on the stan / don thing. but i guess the only thing to say is what a dick,lol. not only did he stteal his idea and dream but he stole the words stan used to describe his dream…..it was they way he said it that made don open his eyes to the possibiliies so thats how don will say it to everyone else. stan is yet another ex admirer of dons that told him to his face how much he loathes him now that he is showing his true colors.

          • bawoman

            Seriously!I keep hearing about how Stan is “beneath” Peggy for some reason, but honestly, how is that the case? He never put her in second place like Ted did, he never used her as an object to feed his ego like Don did, he isn’t the emotionally stunted Pete, or the needy drunk Duck. He isn’t Abe who thinks she’s “the enemy”, or that dolt Mark that thought she was a blushing virgin.

            Stan is supportive, he makes her laugh (alot), he kisses very well (judging from Peggy’s reaction to his smooches in “The crash”) he absolutely LOVES her ambition (did you SEE the way he looked at her as he was leaving in last night’s finale? Pure adoration), he treats her like an equal, and he isn’t a narcisstic, self obssesed dick. He’s also clever, well read, funny, cute, talented, and has a great bod. And he isn’t married with children, either.

            Wake up and smell the marijuana, Pegs!

            • Chris

              Stan is a great character, and one I would argue, who has made the most progress of almost any at SCDP. He came in as a chauvinist who challenged Peggy and now appears to be a very good friend who appreciates her accomplishments.

            • MisScarlett

              Definitely. I LOATHED him at first; he reminded me of boys in my middle school biology class who made crude jokes about training bras and farting noises when people sat down. I would not have dreamed at the start I would have ended up liking Stan, and rooting for a Stan – Peggy relationship.

            • ailujailuj

              I think Stan is still generally a punk toward everyone else, but Pegs earned his respect. .. hmm… I’ve never challenged any of the assholes I work with in a “nude-off” when they act like that but there’s a first for everything ;)

            • MartyBellerMask

              He is the one man on this show who has actually grown. Well, Ken too, it would appear.

              Also, props for mentioning Mark. He usually gets left out of the “Peggy has bad taste in men” lists. How mismatched were THEY? He invites her mom to her birthday/ surprise proposal dinner. *snort* If there’s one thing Don ever did for Peggy (and okay, he did a few things), it was getting her out of that dinner and saving her from that situation. Who knows if she would’ve been strong enough to stand up to him and her mom in person?

            • Travelgrrl

              Also he had no chin. Our Peggy wasn’t going to have a passel of chinless brats!

            • Travelgrrl

              Well, she saw him banging Gleason’s teenaged daughter right after her Dad’s funeral. While Cutler creeped.

              Ish!

            • ricky rocky

              total ish

            • CozyCat

              Stan was a real sexist jerk when he first appeared and he was pretty awful to Peggy. A relationship with him would have been out of the question.

              Don’t know if it’s age or all that Mary Jane, but he seems to have mellowed quite a bit.

            • TeraBat

              I think part of it is just Stan working with Peggy, and realizing she’s good at what she does. Which I think he deserves props for – that sort of emotional growth doesn’t happen to everyone.

          • Travelgrrl

            You mean Stan, who took advantage of a teenage girl’s grief (and acting out) by having office sex with her on the day of her Dad’s funeral?

            Sorry, I love Stan but he’s just as bad as the rest. Maybe Ginsburg the virgin.

            • bawoman

              Travel, while that wasnt Stans finest moment, most if not all the men on the show have done worse. And Stan was clearly as high as a kite, and in pain, so he wasnt in his wits enough to take advantage of anyone. It was stupid, and he aint perfect, but he comes the closest to being an emotionally healthy man in the office (save for Ken, who is already taken)

            • Zaftiguana

              Love Stan, but he doesn’t get a gold star for being kind of shitty but not as shitty as most other guys in one particular advertising office.

            • bawoman

              And I love Ginzo, but hes a paranoid freak. He needs someone patient to baby him constantly and to be okay with him never shutting up. That teacher seemed like a good match though.

            • Adelaidey

              Wait, duh, hook up Ginzo and Miss Farrell, she of infinite patience and the epileptic brother.

            • MK03

              Please. Ginsberg will end up stabbing someone on the subway.

            • Travelgrrl

              So far, our sweet Peggy is the only mad stabber!

            • ricky rocky

              lol

            • Adelaidey

              I’m going to go on a limb and say that Stan had no idea that she was the teenage daughter of Fred Gleason. There’s no indication that anybody else knew, right? Other than Cutler and Peggy, I mean.

            • Travelgrrl

              We were pretty much seeing things from Don’s speeding-out-of-his-mind perception, and he was busy looking up whore soup ads so he missed that fact. However, no indication that Stan didn’t know, and for heaven’s sakes, she was clearly a teenager.

              I like Stan better than when he was an obnoxious frat boy type (when Peggy made him drop trou), but I don’t see him as fundamentally ‘better’ than the other men in the office.

              “Your wig will be ready Tuesday” was golden, though.

          • Danielle

            Ken

        • ThaliaMenninger

          I don’t honestly think it mattered whether Ted meant it or didn’t. I don’t think Ted really matters. For me, he was a device to teach both Peggy and Don lessons this season. Peggy fell in love again, this time with someone more decent, but she needed to learn to be in charge of her own decisions and choices, and the only way to show her that light was to have the “decent” guy also leave her on her own and prove to her once and for all that she is The Girl Alone, Standing on Her Own Two Feet in Her Poly Pantsuit.

          And Ted served as the anti-Don in some ways, but as a shadow of Don in others. So Peggy could call Don a monster in comparison to her beloved Ted, Ted could be a cheater endangering his marriage like Don, Ted could plead to take Don’s place (and fresh start) in California, and all of that could contribute to Don hitting bottom, as he learns lessons provided by Ted.

          So, yeah, I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time wondering what Ted wants or doesn’t want or believes or doesn’t believe. For me, he’s less a character than a dramatic device to wake up the important people — Peggy and Don.

          • Chris

            My complaint is that Peggy has been taught that lesson a lot, starting in season one, but she is making that mistake over and over again.

            • formerlyAnon

              Frustrating, yes? But it’s an echo of just about everyone else on the show – people learn, but not enough to change all of the underlying patterns in their lives.

            • purkoy28

              what other married man has she been with besides pete and ted? she was in a very long term relationship that ended as most tend to do, but overall she hasnt been making the same mistake over and over again.

            • Chris

              In every relationship she has had, she let the man dictate everything up to and including where, when and if it would happen. It was the same with Abe, which was her only other significant relationship. There was no ring because he didn’t want marriage. She didn’t even end up getting to choose the place where she would live (and pay for). Since season one, she has let the man call all the shots in every major decision.

            • purkoy28

              she also dated that other boy for a while, and i wouldnt go so far as to say abe dictated everything, infact she was the one who wore the pants, abe would come to her work, home, wherever to be around her and her schedule. not wanting to get married does not mean anything, he is a hippy he doesnt feel that marriage is all that important. even with pete she wanted it and was just as eager and initiating as pete. also it was made clear that abe also payed his keep for the places they lived, he just cant afford to buy

            • ricky rocky

              that was very long term? huh?

            • ricky rocky

              Peggy doesn’t know a good guy when she sees one. All the boobs she’s sexed down. Not that she has access to many. She needs to go online.

          • Killer Bees

            This rings true for me. I think Ted’s character was from Peggy’s viewpoint most of the time: on a pedestal, playing off ideas with her, showing us how much she’s growing/grown, and yes, also versus Don and all his inadequacies. In the end, when I ask myself “Sub-plot Ted with Peggy,” or “Ted with Nan,” there’s only one branch of that that’d pique my interest.

        • Jackie4g

          All the men were douchebags because they could be. All the odds were in their favor. All the consequences were cleaned up by others, usually women. It wasn’t fair, and please understand that for most working women, there was no recourse. If you complained, you were called “emotional”. I get a stomache ache thinking about those days. Women and Gays were all pretty angry, with good reason.

          • CozyCat

            “were”???? How about “are.” (at least where I work….)

          • Massena

            Ted took the biggest consequence of his choice. Super ambitious Ted took a demotion to advertising Siberia so Peggy could stay in NYC at SC&P. Yes, Peggy is sad, but so is Ted. He tried to take the brunt of the fall out for his choice on himself.

            • MartyBellerMask

              Well that’s a good point.

            • Travelgrrl

              I really thought Don was going to say: “Well, let’s send Peggy along to CA with me!”

            • Chris

              Yes, Ted did fall on his sword professionally to give him a chance with his family. Say what you like he only helped Peggy professionally. She never would have gotten the title of copy chief and all the management experience if it weren’t for him. Don used to treat Ginsberg as the golden boy because he was a man. Peggy was working on the Chevy pitch this season, when last time they were working on a car (Jaguar) Don told her he absolutely couldn’t put her on a car account and she had to watch the lobsters roll in on the other side of the glass. At CGC she was second only to Ted and carried that title back to SC&P. When she offered to leave Ted said no. It could have been a lot worse. She learned a lot from Ted professionally. Before she only had Don as a boss and an example.

          • ricky rocky

            We still ARRRRRRRRRRRRE ! on Sunday 6/30 I will be in a Gay Pride Parade caring a large sign:

            “JUMP BACK HATERS”

        • Alice Teeple

          See, I saw it as Ted also trying to keep Peggy from sabotaging everything she’d worked for, on an affair that would go nowhere at that moment. There was all that selfishness, manipulation and jealousy that led to them having the one-night stand, but as soon as Peggy said “I don’t want a scandal,” I think he was hit with remorse when his wife was so nice to him. I think Ted’s a weak man, but he’s certainly not a malicious or completely selfish one – this demonstrated that he actually has a conscience. He was doing this move for his family – and if he had an alcoholic father, I can see why he would be so adamant about keeping the family together as best as he could. (It also explained why he doesn’t drink much.)

          If Ted were weaker, he would have strung Peggy along further, kept her as the mistress (like she seemed to imply) and not gone to California. Like I’ve said before, he’s the only one who sees the big picture, when everyone else in the agency (except Pete) is so myopic. Sure, Ted had a moment of weakness, but look at the mind games Peggy was pulling on him to get him to come after her! That was straight out of the Helen Gurley Brown “Sex and the Single Girl” playbook! This had to come to a head at some point.

          • bawoman

            Agreed, Peggy was just as much to blame as Ted was. She kickstarted everything by luring him in with the little black dress and Chanel n 5. Ted was clearly trying to avoid her desperately to save his marriage. I thought that was kind of crappy for Peggy to do tbh. Did she ever really think of Nan and Teds kids at all? Pegs can be selfish as hell when she wants to be.
            So yeah. Pegs, you play with fire, you get your ass burnt.

            • Chris

              Well I don’t know if I would say Peggy wearing a sexy dress in the office to a legitimate date is the same as Ted showing up uninvited to Peggy’s place and telling her he is leaving his wife. Sure, Peggy wanted him to see what he had rejected but it wasn’t just for show. She really did have a date and was hopefully trying to move on. Rubbing a little salt in Ted’s wound was just a bonus.I think she probably thought it would rankle Ted but she had no way of knowing he would show up on her doorstep. She did tell him to leave a few times and he didn’t. No argument that Peggy went right along with it but Ted really was the instigator and was also when he kissed Peggy and when he brought up the kissing later in his office.

            • Spicytomato1

              Now that you mention it, I was surprised to find that she really did have a date. I thought her sexy getup really might have just been for show. I wasn’t sure what she was trying to do.

            • Kate

              Yeah. Also if you’re the one who’s married, generally it’s your responsibility to remain faithful if that is what you think is right, regardless of what your crush wore in your office.

            • Alice Teeple

              Yup. I think Peggy was supposed to be the parallel to Don in “To Have and To Hold.”
              He seduced Ted into the merger and after a brief honeymoon period, the decision blew up in his face; Peggy was doing the same on the personal front. I also think that the near-throwaway line of Ted referencing his father’s alcoholism was a subtle, but poignant reveal: as the child of a boozer, Ted wanted to avoid the sins of his father. This would explain his more rigid moral code and why he would be so protective of his sons…and also why Nan could reel him in with that guilt so easily. I don’t know how this will play out, though. Ted may have thought this fresh start would be good for his family, but we know how fresh starts usually work out in the Mad Men world, and he may end up with nothing on the family front, anyway. He’s not looking at the fact that his workaholism is the big problem in his marriage, not Peggy. She’s the scapegoat in that train wreck.

            • formerlyAnon

              Not her job to keep Ted’s vows for him. That said, she was playing with fire, she gambled, she lost, she got burnt. THAT’s all on her.

            • AmeliaEve

              That dress was the more mature callback to the dress she wore to dinner with Abe when he asked her to live with him (rather than proposing). The first was a girlish pastel instead of this sophisticated black, but they both had the empire cut and the same big pink bow. I have now dubbed this look The Disappointment Dress.

            • Adelaidey

              Fitting, because Meredith the Disappointment is fond of that silhouette as well.

          • MisScarlett

            THIS! I have always had (and admittedly still do) a soft spot for Ted, so while I know the “Ted’s a douche” comments are valid points, something in me keeps me a fan. You put into words what I couldn’t!

            • Travelgrrl

              He’s a nice guy – but he looks so much like a turtle (emphasized with all of those turtlenecks!) and never more so than in the bedroom scene with Peggy. So much turtle face and eyes!

            • Chris

              They play up his awkwardness even with his clothes. He always has a very high turtleneck when he wears one but the one time we saw Don in one it was very small and only came halfway up his neck. Don is never dressed in anything too faddish or awkward looking.

          • Travelgrrl

            I figured, since Chanel #5 was mentioned, that Ted’s wife was going to smell the perfume and catch on.

            • filmcricket

              To be completely honest, Ted Cutler seems to be the only person in that office (or on the show) with a sense of smell. The number of times someone came home to their partner after having had sex with someone else & never got caught on smell alone is astounding. I mean, Don could clean up at his mistresses’ places, but there was no shower to cover for office shenanigans.

            • ailujailuj

              OMG – THIS!!! LMAO. HAS BOTHERED ME FOR 6 YRS. I CAN STOP THERAPY, NOW. maybe.

            • AmeliaEve

              They all smoke so much I’m surprised they can smell anything.

            • Alice Teeple

              I thought so, too, but I think he washed it off. We did hear a shower running (I remember thinking, how did he dash to the bathroom so fast?) just after bolting out of Peggy’s bed. I also laughed at the Chanel #5, because that is my favorite perfume! My mom wore it when I was growing up, and I wear it now. I love those classic scents! I thought it was an interesting juxtaposition that Ted was totally naked in bed with Peggy, but when he climbed into bed with Nan, he remained dressed.

            • Travelgrrl

              I noticed that too – he was covered up, literally and figuratively.

        • MartyBellerMask

          And then in the end, she didn’t sleep with him because he was a “good guy”. She slept with him because he stalked her and staked his claim (“I don’t want anyone else to have you”) and proved to be as big a jerk as every other man on the show.
          Plus he wore his sexy turquoise turtleneck.
          And she loved him.
          But my point is, being nice is not what did the trick. Nice guys get nowhere. The (currently) nicest guys are losing big accounts (Ken) and not getting the job they really want (Stan).

          • TeraBat

            One thing I’ve said about Ken a couple times is that, forty years from the end of the show, Ken Cosgrove, under his pen names, will be more beloved and remembered than anyone else. It might take him awhile, but he’ll be remembered by everyone who loves vintage science fiction.

          • Chris

            Peggy slept with him because he is probably more like her than anyone we have seen yet on the show. Those two loved the work and had a ball working together. Even Elisabeth Moss said they would have made a great team personally if Ted didn’t have a family. She called Stan her “office husband or wife” and said he and Peggy would only be friends.

            • MartyBellerMask

              That’s why she loved him, but not necessarily why she slept with him.

            • Zaftiguana

              Because surely loving him had nothing to do with sleeping with him?

            • MartyBellerMask

              Well, in my original comment, I stated that it did. But it was only PART of it.

          • Zaftiguana

            Ken has ostensibly the healthiest and happiest marriage on the show, an apparently successful career as a published author, and he didn’t lose a big account, he didn’t want it anymore. Ken could be a partner working one of the leading accounts in the country if he wanted to, but he has different priorities, is still very successful, and his success stems in part from being likable and very, very different from Pete, a guy who has a shitty career and a screwed up personal life.

            Which is not to say that nice guys finish first on MM either, because the show isn’t making those kinds of reductive and simplistic points. Even trying to categorize characters on the show, or people in life, in that sort of binary way is, frankly, a little goofy. All insistances by frustrated men to the contrary, life doesn’t work that way. How “nice” people are or aren’t, male or otherwise, isn’t some magic formula for success or failure.

            • MartyBellerMask

              I didn’t say being “nice” had anything to do with success or failure. I said in these very particular cases, on this show, in the last couple episodes, the “nice” men weren’t the ones getting to the top in this industry. I didn’t say it wasn’t by choice. Ken chose to give up the Chevy account, because he wasn’t cut out for it.
              And obviously the characters see niceness as a liability (“don’t call me nice!”) and get what they want (in Ted’s case, sex with the woman they love), when they stop being nice.

              I am not making some grand generalizations about society and humanity as a whole; I know the world I’m talking about a TV show, for goodness’ sake.

            • Zaftiguana

              I don’t think I said you were. I said you’re imposing binary assessments on a show that strived for a greater level of human realism than is reflected by your comments. In other words, “talking about a TV show, for goodness’ sake.” Just not one that deals in those types of TV-typical (and frustrated male typical) tropes.

              Ken’s genuine personability has been shown again and again to be why he’s successful in this industry vs. Pete’s unavoidable smarminess. And Ted didn’t get what he wanted at all, so much so that he had to beg his professional rival to let him uproot his children and flee 3,000 miles from his home to what was viewed then as career suicide in the advertising hinterlands. In this show, as in the real world that it’s trying to reflect and comment on, it’s just not that simple.

            • MartyBellerMask

              Obviously it’s a great show, or we wouldn’t all be talking about it.

              And your points are valid. But I think we can just agree that you are misinterpreting my comments and just leave it at that.

            • Zaftiguana

              Lol, is “we can just agree that you are misinterpreting my comments” like the new passive agressive version of agreeing to disagree? Needless to say, no, of course we don’t agree on that. Obviously, I just think that I am awesome and right and that you are possibly also awesome but currently wrong. And vice versa, I’m sure. And that’s okay.

        • Travelgrrl

          I think he was trying to be like carefree, careless Don; but couldn’t.

        • CozyCat

          Ted is one of those people who sees life as a movie where he’s the star and everyone else is the supporting cast. He, the hero, gets to bed the beautiful, intelligent coworker. But, being a hero, he has to deny himself his grand passion for the good of his wife and children. Because that’s what heroes do…

          In reality, of course, he was the (highly manipulative) aggressor all the way with Peggy. He had no intention of a romantic relationship with her, just a fling. And when he got what he wanted he dumped her.

          At least Don stuck around for a while with his mistresses.

          • quitasarah

            I disagree that he had no intention of leaving his family. In the moment I think he meant it. He was swept away with love and desire and a passion that seems to be missing from his marriage. He went to Peggy’s because he was jealous, not because he had a big plan to seduce then leave her. His behavior isn’t good, but I think a show like MM paints in shades of gray. He’s neither 100% good nor bad.

      • sockandaphone

        i think the historical context matters a bit here. it is 1968 after all. but that doesn’t excuse the shitty writing the women characters have been getting this season.

        • purkoy28

          betty has been getting a good persona this season, she is hot again and confident and entered a new level of their relationship with Don, now she is ontop where as before, sh was at her lowest.

        • ricky rocky

          yes, the women characters are underwritten. Joan ALONE ! She single handedly bags a huge account and Weiner says “oh, I just thought the audience would assume it worked out.” wtf

          • Zaftiguana

            So hugely disappointed in him in this context. He left an intentional cliffhanger there when Joan was told that she better hope Avon really does call and responds with tense, practically fearful silence, and then neither the account nor Joan having anything to do with accounts is ever mentioned again. In fact, she’s all cookies and budgets and “Let me show you out” for the remaining episodes, almost exactly as she was when she was the office manager, not a partner. For him to think for a second that he’d resolved that point is just sloppy, and frankly it shows a disregard for the character that’s troubling.

            • quitasarah

              Yes. This. So totally THIS.

        • filmcricket

          Yeah, shitty things happening to the characters because it’s 1968 is one thing. Shitty writing serving the characters is something else. Despite all the crap she’s gone through, Peggy has at least been well-served by the story, but Megan & especially Joan have practically been relegated to guest star status.

      • Qitkat

        I lol’d at *TLO stole my thunder*. Your comments are prolific and often insightful, but really? tongue-in-cheek, surely.

        Anyway, what I really want to do is further the discussion of Peggy and Ted in a different way, and I may be alone in this. I agree with you that their storyline was so clichéd, but I’d like to say I never really bought it. I didn’t think the chemistry between the characters was there, more than most of the time. Especially in the seduction scene, it felt so poorly scripted, and acted too. A one-night stand that has been building, what, for four years?, ought to have been much more passionate than this one was. Ted was never going to leave his wife, and Peggy ought to have known that. Most viewers are much more outraged than I am at his treatment of her. I would not have expected anything else. The best thing about their final scene together, was her comment of ‘well aren’t you lucky, to have decisions.’ Hopefully this whole thing will make her realize, *yes, damn it, I do have decisions.* I thought her scene in Don’s office showed she has been thinking this through, and what decisions does she, and she alone, have to make to send her up the career ladder to an office and position like that, and, what decisions will make her personal life more fulfilling. I hope she doesn’t go the route of foregoing a personal life, thinking she should now try the all or nothing route to business success.

        • Glammie

          I wonder to what extent the affair really had been building. There was the kiss, but I think a lot of the actual motivation is that Peggy was dumped and lonely, while Ted was partly drawn to Peggy because she was Don Draper’s protege and he really did have a thing about competing with/wanting to be Don Draper.
          I’m also curious where Don and Peggy will go from here–she now knows he sacrificed California at Ted’s request.

          • MartyBellerMask

            I kind of think Don did it for her. He doesn’t want that life for Peggy. She may be hurt, but she’s burned by Ted, not by Don this time. I can only think this will be good for their relationship. It may take her a while to see it that way though.

        • Chris

          It’s absolutely tongue in cheek! I saw so many people commenting on how Peggy had “made it” and not mentioning Joan was glossed over in the finale on certain points, when I read TLo’s excellent summary and all the points (and more besides) that I had been stewing about it, I was like “Yes!” Halleluiah!

        • Chris

          I thought Ted and Peggy had a lot of chemistry and really enjoyed their scenes together but the more comments I have read over time the more I realize how subjective everything is. What I can love someone else can hate and vice versa. One of my thoughts last night was at last Peggy seems passionate about an encounter in a way I hadn’t remembered since her and Pete hooking up on his office couch. Abe always seemed pretty bland to me but others really like him. One thing I had noticed and meant to mention is that Peggy’s was still wearing little girls nighties all season. There was nothing she wore that couldn’t have been put on Sally Draper. At least with Ted she had on some sexy undies for a change.

          • MartyBellerMask

            Peggy and Abe after riding in Joyce’s cramped, tiny car (and their encounters the following day), were pretty hot. It’s always seemed implied to me that Peggy truly enjoys sex and probably has learned a thing or two. I’d bet she did all the heavy lifting (so to speak) with Ted. Which is why I think hooking up with Stan would be downright explosive.

        • filmcricket

          Four years? I admit I’ve kind of lost track of how fast time is moving from season to season, but Peggy was still at SCDP until the end of last season. She hasn’t been working with Ted that long.

          • Qitkat

            Well, I’ve lost track too :S
            I have no idea where I pulled that *four years* from, but I thought she had been gone longer than you are saying.

        • ailujailuj

          You might be right… but here’s my take:

          Ted, like nearly all the other blokes in the biz at that time worked with women who held only the most subordinate positions in their environment. Peggy is an anomaly for most men… and new and exciting, intriguing, sexy. I think it’s perfectly believable that Ted would fall for Peggy in a very naturally sweet and juvenile way. It seems that realizing it was real and not a distraction brought him much pain. Ted seems happily married, but in an immature, jealous fit he succumbed to his impetuous desires. But it wrecked him and he had to make a drastic change. I hate that he did it but Peggy is at least as immature with certainly less experience in healthy relationships. I think she pursued the relationship because Ted was an (fatherly?) authority figure who not only acknowledged her professional talent and hard work but also made her feel necessary, needed, and valued as a woman.

          Peggy rode that train in the first car.

          They never leave.

          • Qitkat

            Here’s the part where I agree with you:

            I hate that he did it but Peggy is at least as immature with certainly less experience in healthy relationships. I think she pursued the relationship because Ted was an (fatherly?) authority figure who not only acknowledged her professional talent and hard work but also made her feel necessary, needed, and valued as a woman.

            *They never leave*
            I truly hope you are wrong. I’ve known women who clued up and changed their ways.

            • ailujailuj

              oh yes… “They never leave” meaning – married men (almost) never leave their wives for the other woman.

            • Qitkat

              Oh, duh. I misunderstood. Then yes, I’ve known that to be mostly true.

    • http://angrynerdgirl.net/ Jessi03

      So glad to read this! What a fantastic lawnmower moment filled episode! I do wish they’d mentioned the Avon account. Also, Don calling Betty “Birdie” on the phone made me melt a little bit. Megan noticed that one, which is why I think she brought up Betty when she was leaving. Megan still doesn’t really know who Don is, but I think she’s realized that she doesn’t care anymore.

      “She always did love the ocean.” LOL.

      • Joan Arkham

        I LOLed as well! I’m not offended or anything, and it’s not the first time a death has been met with comedy, but the whole situation just seems so odd to me. Did Pete even tell any of the partners?

        • Danielle

          Even if he didn’t, I would guess that Clara told Joan.

          • http://angrynerdgirl.net/ Jessi03

            That was my guess. Although Clara is the consummate secretary, so she may be keeping Pete’s secrets for him. I love Clara. She really was my favorite minor character this season. I also want her entire wardrobe.

        • MK03

          I found that whole exchange between Pete and Bud to be darkly hilarious. They’re so damn cheap and selfish they won’t even fork over a little cash to find their mother’s body. As soon as they learned it would require money, they gave up immediately.

          • 3hares

            No, I don’t think they were looking for her body. She’s in the ocean. She’s gone. Dot was never loving to them and her getting a burial at sea was perfectly fitting, imo

            They were discussing trying to pursue Manolo. I sympathize with them not wanting to pour yet more money they don’t have into that.

          • nosniveling

            I agree, I love all of the Pete and Bud scenes.

          • Jackie4g

            It wasn’t necessarily cheap and selfish, their mother was not a particularly loveable person, with or without the dementia. Their father pissed away all her money, leaving both of the boys to make it on their own, and neither ever let the mother know there was a reversal of fortune. So her death is freeing. They kept up a charade for a long time, and now, mercifully, it’s over, and they don’t have to.

            • Qitkat

              Well put. Charades.

              And to paraphrase you, as to Don, “his suspension is freeing. He kept up a charade for a long time, and now, mercifully, it’s over…”

              Thus, in an episode, and a show that always ties so many themes together between characters, even with very different circumstances, comes this one. Peggy and Ted’s, Pete and Bud’s, Joan and Roger’s over their son, Megan and Don’s charades. All over. However, Bob is still playing charades.

              The more monumental charades of Don and Sally, and Dick and Don, and Don/Dick vs SC&P are the driving ones of the story. How will those unravel further? or will they?

              And back to mercy. Mercy for Don too? Perhaps, or not. Mercy can be compassion shown to an offender, not what we saw from the partners to Don, more like coldheartedness; unless they are viewing the suspension as a last ditch attempt to save their most brilliant ad man, from himself, and protect the agency at the same time. Possibly their punishment can be a road to redemption for Don, but i wouldn’t bet the farm on it. What Don really needs is some amazing grace.

            • Glammie

              Don’s still a partner and Jon Hamm is still the star of the show. Matt Weiner made a point of saying in an interview that Don was still on top of his game as a creative. SC&P put their no. 1 creative on leave, while their no. 2 has been exiled to California. Peggy can’t do it all and doesn’t have the people skills to run a department.

              The McCann guy came in, but McCann is the epitome of safe in the MM pantheon.

              I think, by the way, that Don’s confession *did* alienate Roger. Roger’s a snob–and Don’s real background made him easier to dismiss. It made Don alien.

              Meanwhile, Joan resented Don blowing up her IPO, Cutler wanted to get him out and Bert was consistent–he doesn’t like anything that disrupts business.

            • Quinky

              I don’t see how Joan can still be holding onto resentment over that IPO — the firm is now worth WAY more post-merger.

            • quitasarah

              It’s not just the Hershey’s thing or just the IPO or just Jaguar or just St. Joseph’s or just… It’s everything rolled together. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back. And frankly I don’t think it was the confession of growing up in a whorehouse. I think it was “if it was up to me you wouldn’t advertise, period” (paraphrasing, obvs). They can tolerate a lot of bad behavior because he’s so talented, but he’s walking away from money, and that the partner’s cannot accept.

          • purkoy28

            but it was alot of money, that they dont have. remember that their family is broke…..too bad for manolo (thats karma manolo) lol.

        • purkoy28

          he would have told the partners if there was a cruise account that he could land with his personal tragedy (aka the airline account)

          • Joan Arkham

            Me-ow! Liked!

          • ricky rocky

            someone tell Manolo not to wear this white soda jerk suit to the funeral.

      • purkoy28

        otice also that Megan didnt even ask don what had happened after he hangs up the phone, she just asks if everything ok. she isnt interested in the drama of the draper family anymore….she is a Calvet, married or not

        • asympt

          She asked if she could help, and, unsurprised to get no answer, pushed no further. There’s only so much you can keep pushing.

    • leighanne

      I love seeing Joan back in her element as one of the partners in the firm. the past few episodes she was present, but did not look as official as she did when sitting with Bert and the other head honchos.

      What an ominous scene at the end with Don staring at the brothel and his past life, his current life crumbling down in a similar fashion. and showing it to his kids no less.

      I can picture Bob making that apron just to bring to Thanksgiving.

    • acevedob

      I almost thought Don was going to become a born-again Christian…until he woke up in jail. LMAO.

      • Munchkn

        I am so glad he didn’t! Frankly, I find that kind of preaching annoying and offensive.

        • tempworker

          so do I, and I hope I don’t offend by my observation above. I read the Jesus scene in the bar, the flashback memory to the preacher, and the ending on the steps re: forgiveness to indicate writers-at-work rather than setting up a conversion of Don/Dick ! which would be nonsensical, IMHO.

      • something

        So glad he didn’t. I would have to skip season 7.

    • Katerina

      Please Mad Men, I just want Peggy to have a great career AND a great relationship. Please?

      • Chris

        Seriously! And can she have one sexy outfit without it 1.) looking like something an extra from “Sweet Charity” would wear 2.) end up with her somehow “suffering” because of it.

        • Katerina

          I’m pissed off about how bad she looked post-coital. Lipstick smeared all over her face…but none on his? Why can’t they let her look pretty?

          • Chris

            I thought there was some on his face too but the light was pretty dim. I agree that they don’t let her look pretty too often.

          • SonOfSaradoc

            Both Peggs and Ted had the post-coital clownface from her heavy pink lipstick. I thought Chaough looked particularly strange with the pink around the mouth and then pale pale beard area in that desaturated light. Neither looked well after the deed, and both looked exquisitely realistic.

          • something

            Oh I disagree. I thought that was great. That’s how people really look. It was all over Ted’s face too.

            • Katerina

              I guess my TV is off…I couldn’t see the lipstick on him. I always think I look great post-coital…but I don’t wear lipstick!

          • Quinky

            Because men make women messy, to lift a quote.

          • quitasarah

            Someone somewhere pointed out that it called back to her “mark your man” Belle Jolie ad. I liked the touch of the smeared lipstick-face, it was much more realistic.

      • ThaliaMenninger

        I think Peggy isn’t meant to have a relationship. She’s meant to be the new 70s woman who didn’t need a man. Gloria Steinem, Mary Richards…

        • Jackie4g

          But Peggy does have a relationship – with Don. It’s not sexual, it doesn’t need to be, it is a bond that allowed him to fall asleep on Peggy’s lap in one episode. There is a very deep layer of trust. Some how, they are bonded. They have bailed each other out of moral and physical dilemmas more than once, and I don’t think they are finished with one another yet.

        • Sue Shea

          when i saw her in a pantsuit (even though it was a holiday), i thought mary richards before mary richards!

        • ricky rocky

          Straight 70’s women definitely wanted men, they just learned that they didn’t NEED them and there comes the progress. yay

      • CozyCat

        She’s still pretty young (late 20s?). And as a pioneer career woman, it’s going to take her a while to find a guy who accepts her for who she is. (I thought it was ironic when Abe declared that they just weren’t “pioneers”. Peggy sure is!) So she works long hours, in an office where she is surrounded by jerks.

        The 70s are going to be better for her, as the woman’s movement takes off.

        • fnarf

          According to people who watch more closely than I do, she’s 29, born in 1939. Apparently, her 26th birthday was the day of the Liston-Clay fight, depicted in Season 4. She’s got time.

        • Travelgrrl

          There was still the expectation then that a woman could have her little career until she married, then quit.

          It might be hard to find a husband who backs her all the way.

    • Kate Andrews

      I cried during the Hershey meeting. And “Both Sides Now.” Dear lord. And I had assumed Avon *didn’t* call because Joan seemed to be back doing secretarial duties toward the end. Annoying.

      • Angela Langdale

        That’s when I first got emotional too! I am one of the ones who loves Don/Dick and was hoping for his redemption. When he started talking during Hershey, and saying things you only tell your therapist, I thought, “Oh my god, this is it!” and I was mesmerized and then when they showed all the men, they had the same look on their faces as me. By the time we got to the end, and Sally looked at him with that mixed up “Oh Daddy” look of love, anger, sadness, pity, and disgust, I was bawling like a baby. I had to call my daughter (I am in East Texas and she is in Portland, Oregon) and she answers, “Hello?” and I cried “Waaaaaaah!” and she said “WHAT?” and I said, “MADMEN!”, and she goes, “DON’T tell me! I haven’t seen it yet!”

        This show never ceases to amaze me.

        • Travelgrrl

          I really, truly cried at the end.

        • tempworker

          This. Sally for me can stand in for the kids of that generation who dealt with their parent’s legacies and just plain pain. Heartbreaking.

    • Girl_With_a_Pearl

      Best Comment of the Night: You know what they say about Detroit. It’s all fun and games until they shoot you in the face.

      • Perditax

        Along with ‘I’d tell you to go to hell, but I never want to see you again’

        • http://frederickvegetarian.wordpress.com sixgables

          yes! that’s one I’ll use.

      • ricky rocky

        Detroit was already getting kind of wild (poor Detroit!). 1968 was only one year after the horrific 1967 riots. (Side note: my mom, now 90, watched the 1944 riots from her office on Woodward Ave.)

      • quitasarah

        Runner Up: “Not great, Bob!” But only because of VK’s awesome delivery.

    • marishka1

      I would beg to differ — I don’t think the partners rejected Don because of his whorehouse past — I think they put him on leave because he told his story in a completely inappropriate manner, besides constantly fucking up for the past…how many?…years. This was just the last straw.

      • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

        There’s no need to beg to differ. We never said that was the partners’ reasoning for it. Just that it was the outcome of Don’s actions.

        • marishka1

          I guess I read “people abandon him the minute they find out who he is. Just as Betty walked out once she found out Don wasn’t, in fact, a football star who was angry at his father but instead simply poor white trash, the partners of SC&P forced him out the minute he told them all about his Whershey Whorehouse antics. For a decade and a half, he’s lived in mortal fear of being found out and it turns out all his fears were well-founded. ” in a way you clearly did not mean.

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            You did.

            We’re looking at it from Don’s perspective, not explaining the partners’ actions.

            • Glammie

              But you know, I think the revelation *did* affect Roger’s view of Don. He might have been the only one who would have stuck up for Don (Don blowing up Jaguar didn’t bother Roger the way Hershey did). But Don’s confession made it clear to Roger just how much Don was “not one of us.” And that created or emphasized the distance between them.

              I think, too, Don’s being less-than-a-nobody meant he was easier to put aside. In some essential way, he does *not* belong.

              Interesting that Pete wasn’t there–I know the reason in the story for it, but his take was sorely missed.

          • somebody blonde

            Yeah, the way they phrased it makes it sound like a causal relationship, which in Don’s mind, it is- but really these rejections are just correlated.

        • purkoy28

          You guys have said since the first ep this season, the staircase is an important area of the office….and thats where don gets put on a sabatacle, which is definatly a horrible setback for Don. Just wanted to say…once again, u were right : )

      • Rhonda Shore

        Explaining the partner’s actions: It’s the erratic behavior as a whole…all of these things were a part of it. But it was the acting out when bidding for a potential lucrative account that nailed it. Being unreliable, rampant absenteeism, there’s an amount of that people will put up with for someone they believe in, but he took it too far in front of the Hershey’s people. I’m not even sure it was the whorehouse story itself that did it…any story that would have alientated them to such an extent would have had the same effect.

        • purkoy28

          he is all those things and doesnt have the great ideas and creativity to back it up anymore, so whats the point of letting him run wild ( from the partners pov) infact he even has to steal stans words on why he wants to go to l.a. Don is creativily washed up.

          • asympt

            It’s Weiner’s idea that he’s not washed up at all–in fact he says in that interview that Don’s a couple of years ahead of the curve on where advertising’s going. For what it’s worth.

            • Chris

              Yes he said something like the audience pays too much attention to the client’s opinion. Don is avant garde with his work and Ted is more in tune with the times. I got the sense Don work is more artistic and Ted’s is more commercial.

        • jen_vasm

          Don’s Hershey epiphany was the icing on the cake: his alcoholism, MIA’s, decisions without consulting any of the other partners – he was an uncontrollable renegade that his talent could not cover up anymore. So they sent him out Freddy Rumsen-style. That scene is brutal. SCP has always been hellish – grinding up all the folks with any sort of heart or kindness. It really is a form of Hell. Look at what happened to Lane and the toll it’s taken on Ginsberg. Now that Peggy & Ted’s love connection is gone, we’ll see how they are affected by the place’s bad mojo. As soon as Don made some positive personal strides, of course he is cast out.

          • CozyCat

            And Ken lost an eye!

          • Travelgrrl

            Or was it a ’60’s version of an intervention? Get your shit together, and come back. Or don’t.

            • jen_vasm

              The 60s version of an intervention is to fire your ass. They did the exact same thing to Freddy Rumsen – Don & Roger discussed how they would tell him it’s taking some time off, but clearly it’s a sacking. Don didn’t even get offered the sendoff that Freddy got. Each time I watch that scene, it gets harsher.

            • Travelgrrl

              Don is way more valuable to the firm than Freddy ever was, he’s a partner, and now with satellite offices in Detroit and California, SC & P are short handed. I say he’s back, bright eyed and cynical tailed, in season 7.

            • jen_vasm

              That’s exactly why it is so devastating! Don is being treated with contempt. There is no concern or warmth from his fellow partners. As for SC&P shorthandedness, his replacement got off the elevator with Duck. Don, for the first time since the Korean war, is free to create himself from the inside out in a true, authentic fashion, away from the toxicness at SC&P, which he helped make.

            • Quinky

              Well, to be fair, Freddy DID come back for a while once he sobered up, what was it, in season four?

            • jen_vasm

              Freddy was re-hired when he promised to bring his $2million Pond’s account to SCDP. It wasn’t like they went looking for him to come back.

          • girlsaturday

            I think untreated schizophrenia is what’s really taking a toll on Ginsberg. And what SCDP did to Lane was give him the equivalent of an honorable discharge after he stole/borrowed money from the company because he owed enormous back taxes.

            • jen_vasm

              Of course there are logical explanations for many characters’ undoings, but this isn’t real life. These characters are written into the show for a reason. Everyone at the firm has or had something to hide (except Cooper & maybe Roger who coincidentally are the most powerful), which drives the story forward. The most sympathetic ones are the ones who suffer the most under the weight of their deception.

      • sweatpantalternative

        Even more so, it was yet another instance of Don making a spur-of-the-moment, selfish decision that hugely impacts the business and/or everyone around him. It goes back to the blowout scene he had with Joan earlier in the season. He never considers the full consequences of his actions. Usually the ends vindicate his means (lose Jaguar, pick up Chevy; screw over Oceanspray, pick up huge tv contract with Sunkist), but when they don’t, as in this instance with Hershey, he just shrugs and walks away.

        I think this is why Megan’s reaction was so understandable. Sure, at first he told Ted he couldn’t give up California because Megan was already being written off the show, but 5 minutes later he’s had some sobriety-induced epiphany and suddenly a noble gesture trumps his wife’s career. Not to mention, he decided they should move to California WITHOUT even consulting her in the first place. Sure Hollywood is a good move for her, but she did have a role on a popular soap, so he had no assurances she’d want to relinquish it at the drop of a hat. And of course, the clincher, SHE had to remind him that he even had kids to think about in planning a move cross country. I think his response then (something like, “oh YEAH, well, phtttthlllllllhpp…..whatevs, they’ll come out for a week instead of weekends, and anyways Sally hates me and I don’t even remember the youngest one’s name……”) is what she was referring back to when she said she used to feel bad for them but now realizes they’re all just afterthoughts of Don’s whimsy.

        • Spicytomato1

          “It was yet another instance of Don making a spur-of-the-moment, selfish decision that hugely impacts the business and/or everyone around him.”

          Yes. I’m all for Don straightening his life out but to decide that honesty would be his new policy right in the midst of that important meeting…utterly and completely selfish. I was as thunderstruck as everyone else in that room, albeit for different reasons.

          • tempworker

            I don’t think it was a rational decision at all. It just happened: he felt it, and he did it. He took a risk and told the truth. Totally inappropriate, and they fired him. But I still think it may have been the only way, the rock bottom, the equivalent of the opening credits? He’s out, maybe even dead to them. Therefore, all his fears are/came true.

            • Spicytomato1

              Yes, you’re right, he wasn’t rational at all, although he didn’t appear to be unhinged at first. Having his rock bottom moment right there, right then, could very well be the opening credits “come to life.” Great observation.

          • Redlanta

            It is amazing the pure inner human/anamalistic drive to self-destruct. It was the only way to get some a small place of truth, and perhaps a future…

        • Travelgrrl

          I did get the sense that Megan had long been wanting the jump to CA.

          Don not taking the California job after he let Megan burn his bridges was all part of his attempt to distance himself from her.

      • quitasarah

        I actually think it had very little to do with the story at all. He could have told that story and recovered and finished the pitch. It was the “I don’t think you should advertise at all.” that killed him with the partners. The story was that Hershey’s needed to be talked in to advertising and Don did the opposite. That coupled with the other reckless (professional) things he’s done all season, I kinda don’t blame them.

    • Perditax

      I knew there was something about that shot of Pete and Tammy! I couldn’t place why it felt important, but luckily TLo are more observant than me! I felt proud enough that I recognised ‘Band of Gold’. I had to miss TLounge so did a lot more shouting at the screen than normal to vent my feelings. Despite all the plot, I think my loudest reaction was to Peggy’s pant suit!

    • Erica

      I was surprised that the season ended in a somewhat hopeful(?) way for Don. To me this entire season had that tension that something truly horrible would happen to him. Here, sure, he loses his job, but it was killing him anyway (and they are going to have to buy him out if they want him out), he decides to quit drinking, he exits a bad marriage, and he starts to repair his relationship with his daughter. Sure, it could all go terribly wrong for him, but maybe not.

      That Ted. Don did him a solid, which was good for both of them, and he’s trying to help his kids in his own way, but he’s still a total shit.

      • MK03

        Yeah, I felt like it was actually one of the more hopeful finales they’ve done. There was the hope of Don reconciling with his kids, hope of Roger being part of his son’s life, hope of Pete to finally find some happiness, hope of Peggy becoming the exec she deserves to be…

        • Erica

          Yes! Ted is hopefully out of Peggy’s life for good, too. It was the first episode this year that I woke up thinking about the next day. Glum and hopeful all wrapped up into one package. An excellent ending to a season.

      • Spicytomato1

        Agreed. It was the first time in many episodes that I didn’t feel like death might be the only option for Don.

      • MartyBellerMask

        Scared Straight, Dick Whitman style. Seriously, this is probably the only thing that is going to fix that relationship, and help get Sally back on track.

        • Travelgrrl

          I did think that Sally providing/drinking beer was more down to the culture of Miss Porters (as shown in the previous episode), and not as much that she was now a Don Draperesque alcoholic.

          She needs some Daddy love and attention, that’s for sure.

          • CozyCat

            Sally has her act together quite a bit more than she’s given credit for. She’s surrounded by “bad influence” friends who sneak around and drink. Sally is simultaneously more naive and smarter than them–she obviously hasn’t done much drinking and is just going along. But she also seems to realize that everyone’s being kind of stupid. It’s like she’s seen the ways grownups can mess up their lives so she’s not impressed by the teens trying to act “grown up.”

            I really don’t see her going wild with drugs and drink. Her bad behavior seems to be doing the minimum to remain socially acceptable.

            But I still have some sympathy for Betty, because Sally is a pretty typical teenage pain in the ass.

            • Spicytomato1

              “Her bad behavior seems to be doing the minimum to remain socially acceptable.”

              I agree — and Sally may very well do fine — but at the same time if she’s predisposed to addiction it could easily spiral out of control, which is nervewracking. I can see why Betty is so petrified, I sure would be.

            • formerlyAnon

              I think Sally’s background has given her fairly high control needs, and that may protect her from excessive drugging/drinking.

    • Topaz

      Well, I have to put my hands up and admit I was wrong about the writers not going there with Manolo and Pete’s mother. I thought the whole “murder for inheritance” plotline was too cheap a move for Mad Men, but they went for it. They were definitely going more outrageous with certain moments and subplots this year, and they did signpost it with all of Megan’s soap opera stuff, but I found it all very weird – as I found the scene between Ted and Peggy at her apartment very out of keeping with the show’s tone too, to the point that I kept expecting it to be another dream/daydream sequence. Not that I particularly disliked any of it. It just seemed to come right out of left field.

      Don’s speech to Hershey’s, though. That was excruciating. I was watching through my fingers the whole time.

      • golden_valley

        I thought the family fortune was lost. Manolo gets nothing because she had no real money, just her fancy clothes and jewelry.

        • MartyBellerMask

          Maybe he opened a life insurance policy that nobody else knew about?

          • 3hares

            There’s no way any insurance policy would pay off on that death.

        • Sweetpea176

          Maybe he did it *for* the clothes and jewelry!

      • golden_valley

        I don’t know that they went for the murder for inheritance plot. Her fall could have been an accident. Certainly the issue was left unresolved.

        • Topaz

          I think the fact they got married when Manolo is pretty unambiguously gay is a bit of a giveaway.

          • golden_valley

            It gives away that Manolo wants whatever money she has. He doesn’t have to kill her to get it. She was clearly infatuated with him and probably would have given him what he wanted. I think it’s sort of nice that she died having a nice time with a man she thought she loved. Sucks for Pete and Bud, but it was her money, not theirs.

            • Jackie4g

              Ah, but it is their money. The late father spent all of Dot’s money. There is no more inheritance. Whatever else they did wrong, the brothers never let Dot know that all she had was outward appearances, nothing of substantial value was left. They liquidated everything they could and provided a backdrop for her illusions. The serious money is long gone. Now Manolo knows it, too.

            • 3hares

              It was their money. She didn’t have any money.

              Her death was the way to get the money he thought she had. It would be the difference between her bestowing little gifts on him and him inheriting a fortune. That’s the scam in marrying an old person–the will. He didn’t have to marry her if the point was just for her to shower him with gifts and cash. If she was dead he’d inherit the fortune and be able to do what he wanted with it.

              I don’t understand this rosy view of what he was doing. The fact that Dot might have been having a nice time before she died doesn’t change the fact that the guy used her dementia to steal from her, something the real Dot would have been mortified by. Then he most probably pushed her off a boat to kill her once he had what he wanted. It’s not like Dot had a history of wandering off the edges of things, and it was Manolo’s job to make sure she wasn’t in danger on the boat. She also just happened to fall in a spot where she’d go right into the water.

              It’s actually pretty possible she wasn’t having a good time at all when she died, however happy she was during the wedding. She has demented and was in a strange place with a lot going on. She might have been terrified by the end. And then she was most probably violently pushed into the ocean and drowned. That’s not pleasant. (I think Manolo absolutely did push her, and MW said he did as well, so I don’t give him any benefit of the doubt about even just intentionally leaving her near the edge and looking the other way.)

      • Sweetpea176

        I’ve got my hand up, too. I also thought that the “murder for inheritance” plotline was too cheap for Mad Men. I’m a little disappointed, I have to say.

      • Quinky

        I thought it was a HORRIBLE decision on the part of the writers, even if it did lead to some funny moments between Pete and Bud & Pete and Bob.

    • http://frederickvegetarian.wordpress.com sixgables

      We were clapping with glee when Bob screwed over Pete with the Camaro. Better than a punch in the nose.

      Also: “She loved the sea.”

      • Spicytomato1

        Lol, I think that will now be code for any time I feel a massive rationalization coming on: “She loved the sea.”

      • MartyBellerMask

        I loved his “We’ll pay for that!”
        Bob. Ha. You little bastard. Pete deserved it though.

    • Melanie

      I love Bob Benson so much, and I’m so thrilled he hasn’t just rolled over for Pete. Can’t wait to see what happens with him next!

      • 3hares

        Far from rolling over, he feels no guilt over getting his mother murdered.

        • Chris

          Yes, even if he really didn’t know about Manolo, a human being with some feelings would feel guilt or remorse or something at facilitating getting a guy’s mother with senile dementia taken advantage of and murdered. Particularly a guy he was supposed to have such strong feelings for not long ago.

          • ybbed

            Which probably is a lie too, his affection for Pete I mean. Did he show Pete any caring at all this episode? After the elevator scene he immediately turned on Pete in Detroit using whatever he could to humiliate and embarrass him in front of Chevy. Whenever he appears to be in jeopardy he unleases his evil manipulations. He is a con man.

            • Travelgrrl

              He uses his powers for good, not evil – until you cross him. Pete was trying to cockblock him at the Chevy meeting and got his comeuppance.

        • Melanie

          See, I don’t think Bob had anything to do with “getting [Pete's] mother murdered.” Frankly, I’m not even sure I buy that she’s dead. But if she is, and Manolo killed her, that’s still not Bob Benson’s fault.

          • 3hares

            Bob Benson intentionally hooked up Dot with Manolo–and later even encouraged him to manipulate her with what was the first hint of the “voyage” idea. Even if he wasn’t in on it, I think a human would feel terrible about doing that. If she isn’t dead she’s a woman with dementia who’s been kidnapped, which isn’t much better.

            But she’s probably dead. Due to Bob’s friend. Who was hired because of Bob’s recommendation under somewhat false pretenses. And who preyed on an elderly demented woman. If Bob can just say “Hey, not my fault!” that’s pretty cold.

            • Chris

              And MW has confirmed she is probably dead.

            • Melanie

              I don’t disagree that you might feel remorse, but that doesn’t equate to fault, which some people seem to be saying. And we don’t know that he doesn’t feel any remorse. You’re all just assuming that because we didn’t see it on screen. All we saw between him and Pete was the initial accusation and Bob’s disbelief that Manolo would have hurt Pete’s mother.

              “and later even encouraged him to manipulate her with what was the first hint of the “voyage” idea” – can you refresh my memory on when this happened, because I don’t recall ever seeing Manolo and Bob together.

            • 3hares

              Yes, I was definitely referring to the fact that he didn’t show any remorse–and since he was talking to the person whose mother had been murdered I would think that would be natural.

              When Bob was talking to Manolo on the phone in the last ep he was telling Manolo to do something to Dot because Pete was trying to interfere with him. Dot then appeared and said she was looking for her passport because she’d run into Manolo and they had decided to go on a voyage together. Iow, the first hint of running away with her came after Bob told him to use Dot to pressure Pete about Bob.

            • Melanie

              When he was talking on the phone in Spanish, you mean? I remember that scene, but I don’t remember him telling Manolo to “do something” with Dorothy. I’ll have to go back and see. That’s interesting, because I certainly did not make the connection between that scene and Dorothy showing up and asking for her passport. Thanks!

            • 3hares

              Yes, what he says is “I don’t care if he’s nice he’s a snotty bastard!” or something like that. The “she” is referring, we can assume, to Dorothy and that’s why she shows up having “run into” Manolo later.

            • joything

              Okay, somebody’s going to have to come up with an exact transcript of the Spanish dialogue and its translation. Help me, Rhonda!

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              He showed remorse – or at least shock and horror – to Pete on the elevator when he first found out.

              When he spoke to Manolo on the phone, he told him to talk to Pete’s mother about Bob Benson and get her to intercede on his behalf, which she did in the next scene. He didn’t tell Manolo to do anything to her.

              Honestly, if he’d had anything to do with Dorothy’s death, he would’ve run.

            • 3hares

              Right–I’m not suggesting he was in on it. I was just saying that when Manolo interceded on Bob’s behalf he and Dot apparently also first came up with the idea of going on a voyage together.

            • Zaftiguana

              “When he spoke to Manolo on the phone, he told him to talk to Pete’s mother about Bob Benson and get her to intercede on his behalf”

              I don’t remember it that way. Do you remember exactly what he said? I thought it was much more vague with something about Bob not caring that she’s a nice woman, implying that Manolo was protesting something Bob wanted him to do that might not be in Dorothy’s best interest. I wondered if it wasn’t that Bob asked Manolo to get back into her life and toy with her emotions a bit to needle Pete or scare him/throw him off his game, but maybe I’m misremembering.

              I agree that Bob probably wasn’t involved in her murder, though, even if it was a murder.

            • 3hares

              All he said was “I don’t care if she’s nice, her son’s a snotty bastard” or something to that effect. As you say, implying that Manolo was protesting what Bob wanted him to do. I assume it was that he was asking him to get back in her life and toy with her emotions–but also to intercede on his behalf because when Dot appeared she said that she’d seen Manolo, that they were considering a voyage, and that Manolo was very upset at the way Pete had treated his friend Bob.

            • ybbed

              “I don’t care if she’s nice, her son’s a snotty bastard” ……so get rid of her!!!

            • ybbed

              Yeah maybe Bob wanted him to take her on a cruise and get rid of her. Bob easily could have been involved somehow with Dot’s disappearance.

            • Travelgrrl

              I agree.

              Unless Manolo had previously wooed and married other elderly clients who died under suspicious circumstances, I don’t think we can tag Bob with this one.

            • joything

              I agree. I posted a reply to this same subject upthread, that it seems to me that Bob used Manolo to get in Pete’s favor, – and nothing more.

            • 3hares

              To get in his favor and have something he could also use against him, as he did when he was out of Pete’s favor and he got Manolo to sic Dot on him for Bob. If Manolo was just a good nurse he’d gotten Pete for his mom he wouldn’t have had that power–and he wanted it.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              I don’t think so. Manolo was just another deli tray at a funeral and football for a two-year-old; an attempt by Bob to use any tool at his disposal, no matter how inappropriate, to get ahead and get in good with his bosses.

            • 3hares

              You’re right, he could be. But he was also one with other benefits Bob was quick to take advantage of. I suppose he was the only person he knew who could be a nurse so he was just called into service for that.

            • quitasarah

              Yes, absolutely. I think it’s hilarious how people NEED to cling to the conspiracy theories when it comes to BB. The dealth-at-sea sub plot was (a) the catalyst that allowed Bob to get Pete kicked off Chevy and (b) a way to free Pete from his East Coast responsibilities so he could leave for LA, with a little dark humor thrown in. Without it we’d never have “She always did love the sea.” LOL

            • 3hares

              Wait, hold on. I’ve never bought the conspiracy theories about Bob. Saying that Bob was hoping to infiltrate Pete’s life isn’t a conspiracy theory, it’s a fact of who Bob is and what he was doing (and is still doing all over the office, but with Pete it was personal). I believe that Bob sent Manolo to the Campbells because Manolo was the person he knew who could do the job of a nurse, rather than that Bob had a scheme for the Campbells involving Manolo–I see it the same way. But it’s not a conspiracy to say that the fact that Manolo “belonged” to Bob in a limited way was something Bob saw as an advantage. We saw him use it when Pete got out of line. This is Bob’s M.O. with everything. He’s pretty much admitted it and other characters have called him out on it.

            • quitasarah

              What I was getting at is that I don’t buy that Bob was involved in or orchestrated Manolo’s “murder” of Pete’s mom. That was the most recent conspiracy theory I was referring to. I agree with TLo, Manolo was a deli tray.

            • http://twitter.com/#!/Space_Kitty Space Kitty

              I know what you meant, but you just made me vow to live my life in such a way that nobody EVER refers to me as just another deli tray at a funeral. ;)

            • TeraBat

              The other thing to consider, though, is that Pete seemed very much not receptive to any sort of display of remorse or sadness from Bob. If someone I already know doesn’t much like me is screaming at me that I’m responsible for their mother’s death when I had nothing to do with it – yeah, I might feel bad inside, but hell if I’m going to let the other person see that.

            • 3hares

              But Bob *did* have something to do with it. He hooked up his mom with the con man that murdered her. If somebody announced to me that my con man friend that I’d recommended to take care of his elderly mother had married her on a ship that she then she fell off (probably he pushed her) my response would be OH MY GOD, I’M SO SORRY! I HAD NO IDEA THAT COULD HAPPEN! I SWEAR I THOUGHT HE WAS A GREAT NURSE! Or at least some measure of horror at what I had done, even if it was by accident. Of course Pete isn’t very receptive to him right now, but given the circumstances that’s understandable.

              Of course in Bob’s case that would be a lie because his recommendation was false. But still, Bob’s reaction is immediately to distance himself and gloss over: I’m sorry to hear that (like it’s just a tragedy and these things happen) and then “calm down” (followed by defenses of Manny) as he gets control over the situation and can start dictating the other person’s emotions. Bob’s not upset, why should Pete be upset?

              I don’t think Bob had anything to do with the murder and I could believe that he sees the best in Manny and is just not even going to think about him possibly being guilty (Bob doesn’t think about anything that could look bad for him–he just convinces the other person their impression was mistaken), but he had a lot to do with her death and isn’t bothered by it.

          • Chris

            I would argue that if you personally recommend a murdering conman to someone as a care person for their mother you should feel some guilt at the results.

            • Mismarker

              Right? I posited a few weeks ago that Bob might be Jesus. Now I’m beginning to think he’s the Devil.

            • Krafty_L

              I would be very surprised if Bob knew Manolo to be a murdering conman – he recommended him to Pete when he was still enamored of Pete, and genuinely trying to get into his good graces. Bob may have some secrets, but I can’t think of him as a malicious schemer.

            • Chris

              I don’t think he had a hand in it or knew that Manolo was malicious (he seemed adamant that Manolo didn’t even look at women and I think it’s clear he did, so he didn’t know him that well.)
              I just personally feel he didn’t seem as remorseful for introducing and recommending him as he should when there was such a horrible outcome.

            • Spicytomato1

              i don’t think Bob had anything to do with it but he did know Manolo well enough to converse with him in Spanish. (Although his knowledge of Spanish could have origins other than his relationship with Manolo, as so many speculated recently.)

            • Nicole R

              Which makes me think that he didn’t know Manolo as much as he thought, because his real name (Marcus Constantine) doesn’t sound too Spanish to me. I don’t think Bob was aware that Manolo himself was a fraud.

            • Zaftiguana

              That’s a good point.

            • Travelgrrl

              Really, there is no evidence that he killed her – only that he went on a cruise and married her.

              The song “Just a gigolo” played earlier this season also might be a clue.

            • 3hares

              Pushing somebody off a boat doesn’t leave much physical evidence, but the circumstances certainly point to murder. He took her into dangerous circumstances under false pretenses by getting her away from home and marrying her. He knows she has dementia and he’s her caretaker, so if she steps off the edge of a boat he’s responsible.

              And wandering off ledges has never been part of her dementia before. The whole point of marrying her was, presumably for money (again, circumstances make that clear) and if that’s the case he’s got a motive for murder right there. Manolo wasn’t being a gigolo to Dot since she wasn’t paying him to sleep with her.

            • Travelgrrl

              Or Bob could have been trying to honestly help Pete, not knowing the depths of his treachery. Everything Bob does is in service to his career. How does it benefit him for Pete’s mother to die under circumstances related (however distantly) to him?

              A gigolo is also someone who marries a (usually older) woman for money.

              The main point is that she’s gone and Pete and Bud are secretly relieved.

            • 3hares

              I was talking about Bob, not Manolo. I don’t think Bob was involved in the plan to bump off Mrs. C. I also think that when he found out about it he didn’t feel guilt or remorse about his part in it.

        • Travelgrrl

          I don’t believe Manolo murdered Pete’s mom, more that she wandered off the ship. Like you do.

          And I didn’t get the sense that Bob knew about the marriage, the cruise or the death.

          • desertwind

            I got the sense last episode that Pete had finally given in to the idea of Manolo in Dorothy’s life. That he could see the advantages of Manolo could give Dorothy a life with some sort of order that didn’t require Pete and Bud to be constantly dealing with her.

            A few hours after Dorothy showed up looking for her passport and talking of a cruise and Manolo, Pete tells Bob to get Manolo away from her, but his reply to Bob’s emphatic “He’s not interested in women!” was “You just better be sure.”

            That seemed pointedly ambiguous to me. Not that he wanted Manolo to marry her and drop her in the drink. Or did he? I doubt Manolo or Dorothy paid for that cruise.

            • quitasarah

              Where exactly did Pete give in to the idea of Manolo in Dorothy’s life? Where he yelled at her current care giver? Or where he yelled at Bob? When exactly did this happen?

          • 3hares

            Even if she wandered off the ship, Manolo would be very culpable. Though MW has said that he thinks Manolo murdered her.

            I didn’t think Bob knew about it either, but by setting her up with his con man friend as a nurse for his own purposes, Bob absolutely had a direct hand in getting her murdered.

    • Ruthie O

      Love this, and thank you for posting this for us! Something that really hit me this episode was how Don has spent decades working on his self-fulfilling prophesy. He believes that everyone will leave him because of his poor, unconventional upbringing. But the reality is he only reveals himself to the people who love him AFTER he has already wrecked their relationship by giving into his demons. The partners kicked Don to the curb because he’s been absent and unreliable this season; the timing just lined up to confirm Don’s fears. Same with Betty; Betty leaves not because of Don’s past, perse, but because of his lies and betrayals. This allows Don to blame his past circumstances rather than his current behaviors for the shit in his life, which prevents him from ever really growing.

      • Just Me

        Absolutely. Reminds me of people who “know” deep in their souls that they must be unlovable, so they make it impossible for anyone to love them, thus proving themselves right. They would rather be right preemptively than be right after taking a chance and letting their guard down. Either way, they are right…unloved and alone, but right. Rolling the dice and being proven wrong is too much of a gamble.

        • Ruthie O

          Yes! You are absolutely describing Don Draper. Except he phrases it differently: “nobody could ever love Dick Whitman.”

      • Melanie

        Except Megan. She married him even after knowing about him (I think; but even if they were already married when he told her, she stayed with him – she’s not leaving him now because of his past; she’s leaving him now because he can’t get his shit together.).

        • Ruthie O

          Exactly. This is why, I believe, Don felt so compelled to drive her away. He’s been an awful husband this whole season, letting Dick Whitman creep into his marriage. She may have known about his demons, but she didn’t experience them until this season.

          • ricky rocky

            Don didn’t get love growing up so he doesn’t know how to really love anyone now even though on some level he wished he could. You can’t give something you never got yourself. He’s tryin’ though. Showing the kids where he grew up shows a lot of growth (tee hee) on his part.

    • hmariec19

      Don’s speech to Hershey’s KILLED me. I literally could not believe what I was watching.

      • Kate Andrews

        I know. Me too. And as tired as I’ve gotten with Don’s neuroses this season (and all the flashbacks), this was an amazing feat of acting. Jon Hamm needs an Emmy!

        • MK03

          Seriously, how is it that he doesn’t have one yet?

          • Kate Andrews

            They keep giving them out like Hershey bars (seewhatididthere?) to Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad.

            • artsykelly

              As a die hard MM and BB fan … I can’t say Bryan Cranston’s Emmy’s weren’t earned.

            • Kate Andrews

              Oh, I wouldn’t argue that he didn’t deserve an Emmy, but I think 3 years in a row is a bit much. It says to me that the Emmy voters don’t really watch all the shows. Daily Show and Amazing Race have won every single year in their categories, which is crazy. I just want others to have a chance.

            • ricky rocky

              In the world of fashion they just put you in the Hall of Fame and other’s then can compete and grow..

            • Quinky

              I agree. JH has MUCH more range than BC, at least in these roles.

            • Zaftiguana

              Yeah, I love Mad Men and think that it’s ultimately the better show, though both are amazing. And I also love Jon Hamm and think his work is fantastic and that it’s really his rough look that his show is running parallel to BB, because Jon is great but Bryan Cranston is just in a league of his own.

      • Travelgrrl

        I truly had to stop it and walk away.

    • MilaXX

      I realize that Don Draper is the center of this tale, but I think Weiner is a bit too in love with the character to the point where other characters can get a bit neglected. I understand this season was the build up to the crash and burn we saw Don have last night, but we could have easily done with at least 2 of the extended whorehouse flashbacks and still gotten that point.
      I mentioned in the Tlounge last night that I assumed Joan got the account because she hadn’t gotten in trouble, but it would have felt better to have that mentioned.
      As for Bob, I do believe he wasn’t aware of Manolo’s scheming. I could imagine a scenario where he and Joan have a marriage of convenience. The fact that it would drive Roger nuts would be an added bonus,

      • fnarf

        Joan is definitely this season’s “most ignored” character. She’s basically there to help fill out Bob’s character now, and her biggest plot point — Avon — gets resolved off-screen, to the point where most people, me included, don’t know what that resolution is.

        • MilaXX

          and others like me only guessed.

    • Lilithcat

      we’re thrilled that Bob is still in the story, still gay

      As usual, Weiner is hedging that bet. In an interview in today’s Chicago Tribune (which, for some reason, isn’t on their website), he says, “Honestly, Bob is in love with Pete . . . I don’t know that he’s gay. He’s just in love with Pete.”

      Really?

      • Supernumerary

        That statement of Weiner’s seems annoyingly evasive.

        • Zaftiguana

          Love him and his show, but he really can be a pompous ass sometimes. Even if he really is trying to leave the door open for Bob to be bi, the way he’s wording it with the press is inducing major eyerolls.

          • asympt

            Ah, he’s being evasive for the sake of being evasive is all.

            • formerlyAnon

              Which is the irritating part, but I guess he’s entitled.

          • fnarf

            He jerks the press around worse than Ted jerks Peggy around. I assume everything he says is either a lie or a misdirection or obfuscation, until long after the fact. He does it on purpose. He needs to do publicity, but he wants us to watch the show, not interviews.

      • MartyBellerMask

        Matt Weiner- whatever. I don’t even bother with his interviews.

        • Travelgrrl

          At least he cleared up the Joan/Avon thing in his Sepinwall interview today.

          But it would have been better to, you know, include it in the writing.

      • ricky rocky

        um, being sexual with someone isn’t just a bromance. knees don’t lie. hmmm, knees….

    • Perditax

      So it really did boil down to ‘Don’s life falls apart because of prostitution’!

      • decormaven

        TLo gets a Hershey bar!

    • decormaven

      Thanks, TLo, for the link to Alan Sepinwall’s column. It’s interesting to get that kind of relatively unguarded take from MW. Most of the time I feel iike I’m reading tea leaves when I view his comments. He was much more forthright about the work this time. I love how he mentioned how 1968 was the breakthrough year for the world to be televised. Vietnam was in our living rooms at dinner time, and that little taste of Nixon’s crime commercial in the last episode informs us that this truly was a culture of fear.

    • Fordzo

      OK…In corporate speak, was Don fired? Why didn’t they just say “you’re fired”? What does this whole take a few months off to regroup mumbo jumbo really mean?

      • decormaven

        I think that was a total Jim Cutler move, and I think he orchestrated the early pre-partners meeting. Jim knows that Don is damaged goods, but he’s not ready to put him in the discard pile. He will see how things play out, maybe bring Don back in a more removed, muted role. Remember, Jim was probably keeping an eye out to see how Ted translated to work on the coast. Jim wins all the Hershey bars, as far as I’m concerned. There’s a reason that silver fox came up with SC&P. Pure power move.

        • Melanie

          MW spoke to EW about it and said, basically, “Yeah, he was fired.” It’s on the site today.

          • decormaven

            Thanks for that link. I’m still thinking SC&P will pull Don in through some type of positioning. Maybe not back at the Creative Director’s chair, but something – consultant for sure.

            • Melanie

              Oh, yes, of course. Otherwise, next season will just be . . . Don? Someone else pointed out that MW’s repeatedly said this is a story about Don – everyone else is important only so long as their stories are important to Don’s.

            • Glammie

              Oh I think Don can maneuver his way back in *if* he wants to. He’s still got the talent–MW’s made that clear–which means some client’s going to want his copy. Hell, Duck’s survived all this time and Freddy Rumsen came back for a while.

              Next season’s plot line.

            • Redlanta

              He might go Free agent. I keep thinking of the Oscar Mayer commercial with the little boy singing. When was that made? It was developed by an ad guy and his son.

          • quitasarah

            If they did fire him, isn’t he still technically a partner? Wouldn’t they have to buy back his shares? Someone who knows business please help us!

        • Spicytomato1

          Cutler and Co. may not have been ready to dump Don outright but I gotta believe Don has no illusions about coming back. I know if I had partners who offered me such a deal I’d do anything I could to find another job and never look back, no matter how desperate I might be.

          • decormaven

            Who knows, the next season will inform us. If Ted starts spiraling in CA, and Smug Replacement Exec brought in by Duck can’t cut the mustard, Don may get a phone call. Like Hunter S. Thompson said, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”

            • Glammie

              Exactly. Plus, I don’t know how you have a creative director work out of LA in 1968? There are no fax machines, no computer networks, no Federal Express. So Ted and Pete pretty much have to work on their own, leaving SC in NY to rely on dull McCann guy and Peggy and Ginsberg.

              The scenario leaves a place for Don–particularly if he can show he’s sobered-up/completed-nervous-breakdown.

            • DonnaL

              I think there were fax machines then, even if they weren’t common until the 1970’s.. And teletype machines, of course.

            • joything

              And WATS lines had just come in: “INWATS service was introduced by AT&T in 1967 to reduce time spent by operators processing toll-collect calls for businesses.” (Wikipedia)

            • decormaven

              Bless those WATS lines. Could make calls without line-item billing. An unpaid perk for those of us trolling the lower end of the salary line.

            • ricky rocky

              Telex machines I don’t think started until after 68. I thought faxes came in the 80’s.

        • MartyBellerMask

          Harry Hamlin wins all the Hershey bars. Who knew???

          • joything

            Lawnmowers and Hershey Bars. our new Shock/Sweet icons.

        • Sweetpea176

          This has me trying to remember whose idea it was to drop the names “Draper” and “Pryce” from the merged company’s name. Was Cutler looking for an opportunity to get the other partners to agree to firing Don? Hmmm.

          • decormaven

            In “A Tale of Two Cities,” Ted, Jim and Bert come into Don’s office as Don and Roger return from CA. Ted broaches the subject of the firm’s name. Cooper pipes up with “Sterling, Cooper & Partners.” Jim says the decision rests on Ted, Don, and himself in sharing the blow of their names removed. See, Jim is not dumb. We’re going into S7 with Don conceivably out of the picture, Ted in LA – and not present in the NYC office, and Jim on site to maneuver S&C out of the way. I don’t think Jim knew exactly how the cards would fall, but he is a master at positioning.

          • MartyBellerMask

            Exactly. Look at the new acronym: SCDP vs SC&P. Only the D has been replaced. Technically, Pryce became Partners, but IMO that slight logo change speaks volumes.

      • Danielle

        It’s like when Freddy Rumson was told to take several months leave. Then we didn’t see him again for a couple of year.

        Interesting how Peggy’s two biggest promotions have come from an alcoholic getting booted from the agency.

        Also, are there no other advertising headhunters in NYC besides Duck Philips?

        • norseofcourse

          And she got Freddy’s office after he left…

          • Danielle

            Not just his office, but his position as a senior copywriter.

        • Historiana

          Ironically, Don gave Fred that “take a few months” death knell speech at the bar, and Fred never came back to the office. He came back to undermine SCDP by giving Peggy a lead to the job at Chaugh’s company. The difference was Fred begged and pleaded to not be let go, Don just walked.

          • Chris

            Freddy came back and gave SCDP Pond’s cold cream but he was working freelance at the time I believe. He worked with Peggy on it. It was his idea to sell marriage when Peggy wanted ritual. Faye had a session with the secretaries that she said proved Freddy was right. When Megan was planning Don’s surprise party she has Freddy on the guest list but Peggy tells her he doesn’t go to parties (because of the drinking).

        • Sweetpea176

          I don’t think Peggy was promoted in this episode.

          • Danielle

            Maybe not, but I’m being hopeful for her. Maybe the guy Duck brought in was there to replace the job Peggy had been in. I guess we’ll find out.

            • quitasarah

              No, unfortunately, Peggy was covering, doing what she always does. The guy Duck brought in was a big wig at a competitive agency, we saw him in the episode where they go to Chevy and decide to merge the companies. Being quite the ass-hat if I recall… No way they’re promoting Peggy and hiring him for her position.

      • jenno1013

        As someone pointed out, they’d have to buy him out since he’s a partner. But I suppose they could do that whether he was willing to go or not — just mail him the check and change the lock on the front door.

      • Chris

        Don’s a partner so it’s not quite as easy to kick him out the door. Plus he still must have some name brand recognition as the genius creative so that the partners don’t want to suddenly announce to everyone they kicked him to the curb (especially after being listed as a top 30 agency). Ironically, if Don hadn’t been so intent on getting Chevy and hadn’t come up with the merger he likely would not have been asked to go.

      • sweetlilvoice

        I think if Don dries out and gets his shit together, he will be fine and back in the firm. I hope he can.
        Amazing episode. I’m still reeling. The only reason I’m not completely depressed is that my sis and I have decided to continue MM night and start with “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” and go from there!

        • FloridaLlamaLover

          Totally off topic — but I love your avatar! Every time I see it, I think “Smiling Jar of Playdough!” which makes me smile, because I still love Playdough. (Even though I know it isn’t.)

      • Guest

        Isn’t that the same thing they did to Fred Rumsen when his drinking got out of control? Don gave him that death knell speech at the bar, but Fred came back sort of undermining Sterling Cooper by giving Peggy a lead to the job at Chaugh’s company. The difference was Fred begged and pleaded to not be let go, Don just walked.

    • http://communionoflight.com/ Frank Butterfield

      For two seasons now, I have refused to actually watch this show because the haunting sadness that settles in is too much and not anything I want to carry with me into the moment after the episode finishes.

      So, I have really enjoyed reading these recaps to see how the story has been moving along.

      As I was pondering why I never watch (as I do every Monday morning), I started thinking about the decision I made many years ago when standing in the middle of the gay bookshop in Dupont Circle in DC. I was looking over the titles in the fiction section, picking up new books, and wondering to myself why every one of them was always deeply sad.

      I had no answer for that then nor do I have an answer now. All I know is that I made a decision to find a different feeling and walked out of that bookshop never to return (so far) to the genre of gay male fiction.

      Somehow the two are connected. I understand the narrative need for the powerful emotion. I just don’t want to live in it like that. But I am glad that there are those who create it because I know there are those who enjoy it. And I enjoy basking in the appreciation of the ones who like it. So, thank you Tom & Lorenzo for making that possible here. I truly, truly appreciate you and all the folks who come here to comment about your insights and who go even further as a result.

      In a nutshell: thank you for watching so I don’t have to.

      • formerlyAnon

        This expresses my feelings about a lot of literature and film so very clearly. Thanks for putting it out here.

        (And I think I knew that book store! I miss the days when you could remember even smaller cities by which book stores you visited.)

      • Spicytomato1

        I felt the exact same way (although I phrased my feelings as “existential dread” rather than your more eloquent “haunting sadness”) about the show for the first few seasons. I kept trying periodically, though, and it finally “stuck” for me in season four. Then I went back and caught up. Somehow it doesn’t bother me as much as it once did. It is nice that you can still follow the developments here — there’s no better place.

    • Anne

      I loved this episode–multiple gasps from this viewer–but seriously, I think my favorite line was that marvelous throwaway from Caroline: “You know little Ralphie is spastic.”

      • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

        Absolutely the best line of the night. Hilarious. That’s an actress who really knows how to make a few lines of dialogue sing.

      • Musicologie

        I wonder about that conversation. Caroline is one of the most seasoned secretaries, and you can tell she’s one of the good ones by the fact that Joan can even tolerate her presence. So, when she came to Joan with her concerns about Roger–was she informing the former office manager out of habit (Joan’s no longer head secretary, and she’s been working hard to separate herself from that role), or was she discreetly informing the one person she knew might be able to help Roger?

        • Melanie

          I think your second guess is right – she must know about Joan and Roger, and so I think she was putting a bug in Joan’s ear about Roger’s sadness and being cut out of his daughter’s life, hoping Joan would do exactly what she did. I’m not saying I think Caroline knows that Kevin is Roger’s son; only that she hoped Joan would extend an invitation to Roger so he wouldn’t be alone on Thanksgiving.

        • Anne

          I thought that might be the case too–Caroline telling Joan on the off chance that she would invite Roger over to her own Thanksgiving.

          Also, HILARIOUS: Roger with his box of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce–“We couldn’t get rid of it!”

      • fnarf

        Beth Hall is killing it with her sparse appearances as Caroline.

    • Eclectic Mayhem

      I’ve hated Don all season but I wept when he told his true Hershey’s story and I wept again at the end.

      • ricky rocky

        Everyone is so moved by Don’s way over the top revelation during the Hershey meeting. I was laughing as I quoted Miss Thelma Ritter from “All About Eve” when she says, “What a story! Everything but the bloodhounds snappin’ at her rear end.”

    • jenno1013

      My favorite line was from Joan: “I’m inviting you into Kevin’s life, not mine.” Way to draw the boundary with a smile.

      • Angela_the_Librarian

        I loved that whole Thanksgiving scene. I just wished they would have shown more of it (and hey, maybe Joan could have casually mentioned the Avon account)

        • Spicytomato1

          Yes, I would watch an extended Thanksgiving scene — and yes they could have at least toasted her landing Avon.

    • Danielle

      I never would have thought that a scene with Pete Campbell would make me cry, but him saying goodbye to Tammy really got me.

      • HengRu

        Me too. Was I the only one who thought he might be saying goodbye to Tammy (and to Trudy) forever — as in, he’s planning to commit suicide and using “transferred to California” as a pretext for saying his goodbyes?? That conversation with Trudy was the only time anyone in the episode mentioned Pete moving to L.A., as far as I noticed. And first Stan and then Don talked about the L.A. office as a one-man, one-desk operation, so I thought Ted would be the only one going.

        • Mike R

          Pete has left the firm entirely. His going to LA is unrelated to Ted’s going to LA. (Everyone was going to California in the 60s from New York, so it’s not as implausible at it might seem today.) That’s how I read it, and Trudy’s comment that’s he free from them all.

          • 3hares

            I think “them all” is his family. If Pete were leaving advertising (and there wasn’t any reason given why he would be) he would hardly want to start over in LA, the city of cars.

          • Chris

            Pete is going to be working with Ted. He is still with SC&P.

            • Mike R

              That could be true, but considering the plot depended on the conceit that only one person could represent the office in L.A. (otherwise Don and Ted could both have gone, which would have meant a hugely different outcome), this seems weird: that Pete gets tacked on as a second partner in LA with no problem. Note that Pete was absent at the partners’ meeting when they fired Don (meaning, he could have left the firm by then). I’m not saying I’m right, but I’m saying it could be read multiple ways since we had such little information to go on.

            • Chris

              Well Pete would be accounts and new business and Ted would be creative. Stan would be creative so there couldn’t be two of them in that department.

            • Alice Teeple

              The episode began and ended with Stan. I’m beginning to wonder if next season’s conflict will be between him and Peggy for control over Creative.

            • Chris

              I’ve thought for a while that he and Peggy become and item and Ted comes back to be a complication in the relationship but who knows. Maybe Stan and Peggy team up against the new guy from McCann Erickson they are bringing in! I’d enjoy seeing that.

            • Alice Teeple

              That is a possible story arc. I’d be cool with that – it would make for good TV. But I have a feeling Weiner is going to keep Peggy a singleton. Did you see the interview he gave HuffPo? Either he’s doing some serious deflection, or he’s keeping the Stan-Peggy relationship platonic. I’d be happy to see them become a powerhouse creative team, but I’m concerned that Stan’s burst of ambition in this last episode is the beginning stages of a power play.

            • Travelgrrl

              For once, Stan did not look like he dressed in the dark, in a dumpster.

            • MartyBellerMask

              Good catch! They certainly didn’t do that for nothing.

            • Spicytomato1

              Yes that was my take. It was the creative side that had numerous people vying for the spot but the account slot, as far as we knew, was wide open.

            • artsykelly

              Don and Ted have the same job, if they had both gone to Cali they would have been redundant (similar to how they were already having redundancy issues in NY). Pete going to LA w/Ted makes sense – he will be the account guy and Ted will be the creative.

            • Travelgrrl

              Ted/Don and Pete have totally different jobs. Ted is going to helm creative, and I guess Pete is going to do accounts.

          • Anita Karenin

            so you think Pete got a buyout?

            • Mike R

              I think he’s counting on some money from his mom’s estate, as diminished as it may be.

              Again, I could be misreading it. Just one opinion of a scene that was hugely underexplained.

          • Melanie

            No, he’s going to LA with Ted. MW said in an interview with EW today that, “Yeah, we thought about showing that decision being made, but we opted to use the time on other scenes.”

            • Danielle

              “but we opted to use the time on other scenes”

              Ugh, I feel like they did that for a lot of things this week. Instead of having a 2-hour season premiere, they should have had used the 2-hour episode last night. They crammed in a lot, but left too many gaps for us to fill in on our own.

          • Girl_With_a_Pearl

            Just to add to the Pete is going with Ted discussion. Pete is too important and complex of a character to just let go. Both he and Ted will be around next season. And Pete will take his Chekov’s gun with him.

            • MartyBellerMask

              Chekov’s squirrel-shooter. ;)

          • quitasarah

            Nope. That’s not Pete’s style any more than suicide is. He’s trying to be the accounts man in California. He and Ted will drum up new West Coast business. If he was leaving SC&P, he’d stay in NYC and try to get Duck get him a job at another agency. But he can’t do that because he has no accounts.

        • quitasarah

          No. Pete’s not the suicide type. Even without the MW interviews I don’t think this is possible in the universe MM has created.

    • Joshau Norton

      Don won’t be fired permanently unless MW is ditching the whole SC&P crew in next season. He made a very pointed statement that “Mad Men” is not an ensemble piece. Everyone in the cast is there to play off Don’s story and when they’re not needed any more they’re written off. So no matter how much we wish there was more of a story about Joan or Peggy or that Sal would come back, none of it is actually about them. Once their relationship with Don goes, so do they.

    • T. Sticks

      Thank you for the wonderful recap, as usual, TLo! I’m going to miss reading these nearly as much as Mad Men itself during the hiatus! One thing I noticed in the final scene was that brightly colored twin pop, half of which the little boy was holding. It echoed back to Peggy’s “share” pitch for Twin Pop popsicles but I thought it was the kind of beautiful layering Mad Men does so well, with Don sharing some of his past, finally, with his children. Not sure if it was intentional or not, but it seems like it was and I loved it.
      Also Kiernan Shipka did more with that look than most actors can do with a dramatic monologue. Wow!!! I just love her.
      And Jon Hamm: Amazing.
      I wonder if Matthew Weiner had the song “Both Sides Now” in his head all along this season? Such a perfect song to end it with and such a powerful scene when combined with the music. Couldn’t help but cry.

      • decormaven

        I had a feeling that he would use it. It was a popular song at the time, and it’s very fitting of the storyline.

      • Travelgrrl

        Also the Popsicle was whorehouse red.

    • Susan Collier

      Now, see, I wondered if we’d see as much of Bob next season because he’d be in Detroit? Seems like most of the action next year would focus on establishment in LA and up=and-comers in NYC (though that goes against the grain of how things seem to be moving in the actual ad business).

      I was surprised that they had Stan asking for the LA position. I would have thought it would have been Harry, who has a strong reason to be on the west coast.

      • Melanie

        I don’t think they are one and the same. Harry already spends a lot of time in LA. I don’t think Ted going means Harry can’t/won’t be LA-based.

      • MartyBellerMask

        I think Harry is a given.

    • http://www.what-the-frock.com Dana WhatTheFrock

      So many thoughts.

      1. Jon Hamm has never won an Emmy but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Hershey speech finally gets him one.

      2. I also resent that TPTB never gave us even a throwaway line about Joan snagging Avon.

      3. I don’t dislike the character of Megan, or Jessica Pare, but I kind of hope that we’ve seen the last of her. In season 5, she was a character with motivation, wants and needs. In season 6, she was only around to react to Don. She (Megan AND Jessica) deserves better.

      4. I also don’t think that Bob had anything to do with Manolo and Dot. I mean, besides introducing an obviously unsavory character into the Campbells’ lives. I’m also not convinced that Dot is dead and gone, but who knows?

      5. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for season 7. I kind of think that we’ll jump ahead to see Ted, Pete and Harry in L.A. (as well as Megan, but again, I hope we don’t follow her). I think Don will still be unemployed, maybe working on his own small shop like he wanted to do in L.A.? And I hope upon hope that next time we see Peggy and Stan, they are bona fide fuck buddies (but not dating).

      • Joan Arkham

        I can see the wrap-up of the whole thing being Don (now openly Dick Whitman again) starting over on his own in LA, just being honest and working his magic. Or…does advertising magic not work with honesty?

      • Melanie

        I’m with you on #4, but we seem to be in the minority, re: Bob (although MW confirmed Dot is dead).

        • joything

          I have this thought about Bob’s relationship with Manolo, since Bob is in it for the corporate ladder and not the grift: Manolo was useful to Bob in the moment with Pete, and for all we know Bob may have owed him a favor. Then Manolo went too far with Dot’s affections and it all backfired – to Bob’s distress as well as Pete’s.

    • Girl_With_a_Pearl

      A number of friends of mine have parents who went out to California in the 60s and 70s from New York and most of those parents had gotten divorced. (Yes, I’m sure there our lots and lots of people who went out there and stayed married.) My point is that Ted’s marriage may fail out there and he may try again with Peggy next season. Or his marriage doesn’t fail and he may still go after Peggy again.

      • formerlyAnon

        Yeah, he’s weak in the fidelity department. I think he’ll waffle re: Peggy and I hope she freezes him out, no matter what ‘s churning in her gut as she does so.

    • http://fray.slate.com/discuss/forums/3945/ShowForum.aspx nancykelley

      I loved the touching way that Don called his secretary Dawn “sweetheart” as he was leaving the office for the last time.

      • decormaven

        That was a sweet moment. I love how Roger looked at Don. “Johnny, I hardly knew ye.”

        • Danielle

          The way Roger and Dawn were watching him leave looked like they were wondering if they’d ever see him again.

      • Alice Teeple

        That was sweet, and genuine. He did that to Peggy in Season 4 at the Christmas party, too. I thought that was a nice callback.

      • asympt

        I hope Dawn still has a job there!

        • quitasarah

          Well Bob will probably need a “girl” now that he has Chevy all to himself… But he’ll probably want Clara.

      • Sofia Bentivoglio

        I loved that moment as well. I knew it meant that he was about to something brave and decent in his life. I will always root for Don.

        • Travelgrrl

          You could say he already had done something brave, in the Hershey’s meeting immediately prior.

          • Sofia Bentivoglio

            For sure! The Hershey’s meeting was brave and *the* turning point for Don. It was incredibly painful to watch him do it, and I was also very uncomfortable for those present. His colleagues and the client did not deserve to have him blow up the account like that, however, Don had to do it for himself, and everyone in that meeting will be just fine. I guess that with Dawn, I saw Don making the next step from taking care of himself to taking care of others. He had always treated her properly and was never cruel to her, but, suddenly, by calling her “sweetheart,” he seemed to embrace her. To me it was like he saw for the first time that they are kindred souls. Dawn is an outsider in that office and is just trying to keep her head down and be excellent at her job, which she is. It seemed like he could truly see and appreciate that for the first time. It’s almost as if by taking off his own armour, he could finally see how heavy her armour is – or at the very least that her life is difficult, too. Honestly, after the Hershey’s meeting I didn’t know which way Don was going to go, but that exchange with Dawn showed me he was headed in the right direction. Sigh. I love Don Draper.

            • Travelgrrl

              Great take on Don and Dawn!

    • janierainie

      I understand why they told Don to take a leave, but what a bunch of hypocrites! They’re upset that Don grew up in a whorehouse, but they’re gathered around with the woman they prostituted to get where they wanted to be. It’s just business!
      Loved this episode.
      It’s funny you mention the Pete’s mom thing as too soap opera. My husband has been binge watching old episodes of Dark Shadows,(SO bad they’re good. and the clothes and hair!!) and I was teasing him about watching his “stories” as his mom called them. So he said “You watch Mad Men and it’s a soap, just more sophisticated” I argued with him, but then they threw Pete’s mom off the boat after she married her gay gigolo, and I had nothing to stand on!

      • Mismarker

        I think the partners had had enough of his antics. The whorehouse story was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. Like Roger said….Don really did shit the bed.

        • Chris

          Yes, they were fed up with all his antics for a while. Him telling a potentially huge client they shouldn’t even advertise was blasphemous to them but wasn’t the reason. I think by that point they thought he might have flipped his cork a bit. It was all the missed meetings, crazy behavior, fighting with Ted, creating a merger without consulting others etc etc.

        • Girl_With_a_Pearl

          Yes. It wasn’t that Don grew up in a whorehouse, but that he acted incredibly unprofessional in that meeting. Hershey’s was not a done deal, but to just destroy any chance for the firm to acquire that account was unthinkable. Also, companies do talk to each other and Don’s behavior has the potential for hurting the firm’s reputation.

          • fnarf

            Yeah, it wasn’t even that he freaked them out with his miserable story, but that he told them flat-out they shouldn’t advertise at all. No accounts guy is ever going to be cool with “please don’t do business with us”.

            • quitasarah

              THIS! I’ve been beating this drum too. They could’ve lived with the confession, but not with turning away business. THAT was the last straw.

      • Eric Stott

        I think they could have dealt with the whorehouse revelation – but not when and where he chose to reveal it.

      • Liz

        Interesting! I thought T&L’s read was a smidge off there. (Sorry,
        guys. Love you.) I can’t for a minute see Joan (okay, maybe Roger)
        casting judgment for Don’s upbringing. But the fact that Don told
        CLIENTS about his upbringing? After a season of screwing up client
        meetings for the sake of personal crap, I think the whole team is just
        about fed up with him and actually couldn’t care less about who he
        really is or how he was raised.

        • Frank_821

          Yes that’s a good point.

          Bert couldn’t give a rat’s ass where Don came from as long as it doesn’t hurt business. You can do all the 5 lawnmower moves you like as long as it doesn’t compromise the company

        • janierainie

          I said I understand why they did it,(totally inappropriate to torpedo the account that way) but I think TLo could be right, and the other partners will be upset. Especially Roger. He followed Don out and asked if it was true. Say it ain’t so, Joe. Maybe it will be a growth opportunity for Roger.

        • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

          We don’t think the partners – except for Roger – were casting judgment on Don’s background. He was asked to leave because of a series of destructive episodes and disappearances. From Dick Whitman’s perspective, however, people leave him when they hear who he really is. That was our point.

          But yes, Roger is an upper-class brat who tried for years to get Don to tell him something about himself. He is both offended and a little repulsed by Don’s upbringing, on a personal level.

          • Bonjour

            I looked it up and Sterling is a very old Manhattan name — ok not Dyckman but pretty close — so it makes sense that Roger would be repulsed by his friend’s origins.

          • Liz

            Ugh, Roger. No wonder Margaret is who she is.

            • ailujailuj

              yes – I love how parents look at their kid’s assholeness with dismay – heh

      • Melanie

        They’re not mad he grew up in a whorehouse. They couldn’t care less about that. They care that he thought a pitch to company that was potentially looking to spend tens of millions of dollars in advertising was the appropriate time to share that particular anecdote about growing up in a whorehouse. And also that he said, “If it were up to me, you wouldn’t advertise.”

        • janierainie

          I’m guess I wasn’t being clear. I don’t think they are “mad” he grew up in a whorehouse. I think they are upset he tanked the account by telling his story in the client meeting. That and the other accounts he’s messed up.Bringing up the war at the GM dinner, putting Ted on the spot about the budget for St. Joseph aspirin etc.
          I also think they are upset that he isn’t who they thought he was (exept Burt who didn’t care until the last straw Hershey thing) , and this is going to affect their relationships with him going forward. Especially Roger. No matter how hip the late 60s were, there is still a lot of snobbery going on. They’ll only be okay with it if he starts producing again, and they’ll “overlook” it.

          • quitasarah

            It wasn’t about the confession. It was about turning down business. Melanie has it right.

        • norseofcourse

          I kept thinking, “Well, some agency gets them to advertise, because I have the Hershey’s jingle … the Great American Chocolate Bar … from my childhood running though my head.”

          • Alice Teeple

            Didn’t anyone else notice Ginsberg munching on the gigantic Hershey bar a couple of episodes back, when he and Stan were listening to the radio?

          • Travelgrrl

            Ogilve & Mather, I believe.

            • ricky rocky

              I worked for Ogily for many years. OMG the stories. (ok, since you insist here’s just one: There was a creative director whose ass was kissed so hard and often that one day he insisted that his huge office should have a wall to wall real grass lawn upon which all his furniture would rest. He ultimately didn’t deliver and was eventually launched.)

            • decormaven

              Good one! That’s the point about Don and the meltdown. If he had continued to be productive at the agency, the partners would have tolerated any number of idiosyncrancies. The fact that he was destructive in client meetings was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

            • formerlyAnon

              You must be absolute dinner party GOLD!

            • ricky rocky

              you’re too kind ;)

        • joything

          “If it were up to me, you wouldn’t advertise.” My jaw dropped. Another truth told at the wrong moment. I could feel the abyss open up ….

    • Mismarker

      Best endorsement of this show: My husband, who rarely watches the show with me, turned to me after the credits rolled and said, “Wow. That was a great episode.”

      This felt like a series finale and I absolutely loved every minute of it. It does make me wonder where the show will go from here. So many possibilites.

      Did anyone else think Pete was going to run someone over in that car? I was watching between my fingers!

      Fellow Pete/Bob shippers, I think we are SOL.

      • janierainie

        When Pete got in the car and turned it on, all I could think about was the lawnmower. If he had run over Bob that would have been insane!

        • CatherineRhodes

          The ultimate lawnmower scene. Very funny.

        • joything

          Fanfic! What Pete dreams of every night, now.

        • ailujailuj

          filmed at the biltmore – I was so nervous, it was distracting. ;)

          • decormaven

            Ohh! Didn’t know that detail. Will have to rewatch.

      • Alice Teeple

        I watched it between my fingers because I was sure it would become a “Ferris Bueller” moment. I did the same thing when I was learning how to drive. Backed right into a light post. Glad it wasn’t worse than it ended up being.

        • jenno1013

          I was expecting the car to lurch forward and crash into the model parked in front if it, but the banality of knocking over that giant display board was perfect – even better than if the car had gone through the plate glass window.

      • Spicytomato1

        Ha, I thought for sure Pete was going to back straight through the plate glass window at a fairly high rate of speed because of hitting the gas instead of the brake. The (physical) damage was far less extensive than I’d anticipated.

      • quitasarah

        I thought he was going to crash through that big window! My husband assumed he would crash through the window, down three stories to his death. I’m glad we were both wrong.

    • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

      I am glad that you guys mentioned Joan looking away during the “take a break” meeting because I was kind of shocked. Cutler and Ted I expected. Like Don, I too wanted to know when they started this discussion. That Roger, Burt, and Joan were so firm was shocking to me too. Don has managed to alienate them all. And quite frankly the part about Ted overseeing Peggy from Ca made me think they made the decision and then told Ted so he wasn’t part of the initial decision. Not sure, don should go back once he cleans up his act. Maybe he should find another agency

      • Chris

        Yes, I thought it was an interesting turnaround and showed how the alliances and status shifts among those partners. Not long ago I was afraid for Joan sitting there being yelled at by Pete and Ted. She seemed alone and powerless despite being a partner. Now it’s Ted and Pete missing and Joan is sitting judgement (or sat in judgement) on Don. I think Don 100% deserved repercussions for the way he had been acting with the firm and clients but it really reinforced the idea Pete mentioned after the fight with Lane, that these people are not friends.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          I think the most shocking thing is we sort of expecting a smackdown from Cutler and Ted but it very much was a united front. I tend to agree about his behavior but the way he wasnt officially spoken to first, his lack of a return date, and a replacement in the lobby was hardcore. Pete is right this is not the same agency

          • Chris

            There doesn’t seem to be any loyalty either. When Pete just said “No don’t get Joan” before everyone just went along with it. Now Joan is on the “jury” for Don. There are no strong alliances except maybe Cooper and Roger.

          • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

            No loyalty at all. Old school roger would have given hi ma heads up. Also they tell on thanksgiving

            • UsedtobeEP

              I think they did that as a kindness. No one else was at the agency.

        • joything

          Joan’s glance down rocked me, too. No help for you here, old friend.

    • Scimommy

      You are spot on, that is to say I agree with everything.

      In related news, is it too much to ask for Jon Hamm, Elizabeth Moss, AND Kiernan Shipka to all get Emmies?

      • lisbeth borden

        Kartheiser!

        • Scimommy

          Oh yes!!!

        • MartyBellerMask

          Technically, all of them could (and James Wolk or Harry Hamlin as a “guest actor”). We can all hope!!!!

      • UsedtobeEP

        AS great as all of the acting was this season, I have to give it to VK. That is a tremendously hard character to play.

        • Scimommy

          I feel bad for omitting him b/c I love what he does with Pete. MM should just sweep all the drama acting categories.

          • asympt

            Well, as great as EM has been (and she was also excellent in Top of the Lake), it’s hard to beat what Tatiana M. has done on Orphan Black.

    • Chris

      The one bright spot and the one person who really has “moved forward” and is not just trying to dig himself out of a self dug ditch is Stan. What a difference from the male chauvinist pig we saw when he first arrived at SCDP. Now he can not only be friends with Peggy but celebrate her professional ideas and triumphs. He’s caring enough to grieve for his cousin and be a “mother hen” to Ginsberg. His ambition and foresight about L.A. was great to see. I loved how he told Don he didn’t see him that way and how Don stole his pioneering/homesteading idea. While we have seen him as smoking too much pot and engaging in questionable (Wendy) hookups, I really like what is happening with Stan. For some time I have thought the writers are grooming him as Peggy’s “endgame.”

    • HM3

      I’ve gotta hand it to Kiernan Shipka for that killer “last look”–but the moment that really had ME nearly in tears was Betty’s (FINALLY) candid, open, and heartbreaking conversation with Don. In her large, poofy pink nightdress, Betty showed a side of her that we rarely see: heartbroken, lonely, vulnerable, and scared for her child. The fact that she chose to call Don in the middle of the night, and that he was able to so quickly console her (“Birdie”) was a moment of heightened intimacy and understanding, at a level I’d never seen before on the show. “She’s from a broken home” was probably as painful to utter as it was to hear, and I was BALLING just watching it.

      • HM3

        –by the way, not to worry, I’ve been taught well by MadStyle: the “vulnerable-woman-in-pink-sleepwear-seeking-the-safety-of-her-man-at-night” motif was not lost on me. :)

        • Travelgrrl

          Megan also was in PJ’s when Don got out of jail and he asked her to move to LA.

      • Musicologie

        That scene was wonderful. We’ve seen several post-divorce phone conversations between them, and this one hit all the same notes: Sally did something bad, I’ve done everything I can think of, my mother would never let me act this way, she must have learned it from YOU, I have to do something very important with Henry, YOU have to fix it. But it was completely different this time around, as it’s clear that Betty is taking some of the blame, and she’s completely given up.

      • Frank_821

        That scene was 1 of my favorites all season. It was the final piece to redeem Betty. I loved how she pleaded with Don to get Sally since she just didn’t have the strength to deal with the beat down her awful mother-in-law would gleefully lay into her. And Pauline is awful to Betty. The saddest part in this instance it is none of her fault that Sally is being this way

        • Nicole R

          I think Betty has her fair share of responsibility in how Sally is turning up. Whether it was when her emotions were ignored (death of Granpa Gene), or when she was smacked for cutting her hair, or punished for having Glen as a friend, Betty was often dismissive, unfair and even cruel to her daughter without any help from Don.

      • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ foodycatAlicia

        I love that Kiernan Shipka called the uncles TLo on twitter! She does read this site!

      • ThaliaMenninger

        Just one tiny thing… I think you were probably BAWLING. Balling is something different. ;-)

        • HM3

          Yikes! I am always “Balling,” but yes, I was definitely bawling. :)

    • DaveUWSNYC

      Bert Cooper seated, surrounded by the two standing men, pronouncing judgment – the lion may be old, but he’s still King of that jungle.

      • joything

        And he’s still Robert F—ing Morse. rrrrrrrrr.

      • Travelgrrl

        Joan’s shuttered glance was the death knell for Don, though – he knew if she agreed, there was no use arguing.

    • Angela_the_Librarian

      Wow, last night’s episode was a roller coaster ride of light, dark-humored moments, and absolutely gut-wrenching heart-breaking moments. I know it was a silly story line, but I found the demise of Pete’s mom on the cruise line really funny (loved that her sons were okay with letting her “murderer” go free to spare the expense). But wow, that meeting with Hershey was like watching a slow moving car accident. As soon as he broke away from his glossy pitch I covered my eyes and started saying NO..No. It was obviously a moment of growth for Don, but at the absolute wrong moment (funny how this is the 2nd episode where something cringe-inducing happened during a meeting with a client). During the secret meeting with the partners I was honestly surprised that he didn’t quit right then and there. Even with a slightly tarnished reputation you would think he would be a hot commodity in the advertising world.

      Throughout the series Don has been constantly moving forward and has refused to acknowledge his past. I think he has finally seen that by refusing to acknowledge his history he has negatively affected everything in his life (especially Sally, from a broken home). It was interesting to see Don give away his spot to California, essentially give away his chance to once again run away from a problem. Staying in NY, confronting his past demons, and being there for his children will probably be the best way Don can redeem himself,with or without the glossy NY lifestyle.

      Finally, just wanted to thank T&Lo for the brilliant commentary and wonderful screen shots all season.

      • Joan Arkham

        Yes, but… He is still making decisions without consulting people they affect! Poor Megan.

        What if he went to her, laid out the whole situation, and told her why he wanted to give up his spot for Ted? I bet the “bi-costal” idea would have gone down a lot better.

        • Angela_the_Librarian

          I don’t know, I suppose Don could have told her that he wanted to give up his spot so that a co-worker could move with his family instead, but I think Megan was ready to move with or without Don. She is obviously over her marriage and has job leads in LA. Maybe she wouldn’t have been quite as angry, but I don’t think it would have changed the end result.

        • eselle28

          I don’t think it would have changed things either. She might have been a bit less venomous, but when it comes down to it, Don isn’t willing to make sacrifices for her or their marriage. I don’t think that knowing he’s occasionally able to be self-sacrificing for people who aren’t her helps that.

    • makeityourself

      Loved the red lipstick all over Peggy and Ted’s faces after their hookup. Very real.

      • Chris

        And when he crawled into bed with Nan afterwards in his underwear it was a complete Don Draper moment.

        • Mismarker

          When he got into bed with Nan I thought she might ask him why he smelled like Chanel no. 5.

          • Joan Arkham

            Bingo. “It’s all I wear”? Nan knows. On some level, anyway.

            • Miss Disco

              Nan’s been suspicious for ages.

              Peggy the vixen indeed. Cutler’s gonna be coming for you – that guy does seem to have a perfume nose.

            • Chris

              Seriously Cutler is all about the perfume. He could work at Sax’s perfume counter if SC&P doesn’t work out.

            • decormaven

              He’s going to be a key player in the Avon account.

            • MartyBellerMask

              “Is that Sweet Honesty?”

            • decormaven

              Good one!

            • MartyBellerMask

              She’ll understand on some level why they’re moving to Cali.

            • Travelgrrl

              Nan acted before as if she didn’t know Peggy’s name (“your young copywriter”) but she sure knew who she was last night, with that proprietary hold on Ted’s arm and greeting Peggy by name.

          • Miss Disco

            if perfume never washed off, no one would ever be cheating. He did shower.

            no idea if chanel was as sophisticated and expensive in the 60s, but surely nan has some too? Maybe she wouldn’t notice a residual smell.

          • Chris

            Or maybe he showered at Peggy’s. An interviewer asked MW the same question about Don before and he said it was implied Don had showered before coming home.

            • mitchg

              I thought I heard the sound of water running right at the end of the scene with Ted and Peggy in bed.

            • MartyBellerMask

              He couldn’t hop in that shower fast enough. Writing was on the wall right then, IMO.

            • Travelgrrl

              Out, out damned spot!

            • LondonMarriott

              I think he did shower there. I thought I remembered hearing it running.

              If he loved Peggy, or rather if he truly was going to leave Nan, he would have spent the night.

            • Angela_the_Librarian

              I think Peggy basically insisted that he leave. Her motivations were very interesting. When Ted said that he would leave his wife she said no and that she didn’t want to be that person. She ultimately didn’t want a scandal (which could have ruined her career). I guess she was fine just being his mistress? I wonder if Ted would have been at least slightly more willing to leave his wife if Peggy would have responded better to the idea?

            • Melanie

              She said, “I don’t want a scandal. I can wait.” I took that to mean, take your time, get a divorce, then we can be together again. I didn’t see that as her agreeing to be his mistress.

            • formerlyAnon

              This is how I read it. I felt like she was saying: “Do it right, quietly, hurt as few people and reputations as possible. THEN we can be together properly (e.g., married)”

            • Chris

              Yes, exactly. The irony being if Peggy was a more selfish, thoughtless person she would have pushed things to a head by having Ted stay the night. With Nan none the wiser and treating Ted so sweetly when he came home it just made his decision to stay with the family that much easier for him.

            • Angela_the_Librarian

              But, unless I’m not remembering correctly, when Ted said that he would leave his wife Peggy said no. Maybe she meant not so quickly, but the writing was ambiguous. If they were both truly invested in doing things “properly” they would have waited for Ted to get a divorce before consummating their relationship in the first place (I know, moment of passion, etc., etc.). Also, what would be the point of having a secret affair and dragging out a potential divorce between Ted and Nan? Wouldn’t it have been better to get it over with if he was truly going to go through with it?

            • Chris

              I think Peggy wanted Ted to leave his wife because he wanted to not just because he was sleeping with Peggy. She didn’t want to publicly be the “other woman” and a home wrecker.

            • Massena

              Ted wanted to spend the night, he was initiating another round of sex when Peggy told him again to go home.

              In the “Inside the Episode: In Care of” video on AMC’s site, Kevin Rahm said Ted meant what he said about leaving his wife and it wasn’t until he got home that he began feeling a strong mixture of emotions about what leaving would do to his family.

              I have not given up hope on Ted/Peggy. I still ship it hard. I saw Elizabeth Moss spoke of the relationship in positive terms yesterday to Vanity Fair. Others have pointed out, the divorce rate rises considerably in the late 60s, early 70s, and there is the impression divorce was more common in LA at this time. The move could be too stressful for Ted and Nan’s marriage to take,. Heck, Nan, like Megan and Peggy, may not be so happy with major life decisions being made for her. It all happened so suddenly, we don’t even know for sure that Nan will agree to the move. Maybe she’ll send Ted off alone to make sure the LA job isn’t temporary and the separation will segue into a divorce.

            • Chris

              I have a bad feeling the writers are going to pull what I call a “Joss Whedon” (who I do love) and have Peggy and Stan in a relationship next season, then have a divorced or separated Ted show up to mess things up. (Think Xander and Willow) Things never go smoothly in the world of MM.

            • ThaliaMenninger

              I’m wondering if all the people moving to California as the promised land of new beginnings are going to be shocked and zapped and tossed around on the winds of fate when the Manson thing happens. I’m probably just affected by the rampant speculation that Megan was going to be the next Sharon Tate, but… California is in for a world of upheaval, Manson or no Manson. Landslides, floods, oil spill, Black Panthers, Alcatraz, Altamount… Obviously, there was a lot of upheaval in 1969 NOT in California, too, but I was just thinking that California is hardly the peaceful refuge so many of the characters are seeking. Will Pete and Ted and Megan be caught up in 1969, California style?

            • Mismarker

              Just shows where my head is, I guess. I would be just as suspicious of my husband if he felt the need to shower after a day at the office!

      • MartyBellerMask

        Man, details like that are lost on my computer screen… That’s why I love Mad Style sooooo much.

    • Mike R

      I’ll up you one better: I DID burst into tears at the final scene, not just Sally’s look but the whole setup. And not just that Don was finally coming clean about himself, but the whole sweep of history involved there: the dilapidated house that’s now in a black neighborhood and all that entails about our country and 20th-century history. Redemption and hope and failure. Judy Collins’ “Both Sides Now” is such a haunting song, so that helped push me over the edge too. It was just a masterful, beautifully rendered scene — which mostly made up for a lot of pat, soap-opera-esque writing elsewhere in the episode (though still better than 97% of what’s on TV).

      • Bonjour

        I agree, about the historical sweep. Sometimes I think Mad Men should be subtitled “the story of our parents” or “the story of Matt Weiner’s Jewish parents” — there’s something mysterious, romantic and obvs nostalgic about the show’s most powerful scenes, (Carousel, Kiernan and Jon’s last look) that is all about parents and children, the bond and the total lack of understanding about the world that made them. Jon H’s costuming (hat, raincoat, tall and distant, not effusive) in final scene made him look like the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit again of S1, and that masculinity — ‘strong, silent type’– made him look like the Ur-Dad, in Sally’s eyes, especially the way it was shot, with us looking up to him like she does, just spatially given that she’s smaller, but that also makes him look big and heroic, a rock. Which we deeply want our dads to be.

        On the Jewish/historical thing, Don Draper’s story is a very Jewish story as well, and the CGI’d neighborhood of his childhood captured that too. Lots of neighborhoods that were Jewish and working class/immigrant (Newark NJ, Roxbury in Boston) descended into urban blight and ghettoes in the late 60s/70s after white flight to the suburbs. I am sure there is more to that story from a policy perspective as to why those neighborhoods were abandoned by the upwardly mobile and became or stayed Black, I guess because the opportunities weren’t there for promotion/professional mobility like there were for the white working class immigrant populations…anyway…

        Lots of Jews at mid century Anglicized their names — Goldwyn to Goodwin, Birnbaum to Burns, anything to Green Field or Brooks — like Dick/Don. They assimilated and married up and worshipped blondes like Betty. They worked as furriers. They intermarried with Italian Americans like Sylvia. Everyone hates Sylvia but I think that’s what she was doing in the story — she’s a very recognizable historical type and I think MW must have had a relative, maybe an aunt, like her. When I saw Sylvia and Don in action I always felt it was a glimpse of a particularly upwardly mobile kind of Manhattan in the 60s. Kids of immigrants and orphans living in high-rises on the upper east side — but no upwardly mobile black people around. I always wish the show did more with that, about how the postwar prosperity arc (what the French call ‘les trente glorieuses’ — 30 great years of economic expansion) — didn’t lift ALL boats, even while they brought civil rights and an end to Jim Crow.

        • formerlyAnon

          I agree that beyond Jewish, it was the story of the turn-of-the-century immigrants who settled in the urban North East, their children and grand children. Visits to my great-grandmother when I was a very small child, and then visits to “the old neighborhoods” later in childhood were very fraught for my dad. The neighborhoods had been home to mostly Jewish, Irish and Italian immigrants and had been built up from or were the next move up from near-tenement slums to thriving working/lower middle class neighborhoods and were turning into mostly-black neighborhoods on the slide back into poverty and urban blight.

        • Nicholas

          There is something about a show that converges towards the present instead of the future, which makes it feel more deterministic than open, so your “story of our parents” feels incredibly spot-on.

          We’re all products of our time, by and large.

          • Sweetpea176

            Yes, it occurred to me last episode that Sally is a stand-in for the audience.

      • housefulofboys

        I wrote on the Lounge commentary last night that I burst into tears also, for all the reasons you mention, but also for the personal insights of children recognizing their parents as people for the first time and parents seeing their part in passing down history and hurt to their children. It was a very powerful scene, and “Both Sides Now” was the perfect background.

    • pattie capet

      Three things stood out for me last night: The preacher’s words about Judas, that his sin was in believing that his sin was too great for forgiveness. I was raised Catholic, and I remember that lesson being a big deal. Judas could have been forgiven for betraying Jesus, but he thought his sin was too great and offed himself, a perverse form of pride. Somewhere in Don, maybe a version of Amazing Grace is playing, in the sense that he is finally, finally, giving himself a break.

      The second thing is that Bob Benson, or whoever he is, is a lying lying liar. I think he’s there at least in part as an almost comic comment on lying. You lie until there is nothing left of you but the Lie.

      Which brings me to the last beautiful point. After living in hell for so long, Don is finally digging himself out from his mountain of lies, which were strangling him. The Hersheys moment, the ending with his kids, so beautiful. There is hope for the old boy yet.

      • Mismarker

        My thoughts, exactly. And so beautifully put. I have been so sick of Don’s unscrupulous behavior for the past few seasons. Seeing him make some actual steps toward change is very exciting and breathes new life into the show. Love it.

    • HM3

      “Two drifters, off to see the world / There’s such a lotta world to see / We’re after the same / Rainbow’s end / Waitin’ ’round the bend / My huckleberry friend / Moon River and me…” This song has been in my head since last night, and I feel I am over-analyzing the lyrics. It applied so well to Don and Sally, Don and Peggy, Don and Pete, Roger and Joan…ahh, the possibilities…

    • MsALVA

      Peggy’s Polyester Pantsuit of Power!

    • Virginia McMurdo

      I have, of course, deep and meaningful things to say, but has Peggy sauntering around in her adorable black mini been made into a gif yet? Seeing her dolled up and on the prowl made my life better.

    • decormaven

      Gotta love that Pete’s mom went missing during the Roaring Twenties dinner dance. One Charleston too many!

    • MK03

      If Jon Hamm doesn’t win an Emmy this year, I give up. The Hershey’s speech alone deserves an award.

      • mommyca

        Totally agree!!! Boy, it makes me cry every time I see it… Such a powerful performance!

      • golden_valley

        I think this was Hamm’s best season. Not MadMen’s best season, but definitely Hamm’s. His face showed us everything. His fear in the airplane with Ted, his distress at Sylvia’s dumping of him, his empathy with Arnold and Mitchell over the draft, the despair when he realized that Sally vanished from the apartment building, the Hershey pitches…it’s all written on his face, no stagey dramatic gestures, just a look. Brilliant.

    • Frank_821

      Yes it was a powerful episode. agree with you on all points

      First of all I always love those little moments that remind us that Bert is NOT a dottering old fool. He’s a full partner and he’s been in this business before any of them were born. It really struck me that despite his eccentricities he is not openly active in the company by choice not because he’s a dinosaur that they humor.

      They were right to force Don into a leave of absence. Hershey’s was the final straw. He purposely tossed away Jaguar. he’s been grossly negligent with his clients. When Roger thinks you’ve crossed the line…whoah!

      And if Bert Cooper is calling you on your shit, you better be asking for forgiveness

      I’m sorry as fascinating as Bob is as a character, he was a total shit to do that to Pete. Anyone in Pete’s situation would be furious with Bob. While I don’t think Bob knew anything about the marriage scam or the possible murder, he recommended Manolo aka Constantine. he likely knew the guy was not above the grift. Even if her death was an accident, that guy seduced an elderly woman with dementia to marry him. Pete has every reason to believe Bob knew that his mother was at risk.

      That scene with Margaret not only confirms what a hypocritical brat she is, but she probably would have been one even if Roger had been the most attentive father in the world. Look at that milquetoast of a husband of hers. He probably never he wanted to ask Roger for the money for his idea. Kudos to Roger for calling her out on her behaviour. Sorry Roger may never be father of the year, but he has never been shown as a cold bastard to his child and he doesn’t deserve to be submitted to emotional blackmail.

      • Supernumerary

        Bert in a scene always manages to uplift it. I wish we could see more of him, though I understand why we don’t.

    • Frank_821

      This morning I realized what really pissed me off about Ted. he was acting like Ashley Wilkes from Gone with the Wind

      • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

        This times 100:)

      • decormaven

        Yes, I called this a couple of episodes ago. Can’t commit.

      • Little_Olive

        Ugh, totally. Making puppy eyes and declaring good intentions to pass his manipulation/cowardice for rectitude is disgusting.

      • Angela_the_Librarian

        Fantastic comparison..spot on!

      • TigerLaverada

        Ashley Wilkes! Great comparison!

        In my ad days I knew a guy (creative director, too, in fact) who was a lot like Ted — seemingly empathetic, puppy dog eyes he’d aim at you, cheating on his wife but never leaving her. Teds are common in my experience. Don Drapers — reserved, incredibly creative, emitting a dark and powerful sexual energy — are rarer, and far more fascinating to me. I never ran into one that looked like Jon Hamm, though. Probably a good thing :).

      • sweetlilvoice

        At least Ted took a stand for himself and his family, Ashley never did. He allowed his life to be run by Scarlett. She never let him be fully free of her and her money. I just re-read GWTW and this really struck me.

        • Chris

          Yes, Ashley led Scarlett on for years and years and let her destroy her marriage to Rhett too. What he felt for Scarlett was physical “Like Rhett for that Watling woman.” As crappy as Ted acted, I do believe he loved Peggy, it wasn’t just physical. I’m still pissed off too though.

        • bawoman

          But Ashley never cheated on Melanie with Scarlett. Emotionally, yes, but at least he had the self control to stop himself from going any further.

      • Massena

        To me a key difference is Ashley Wilkes was useless. He didn’t provide for anyone. He let all the women take care of him. Ted Chaough, otoh, was meeting his obligations, holding together SC&P and supporting his family, while most of the office was getting high, checking out, goofing off and screwing around. Meanwhile, Ted was lonely, grief stricken and lost and he found someone who made him happy in Peggy. For a year, he tried to resist putting his happiness above the happiness of other, but seeing his inability to resist temptation, he decided he would take affirmative action to get away from the temptation. That was something Ashley Wilkes was too wimpy to do. And workaholic, super ambitious Ted, took a big professional demotion (going to Siberia as Peggy called it) so Peggy’s career would be unaffected. A weak man would have sent Peggy packing and let her pay the price. I honestly feel sorry for Ted. I think he is trying really hard to be a good, ethical person.

        • Alice Teeple

          Thank you. I think you articulated this situation so well. Ultimately, this IS going to be good for Peggy, and sadly, Ted is the only one who can see the big picture in this. Ultimately, he cared enough about Peggy’s reputation to keep her from sabotaging her own career in a scandal with him. He even tells her that one day she’ll be glad he left – and she can’t see past the immediate. He gave her lucrative accounts and saved her from “scandal,” when it comes down to it – I think her saying that word was the impetus for him to shut the whole thing down. I’m not sure his marriage will withstand his move to California – their problems were mostly stemming from his workaholism, and this kind of upheaval will be extremely stressful on his family anyway. But Peggy won’t be a home wrecker. I’m not sure this story arc is completely resolved. Will it ever be? I don’t know. (Just keep Kevin on the show!)

        • Frank_821

          Oh I know Ted isn’t the useless relic Ashley was. I only have the movie Ashley as a reference. However I felt Ted has been very wishy-washy in that way we associate with Mr Wilkes. That guy who tries to be so noble (but is ambivalent) to the point you want to scream.

          When he first declared his feelings to Peggy she suggested she leave the company. She should have then and there.

          But that final speech of his where he is coating his desicion with the same annoying nobility was aggravating. It would have been better if he said he was too much of a guilt ridden coward to make such a move

      • Travelgrrl

        And as vapid as Leslie Howard.

    • Vanessa

      Pete is just never going to get the upper hand on anyone is he? Weiner keeps saying that the message here is that no matter how much you try to run, eventually, you have no choice because “you are you”. This not only spoke to Don’s arc, but to Pete, who put so much on Chevy without realizing that a Manhattanite who doesn’t really drive was bound to fail in Detroit. Bob just made that happen sooner rather than later, and beautifully done. Putting him in a position to destroy himself was so much more elegant than the kind of unsubtle sabotage Pete as trying with the “he won’t be joining us” play.

    • Vanessa

      Kids always learn the imperfections of their parents, but Kiernan Shipka’s look of utter shock and disgust was truly heartbreaking. Imagine realizing that your father was not just unknown to you but someone you have been conditioned all your life to see as inferior.

      • Mike R

        I definitely did not see her look in the last scene as one of disgust. The opposite, in fact.

        • Vanessa

          OK maybe horror? fear? but I don’t think ti was admiration….

          • Travelgrrl

            Shock and disgust was two episodes ago, when she saw Don and Sylvia.

            At the house it was sympathy, surprise and the start of understanding.

            • Danielle

              To me it was a silent conversation.

              Don: See this place? Do you understand now why I’m such a messed up adult?
              Sally: Yep, I get it.

            • quitasarah

              What I didn’t get is if Don told them about growing up in a whorehouse. He told them about being an orphan, because of the Hershey’s discussion when he stops the car, but I’m unclear about how far he went in his confession to them.

      • TigerLaverada

        I saw a complex of emotions — amazement/shock (“what!?”), suspicion (“is he telling the truth?”), a different understanding dawning (“wow, he’s not who I thought he was”), and maybe a little admiration (“he came from this — how far up he’s come”). But not disgust.

      • Dorothy & Michael n/a

        There wasn’t a whiff of disgust. Intrigued, perhaps, and a little stunned. But a glimmer of hope, too, to find out more about her father. Whom she loves, despite what she saw him doing with Silvia.

        • sweetlilvoice

          Sally really needs her Dad and I hope that they are able to mend their relationship. Without him, she is really lost. That look between was gut wrenching. What amazing actors!

      • SFCaramia

        And in addition to all the emotions described below–shock, suspicion, admiration–I saw the glimmer of compassion and understanding–the first faint whiff of adult knowledge that not only that our parents came from worlds other than ours, but that they have identities that go beyond just being our parents. It’s that realization that separates the child from the adult and it’s very powerful.

    • HM3

      Looks like Don left all his alter-egos behind: Good-Don (Ted) is shipped to California to rebuild a healthy family life; Creative-Don (Peggy) is back to work, despite an emotional tornado; Strategic Don (Bob) is at the height of SCDP success, and seemingly on the cusp of winning Roger’s approval; Mini-Don (Sally) gets a cold, hard look at the true nature of her father’s demons; and Similar-Name Don (Dawn), who had little connection with him to begin with, is the only person in the office to receive a proper farewell from Don before he officially untethers himself.

      • golden_valley

        Excellent analysis!

      • HM3

        –now that I actually look at it all together, I’m realizing that each of these Alter-Egos (with perhaps the exception of Similar-Name Don) is at a different stage of Don’s already-spun life story. It’s like being surrounded by ghosts of your past.

        • ThaliaMenninger

          Any room for Pete? Screw-up Don? Pathetic Don? The Don who had the aristocratic background but didn’t fare any better in terms of love or support on the home front? Or maybe Pete isn’t one of Don’s mirrors. (And when I said mirrors, I just realized that that’s what a narcissist supposedly does, takes a personality from all the mirrors, AKA other people, around them. Which certainly fits Don. Lost his mother at an early age, didn’t form a personality properly, cadges a persona from what’s around him at any given moment, desperate for attention good or bad, acts out again and again until somebody notices and pays attention…)

          • jdens

            Yes, Pete has functioned as a mirror for Don before–mainly as a guy with a perfect family who sabotages it with adultery.

          • girlsaturday

            It just struck me – Pete isn’t so much a mirror-Don in some ways as he is the reversal of Don. Pete has the background that Don only pretended to, but he spent so much time (especially in earlier seasons) trying to be Don in the office. Unfortunately, as Pete learned with Don and is learning again with Bob Benson, what Pete has can be faked but what Don and Bob have can’t.

    • dickylarue

      While there were many great moments, this was the lesser season of Mad Men. It was still a good season, but not nearly as potent as previous ones.

      The Sylvia subplot, outside of Sally catching him, went nowhere in the end. They spent so much time on her and it just didn’t pop. I was actually interested in Don being confronted by her husband who you could tell he respected/looked up to while we was simultaneously screwing his wife. I think that was a missed opportunity among others this season. His friendship with him was kind of fascinating to me and I wanted to see him have to deal with his actions there.

      I always thought the endgame of the story was Don is going to be working for Peggy at some point. While he’s still a partner, the cat is out of the bag that he’s out at his firm and I think his reputation takes a hit.

      The whole Pete to California thing has to be missing scenes that they cut for time. It just made no sense and came out of nowhere. It was odd.

      The one good thing Weiner did was leave us on a decent cliffhanger. Who knows where Don will end up and which characters stay/go.

      I’m excited for next season and not particularly sad to see this season end as it just dragged on a bit and felt sleepy overall.

      Still one of the best shows on TV ever, but Weiner has his work cut out for him next season and I actually think when this season is viewed in it’s proper perspective, it’s going to be seen as one long setup episode for a more explosive season.

      The payoff has to be coming and at least we have some questions about where things are going. I honestly don’t know what next season looks like and that’s a good thing.

      • Angela_the_Librarian

        I agree that the whole Sylvia story line was just frustrating. They could have had Sally walk in on them much earlier in the season and it would have had the same impact. Then they could have used some of the time sucked up by that plot on Joan, Peggy, or any other office intrigue.

        • dickylarue

          Yup. It could’ve been just about any random woman Sally caught him with his pants down with in the end. With the amount of time they spent on Sylvia’s character you’d think there was going to be a much bigger payoff. I thought the idea of Don having to go face to face with a man who he likes, in her husband, but is wronging could have offered him some real understanding about how his actions have consequences. I think the “firing” is supposed to relay that in the business world, but I want to see it more happening to him personally if we spend so much time on his nailing the lady downstairs. Just an odd waste of time this season that could’ve gone to many other characters indeed.

      • golden_valley

        I don’t think Sylvia was a waste of time. She brought the Don/Dick conflicts into focus. Don may have started out sleeping with her as Don, but her concern for him combined with her motherly fretting over Mitchell throughout the affair, made Dick emerge. By controlling her in the hotel that day Don was trying to assert himself, but Dick really needed her motherliness and that’s why he fell apart when she ended things. In the end of the season Dick emerged into full view of everyone in CS&P conference room and in Sally’s eyes in Hershey.

        By the way, it was brilliant of Wiener to bring Hershey in as a potential client to complete Don/Dick’s journey.

        • dickylarue

          golden valley – That’s a good cerebral take and you’re probably spot on. In fact, I’d bet you are.

          But like TLO said in the recap, a lot of these things are not coming through in the text, so to speak. I like that we have to dig a bit as viewers, but those things weren’t really apparent to me with all the time spent with her. I think as a viewer, I brought in baggage thinking that she was just another one of Don’s conquests. Usually, he leaves them in tatters. This time, she left him a mess. It just felt a little soft in the storytelling and could’ve used more focus/edge. The whole season felt like it was dancing around the obvious at times and we were steps ahead of them.

          The Hershey’s thing was a very smart way of bringing Don full circle though.

          I wonder if the consensus was he had the Hershey’s account with the initial pitch and then lost it.

          • golden_valley

            The Hershey people were smiling at the original pitch, so maybe they were sold. It was a very good Don pitch. But they were supposedly sitting through 30 pitches so who knows? And anyway, the point of the scene came with Dick’s confession of the real meaning of Hershey’s chocolate to him.

            • Lattis

              Yes, foreshadows. That’s brilliant, GV.

    • Paula Pertile

      Lots to digest! Thanks for helping sort it all out.

      There will be lots of action in CA next season! Looking forward to more groovy pool scenes.

      I was proud of myself noticing (thanks to you boys) that Peggy was wearing an almost-cleavage outfit (the navy blue number) in the office when she had her last conversation with Ted (like, she was more ‘open’). Then next time we saw her she was in that to die for pantsuit with the turtleneck – completely covered up, like in armor. Something to discuss maybe on Wednesday when we talk about style stuff.

      Bob in the apron was too perfect!

    • HM3

      My favorite line: “The world out there… I have to hold onto them, or I’ll get lost in the chaos.” This admission, IMHO, is probably what resonates deepest with Don.

      • Chris

        I think his talk with Don in his office about his family and kids and being afraid of screwing them up with divorce really turned Don’s head. That plus his plea to Don’s good side. It’s something Don probably hasn’t heard in a long time. Ted knows Don pulled all kinds of crap with him but still believes in his humanity. I think it said a lot to Don and got him thinking about what he owed his own children.

        • siriuslover

          I felt like Luke Skywalker was telling Darth Vader that there was still good in him, he could feel it.

      • Vanessa

        If I were Peggy I would have been really pissed to be called “the chaos” in that sentence!

        • Travelgrrl

          I believe the ‘chaos’ referred more to the terrible events happening in the world in 1968 – MLK, RFK, Vietnam, the conventions, etc.

      • SFCaramia

        Which is sort of funny, because it’s the mirror image of what Betty said in season 1 or 2 when she didn’t really know who Don was and looked to him to provide her grounding–“I feel if Don isn’t holding me down, I’ll float away,” or words to that effect.

      • Travelgrrl

        Particularly coming on the heels of one of the worst, most chaotic years ever.

    • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

      Does anyone else think that Ted’s marriage will implode on its own in CA?

      • Chris

        I was going back and forth on that. Now that Ted has actually physically cheated it could be a slippery slope for him. It all depends on if he was unhappy in the marriage before Peggy or she was just a symptom. I don’t have high hopes for it seeing as he is looking on it as a sacrifice and Peggy’s pull is so strong he needs to be 3000 miles away to have a chance.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          I think it was already having problems. The death of his friend, Peggy, and the new agency just magnified them. I think he will go to LA give it the old college try and it will fail on its own. Ted’s wife said it best… even when you are with us…you aren’t here.

          • Chris

            Yes, she made the point that he secretly loved battling Don. It seemed his home life couldn’t compete with the happiness he derived from his work life. One thing I thought made Ted and Peggy a potentially great couple was that they both loved the work. It was how Don saw himself and Megan before she left SCDP.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              Even though I wanted to smack Ted when he said, it’s for the best too. That way he can feel like he tried everything And Peggy isn’t responsible for ending a marriage.

          • siriuslover

            Yes, remember he and Nan were in a marriage retreat / counseling session with their pastor when they still had CGC.

            • Chris

              Yes but Peggy had been there for months at that point so it was never said specifically when Ted began having feelings for her. He looked pretty lovey dovey at her when he came back.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              Yeah he seems unhappy and his Don fix of skipping town won’t help them. Your problems always follow you. Plus building an agency in CA is going to be even more work than his wife accused of doing before

      • formerlyAnon

        I do. First, Ted didn’t handle the situation with Peggy decisively enough for me to think that he can invest more in his marriage just because he thinks he ought to do so. Also, I tend to think that people don’t cheat because they’ve found a soul mate. They cheat because on some level they think it’s o.k. for them to do so or because they’re ready to cheat, they’re looking for something outside the marriage. The whole “I finally found you!” is just convenient window dressing, albeit usually sincerely meant at the time.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          I agree with this. If Nan was upset with his workload in NY, she isn’t going to be happy with him trying to build a WC agency in a new city.

      • Massena

        I think we know too little about Nan to know if she’ll concede failure. I think Ted will stick by his choice to stay in the marriage as his responsibility. Nan, however, may decide she wants to move on. They’ve done marriage counseling, Nan admitted she knows Ted isn’t happy at home, there is no telling how she’ll react to a decision to uproot their life and move across the country sprung on her.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          We know she thinks he works too much. People don’t like to be dragged from their comfort zone by someone who mostly works too much to be around

      • DeniseSchipani

        It can’t go well. Who knows if Nan would even welcome a move, not to mention their sons? I’m sure they’re quite happy where they are. And Ted is fooling himself simply putting 3,000 miles between himself and Peggy (considering they’re still working for the same agency) is enough to “rededicate” himself to his marriage. I predict four miserable family members in LA. Ted may be able to physically do the running-away-like-Don thing, but he can’t shut down or bottle up his feelings for the people he runs away from the way Don has until now been able to do.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          I agree, this spells disaster and he volunteered without discussing it with his wife.

        • MartyBellerMask

          I think she’s a “good girl” and is trying very hard to keep the marriage afloat. She’s no fool (when it comes to Peggy), but I think she’ll do whatever it takes.

    • Vanessa

      The Hersheys speech was so poignant because it was clear that for once a product really had meant something to Don, and meant everything about being a normal kid with a normal life, and he wanted to tell them the truth about how much their company had meant to him.

      It looks like the next (final) journey for Don in the show will be to become Dick again, whatever that means for his future.

      • siriuslover

        I know! Hershey’s MEANT something to Don…the chance, escaped from the bordello’s workaday routine, to open that candy and pretend he was a normal boy. Clearly, they couldn’t take that as an advertising framework, but the armor came down enough to make the story / pitch heartbreaking.

        • SFCaramia

          And because it MEANT something to Don, that’s why he didn’t want to “corrupt” it with advertising. What he “ceremoniously unwrapped” in the privacy of his room was sacred to him; it was his religion. To advertise it would be to contaminate its sanctity and power. Which, of course, by stating that sentiment in the middle of a client pitch was the final nail in the coffin, more damning than the whorehouse reveal.

      • Kate

        Yes, after this episode I think the whole point of the show is to tell the story of how Don slowly became Dick again.

      • Travelgrrl

        It seemed like he was able to go along with the facade of Don Draper and his wholesome childhood until the Hershey’s guy said “Weren’t you a lucky boy” and that was the tipping point where he just had to say, “No, I was not. Here are my actual associations with the product.”

        • housefulofboys

          Good point, I had not made that connection.

    • bigeasybridget

      I DID burst into tears in those final seconds. Both times I watched it. And I couldn’t really understand why it moved me JUST SO MUCH. The layers and levels of history/emotion/hope/sorrow/regret/understanding/misunderstanding – all that was in those looks and more words I don’t think exist in English were incredible. If one scene could be Emmy worthy, it would be that, but without the context, it couldn’t work.

      • Mike R

        Yes.

      • siriuslover

        I know. The second time I watched it, I was waiting to see that look from Sally. Damn girl. If she’s this good an actress at 13, what will she be like in 10 or 20 years? I don’t know, another Jody Foster? I finally GOT Don by her look alone. It was a beautiful and heart-rending scene.

        • housefulofboys

          Punctuation IS important!! Have you ever read the book “Eats Shoots & Leaves”?

          • siriuslover

            I own the book, which is partially why I felt guilted into admitting my edit and adding that one small, but oh-so-crucial, comma.

      • ybbed

        I so agree. I did the same thing 4 times! I know, I am on summer vacation.

      • Travelgrrl

        Truly one of the most affecting things I’ve ever seen on TV.

    • NMMagpie

      I just sat stunned and silent at the end of this episode. Ted did exactly as I told my daughter he would; that guy was NEVER going to leave his wife for Peggy, Chanel No. 5 or no. I hope she savors the moment because she’ll be minimized again soon enough while he retreats to California.

      I wish more of the Pete Campbell arc got mentioned. I has a hard time bridging his implosion at Chevy with the move to California. Bob better be able to bring it with the jerks at Chevy; he may not have enough mojo for them and that could be his downfall. Personally, he’s got it coming.

      We all knew Don had his coming and it’s here. While I hope for a Hallmark Card-style redemption for him, I will be happy if he gets it right with Sally. That’s what matters and obviously, a relationship that matters to Matthew Weiner. I was completely blown away by the emotional pitch to Hershey; it was masterful. I thought it was great storytelling that at the very moment that Don was all that the Don-mystique is, he cracks and reveals his past. I was saddened by Roger’s disgust toward Don. In that position, would Roger have made different choices himself?

      Jon Hamm delivered a master class in acting in this episode, no doubt about it.

      I hope Joan does not let herself become smug about Avon. She has seen more than once how fleeting those successes can be. It would be a tragic day should Bert Cooper turn on her like that.

      With all the complaints about this season aside, Mad Men delivered hugely in these last two episodes and I loved it.

      • fnarf

        I thought the real point of the Chevy scene was that Pete tried to play Bob with that “he’s not feeling well” jibe, but Bob then reminded him who the con artist really is. If anybody’s going to get played in that relationship, it’s Pete; he doesn’t stand a chance against Bob. Bob had him in that driver’s seat so fast — when he was dangling those keys at him, with that big Bob smile, he was saying “this is you, dangling over the cliff, loser”.

        • NMMagpie

          Agreed. That was such a crap move on Bob’s part, it offended me personally. I am hoping for some comeuppance for that smiling little goon.

      • Travelgrrl

        I have to disagree that Bob deserves a comeuppance. Assuming (as I do) that he had no knowledge of Pete’s Mom’s marriage/cruise/disappearance, Bob has been consistently nice and helpful to everyone – while of course trying to further his career.

        He witnessed Pete trying to get him off the Chevy account at a SC & P meeting and rightly confronted Pete about it – and here Pete was trying to cockblock him again, in front of Chevy. I was cheering Benson right along.

        “We’ll pay for that!” Team Bob!

    • formerlyAnon

      I shall indulge myself with my own list:

      Don: I’m finding it hard to care.

      Joan: DAMMIT. I wanted her to be shown taking a figurative victory lap over the Avon account. FAR less interested in any rapprochement with Roger. He’s always gonna be a weak reed, plus I think he’s due for the fatal heart attack. Get the kid in his will, Joanie.

      Pete: (& Trudy, Manolo & Mom) Well, wasn’t THAT deus ex machina in spades? Hope he manages to reel Trudy back in, not optimistic.

      Megan: Career before Don is the way to bet, but I’m betting California is not going to be good to her. Giving notice on the soap opera because Don said they were moving is gonna be the last big sacrifice she makes for Don. I hope.

      Peggy: FINALLY she’s waking the hell up. Hope she learns something and gets herself into a better position (even if she jumps agencies again) when Duck’s candidate slides in above her.

      Peggy & Ted: Here’s the corollary to my oft-repeated statement that I don’t get blaming the “other woman (or man)” when a guy (or woman) strays – SHE made no commitments to his relationship. As far as I’m concerned, the moral burden is on the parties to the marriage/committed relationship. HOWEVER. You mess around with someone who’s married, you’re rolling the dice. IF they leave their spouse for you, you know you’ve now got a cheater. But the odds are, especially “decent” people with young kids, they aren’t going to leave for you. She rolled the dice. She lost. She’s probably better off for it, but I don’t have much sympathy for her pain. Move on, Pegs.

      Ted: Weak-assed, well-meaning but weak. Poor Nan, she’s stuck with him. When he waffles on the “no! I cannot leave my wife and kids!” with Peggy (and I bet he WILL), I hope she’s got her icy stare of non-comprehension plastered on her face, whatever’s going on in her gut. Weak-assed weasel.

      Bob: He’s movin’ on up! I kind of enjoyed seeing it. You know Weiner & Co. have some special hell all planned out for him next season.

    • HM3

      Did anyone else notice that, as Ted is leaving Don’s office (after being refused a trip to California), he mutters something along the lines of “Will you please have a drink before that meeting? ‘My father…’ You can’t just stop cold like that!” Clearly, Don was beginning to unravel long before the Hershey meeting, simply by having to sell a phony reproduction of his identity for a client.

      • Chris

        Ted knew from having (presumably) an alcoholic father Don would not be able to get through the meeting without the shakes. He needed some alcohol because his body couldn’t take going cold turkey without consequences.

        • HM3

          I think that line harkened less to Ted’s own past, and more to a hint at Don crashing into his demons (off-camera) BEFORE we even witnessed the famous “Hershey speech.” I understood the “My father” line as Ted quoting Don in a prior, obviously-stalled rehearsal of this speech…which is why he added the caveat, “You can’t just stop cold like that!” One of those awesome hints that MW throws in, that could easily be missed, but in retrospect, foreshadowed the giant Fall from Grace.

          • Travelgrrl

            I agree with Chris – that seemingly throwaway line said volumes about why Ted is the man he is, and why he has compassion for Don. He has seen alcoholics, DTS, and was genuinely trying to help Don. And in fact, Don did great in the meeting until his still slightly shaking hands reminded him it was all facade.

    • KayEmWhy

      There’s alot to take in and ponder for a few days, but first I’d like to thank T&Lo for this forum, I’m looking forward to Wednesday’s fashion wrap. I’ll miss your fine analysis for this great show on an iffy season. I’m glad that there’s hope for Don. He’s reached the bottom after falling for 6 seasons and the only way now is up.

    • Sarah Zibanejadrad

      Am I the only one who saw a connection between how Don was “asked to take a few months off” in the same fashion as Freddy Rumson? I thought it was meant to be a commentary on how Don’s drinking has gone from being a creative muse to professional detriment in all of the same good ole Freddy sort of ways: obviously got drunk before a meeting, drunken behavior reflects negatively on the firm (which is always the top priority, isn’t it?) and makes character look like an ass, firm uses this as justification for asking them to take time off. As with Freddy, I think Don will ultimately come back. Question is, how much will he change before his return?

      • LuluinLaLa

        Totally. It was very similar the way they were both sent off with no/open-ended return dates.

      • fnarf

        The difference is that Freddy was a hired hand, while Don is a partner. He owns the company. Freddy was never going to come back. Don is never going to go away, not all the way.

        • Sarah Zibanejadrad

          Well, Freddy eventually did come back but he was stuck in this traditional mindset in comparison to the progressive firm that had moved forward. Realize in both instances, it was a huge power play to Peggy’s career. With Freddy, his drunken folly was Peggy’s opportunity to deliver he pitch at the meeting and shine. Remember, Peggy got Freddy’s old office after that situation much like she did at the end of this most recent episode.

          • Travelgrrl

            Peggy was not taking over Don’s office – just perusing his files and trying out the desk. She’s just temporary Creative Chief – as evidenced by Duck bringing in a ‘replacement” for Don.

      • Lattis

        Freddy Rumson

        Yeah, I’ve been thinking that Don’s big fall would be as dramatic as pitching himself off a skyscraper – but it was really as sad and mundane as Freddy Rumson passed out on the couch with wet pants. Don essentially wet his pants in front of everyone in the pitch meeting.

        • Travelgrrl

          Or “shit the bed” as it were.

    • marlie

      Fabulous recap, gents. I’m going to miss having these every Monday morning!

    • [email protected]

      I missed something. Why/how is Pete going to CA? Does he no longer work for the agency? They said they were sending 1 guy out…so why is Pete going?

      • Fordzo

        Come sit by me, I’m confused, too.

        • Melanie

          It wasn’t explained, but MW confirmed in an interview to EW that Pete is going with Ted. He said, “We talked about showing that decision, but decided the time was better spent on other scenes.”

          • joything

            If the decision scene was shot, we are in for some multi-disc DVD sets after the series ends. “UNCUT! Includes deleted scenes!”

      • http://angrynerdgirl.net/ Jessi03

        They’re sending out one creative, but they also need one account man. Ted is the creative instead of Don or Stan. Pete is accounts.

      • Travelgrrl

        They didn’t expressly say, but I assume he’s the accounts guy who will massage the clients that Ted will provide creative for.

    • HM3

      The Hershey speech exemplifies not only stellar acting by Jon Hamm, but also stellar writing: the first line, “I was an orphan,” uttered in the SCDP boardroom, is probably as earth-shattering and expository as could be managed by a character on that show.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dglassman1 Doug Glassman

      “Whershey Whorehouse” must become the official fandom name for that building.

    • ShaoLinKitten

      Remember when Bob was on the phone to Manolo a few episodes ago? Didn’t he mention something about the cruise ship? I don’t have the episodes on my DVR anymore, but I believe he did. That would indicate that Bob was aware of Manolo’s plan to marry Mrs. Campbell and steal her fortune. As for the drowning… not sure if that was accidental or on purpose, but I would believe either. I think Pete and his brother, deep down, were relieved that their mother was gone and out of their hands. Did you see Pete’s face when the detective on the phone said it would be expensive to track down Manolo? He was like, oh well. Better go get the good furniture…

      So Don is FIRED? Can they just oust a partner that way? I mean, they can tell him not to come to work, but he still owns a chunk of that company. How does that work?

      This episode was a roller coaster. I cried when Don gave his Hershey speech, laughed at “You want to advertise THAT?!” and “She loved the sea…” Shouted at the screen when Peggy hooked up with Ted, knowing it was going to go badly for her. Gritted my teeth at the lack of and Joan story of substance, and no closure on the Ginsberg story.

      • 3hares

        Bob didn’t mention the cruise ship, no. He just said “I don’t care if she’s nice, he’s trying to ruin me” or something. It was Dot who brought up taking a voyage with Manolo later.

      • somebody blonde

        They’d have to buy him out to actually fire him. Bob didn’t say anything about the cruise- she brought it up afterward, when she came to see Pete.

    • Mike R

      Silver lining for Peggy: she is going to be a kick-ass executive whose career will shine all through the 70s, 80s, and 90s (yes, 90s, lest we forget that MM isn’t exactly dealing with ancient history). I don’t know if she will ever meet the right guy for her, but she is going to be a wealthy and successful businesswoman.

      • fnarf

        For most people here the 90s is ancient history! Twenty years ago. But Peggy will be retiring at 65 in 2004, which is just a couple of years before Mad Men first aired.

        • Mike R

          I know for a fact that you don’t speak for “most people” anywhere.

          • fnarf

            Wow, way to take the dick perspective on a light comment. There are a lot of young people here. And I don’t think you know anything “for a fact”, fool.

            • Travelgrrl

              TEAM FNARF!

          • fnarf

            With regard to the 90s and “ancient history”:

            1968 to 1990 is 22 years.
            1990 to 2013 is 23 years.

            • quitasarah

              Wow. Mind BLOWN.

    • Kwei-lin Lum

      I wonder how the agency will fare with two of their least “Los Angeles” people going there to chart new ground. Ted’s purpose in going is to reinforce his family ties, yet he’s headed for a place with little sense of community and where an “I’m number one” attitude (soon to sweep the country) can bury families. Pete has a whiny weaselly non-cool style which will need major remaking. Ted too, he wasn’t born with the “L.A.” easy casualness that might open doors faster.

      • fnarf

        Pete’s going to look spectacular in scarves and all the other late-sixties, early-seventies getup. He’s also going to crash his car within a month, tops.

        • Mismarker

          Ha! I recently re-watched “L.A. Story” and was reminded about the car culture in L.A. Pete is screwed!

        • MartyBellerMask

          LOL! If he couldn’t handle Detroit, he sure can’t handle L.A.

    • ConnieBV

      I actually did cry at the end, and my husband didn’t get the why. I explained that as an adult and mother, there is a moment where you realize that the reason your parent is screwed is that at some point, someone screwed them. It’s usually right about the time that you try not to screw up your children and the fact that Sally was realizing in her early teens that her father had been broken was immensely sad and tender. You lose that hero worship, you are both sympathetic and resentful that it didn’t serve to inform and educate and it is such an adult moment. Seeing it on her little headband face just got me.

      • NMMagpie

        Spot on. I had a similar moment with my kid just a few weeks ago where she said all she needed to about my failures with her. While I am no longer as shiny in her eyes as I had once thought I was, we have a better understanding of each other and the long-term damage pain inflicts. We both see each other much more realistically. Sad and hopeful all at the same time.

        • ConnieBV

          I would go further to say (and who knows if this is even the case) that this illustrates another seismic shift in culture. Peggy, Betty, Don, these are all people who never really confronted their parents. They sort of took what they got, never talked about it. Pete did there near the end, but it’s a different way of approaching what it was to BE a parent. You would have never thought that you owed your kids an explanation before. Betty takes Sally’s backtalk as Sally being “bad” because that’s how Betty inevitably both expressed and framed her own episodes when she acted out. If this serves at all to get Sally to be more knowledgeable about her impulses and more informed about what she is doing and why, even occasionally, she will be light years ahead of both her parents in emotional intelligence. Here’s hoping, I guess.

          • NMMagpie

            I agree. When Betty said “I have done all I know how to do,” I knew anything positive from this has to come from Sally herself. And I hope it does, too.

            • DeniseSchipani

              And she also said, “I did everything my mother did.” Betty’s at her parental limit, and I thought it was sad to see her realize it. It was a moment of great empathy she showed here.

    • jinco

      Ending the show like that should make contract negotiations interesting for next season.

    • siriuslover

      One thing I want to bullet: Don’s stealing of Stan, not only his desire to move to California, but the words he used to describe the move. I applauded Stan for his smart-ass comment about his eating his sandwich before Don got to it. I hope his character is developed a bit more in the last season.

      • Meg0GayGuys6

        Yea, I was so mad at Don for that. When he said those words to Megan, that’s one thing. But then to use them on the partners… so low

        • Travelgrrl

          Peggy stole Don’s exact words (about changing the conversation) in her competing pitch to Heinz. So, he’s hardly the first.

          • girlsaturday

            Isn’t he though? Peggy is Don’s protege and her pitches tend to be very much in the ‘Don Draper’ mold. I could believe her picking up pitch plagiarism from him.

      • librarygrrl64

        Yes, that was brilliant. More Stan in season seven, please!!!

    • ideated_eyot

      Gotta say I think Trudy was depicted exactly right… mustering a bare minimum level of compassion required to deal with Pete while not yielding anything she didn’t have to. It’s exactly how a woman like Trudy would get rid of Pete for good… a gentle, definitive send-off.

      • DeniseSchipani

        I saw Trudy’s compassionate look at Pete (when he was saying goodbye to his daughter) as a parallel to Sally’s look to Don. Trudy saw Pete all stripped down — leaving NY, the difficulty with his mother/family over, kind of humbled — and saw some germ of good in him. I rewatched Season 1 recently and their marriage wasn’t based on much (his name/her family’s money), which isn’t uncommon, but now they’ve been together for a while and have a child and have both seen and done things they couldn’t have imagined. I don’t know. People grow, right? I could see her taking him back, and I could sorta see him appreciating her for it.

    • Judy_J

      I may be speaking sacrilege here, but I’m going to speak my mind. For me, this show has always been about Don. The other characters just live in his orbit. No matter what Don does, I am first and foremost a Don Draper fan. This episode, for me, was brilliant. The unravelling of Don and the final shot of him and Sally exchanging knowing looks had me in tears. Don has good in him, and I feel certain we will see that part of him evolve over the course of Season 7. I look forward to the continuation of his journey.

      • fnarf

        Megan said it in the show, after she blurted out about his “messed-up kids”. “We’re all in the same boat” — the same leaky rowboat named “Don Draper”, out in the middle of the ocean.

      • MartyBellerMask

        I also liked the flashback scenes.

      • Travelgrrl

        I swear that kid looked 3 years older in this episode than when he was sipping whorehouse soup earlier in the season. (In a good way, as if the preacher incident took place a few years later.) How did he do that?!

    • kipper

      Great recap – Thank you guys for all your hard ( and FAST !! ) work this season, and for giving us all a water cooler to gather around – just one thing, Peggy had/made a decision as well , 1) to wear that dress , 2) to allow Ted to stay when she found him there… Are folks mad at Ted for cheating on his wife or not dumping her/his family ?

      • ConnieBV

        I’m mad at him for being wishy-washy, but I guess it was true to character. Ted has always been an emotional seesaw.

      • formerlyAnon

        I’m mad at him for being weak more than either leaving the wife or dumping Peggy. The case could be argued for either of those paths, but the man we’ve seen would not be an ideal partner to either wife or Peggy because he’s too conflicted. I don’t think he’s done going back-and-forth with Peggy.

        • Chris

          I’m also annoyed because even Pete and Don have shown some self awareness and growth but Peggy hasn’t changed one iota the whole season, or really since season one. The men are dictating everything to her. Ted went hot and cold just like Pete used to in season one, and she accepted it just like she did eight years before. Move forward Peggy.

      • Chris

        I’m more mad about the writing. It was a cliche I knew was coming even though I hoped for something, anything different.

      • somebody blonde

        I think Ted is awful for jerking Peggy around like that. He’s been doing it all season, but last night’s was the worst instance. “Yeah, now that I’ve finally had sex with you, I’m going to move on and leave your life completely.” What an ass.

        • formerlyAnon

          Though I was glad it went down like that, simply because I want Pegs to LEARN HER LESSON AND MOVE ON. Because I think Ted is going to come sniffing back around, eventually, and she needs armor against that time.

          • fnarf

            He’s going to call her every day from Cali, on the company’s dime, but on his own business. I predict a story line involving her dodging those calls in creative ways. “Tell him I’m at Woodstock!”

            • BKagainwiththesweatpants

              PIZZA HOUSE!

        • sweetlilvoice

          I think Peggy knew that a relationship between them wasn’t going to happen. I have to give her snaps for her screw you dress! Chanel #5 indeed! She was smokin’!

          • somebody blonde

            I think she knew right up until he was saying he’d really leave his wife for her. Then she got her hopes up about it. She had a realistic idea right up until that post-sex conversation, and then she let herself get excited.

      • fnarf

        Ted’s a weasel. Oh, I love you, I thought that was over, kiss me, I have kids, come to California with me, I have to see you, this has to stop, let’s sleep together, someday you’ll thank me. What a prong. “How lucky for you — you have decisions”. Peggy’s just sitting there waiting for HIM to tell her what their relationship is, which changes every five minutes. Get screwed, Ted.

        He’s also not good enough to run creative in the agency, especially from California. The agency is worse off, and so is Ted. The agency is at risk of sinking without Don, as screwed up as he is. If Chevy dumps them, they’re cooked.

        • TigerLaverada

          Agree completely with this. The creative heavyweight, head and shoulders above the others, is Don. Ted is good, but fairly ordinary. Peggy, I think, is better than Ted but nowhere near as good as Don.

          • Chris

            From MW’s remarks Don is very good but his ideas are often ahead of its time. If he were an artist that would be one thing, but if the point is to be of the time and sell products it’s not always commercial. Ted is seen as very good and commercial but not as forward thinking as Don. Don’s ideas are more cutting edge but Ted’s work sells and the clients like him. Ted has been head of creative for his own agency for years and has been pretty much running SC&P’s creative single- handedly since Don has been in his downward spiral. The company will be fine with Ted, Peggy, Ginsberg and Stan until Don shapes up.

            • fnarf

              Unless Chevy finds out Bob is gay. “How come you never bring your wife?” Then they have a problem. Those Chevy goons are not the most enlightened guys in the world, and they’ve already broken two “pansies” (I guarantee that’s what they’re calling Ken and Pete behind their backs).

              On the other hand, Peggy could turn this into a career-maker. Ted in Cali is a joke, he’s not going to be able to “take care of things” in New York, and neither is the anonymous suit that Duck brought in. Peggy can step in here, in a big way.

    • Meg0GayGuys6

      I guess the pitch Don did in the beginning of the season (I forgot the particulars) where the clothes are on the shore, could have been a foreshawdowing to Pete’s mom’s death?

      This is def an episode that I have to watch again. Last night during each commercial break, I was like “WTF JUST HAPPENED?!”

    • njudah

      Great recap, as always . I just discovered this site and I wish I’d been reading it all season!

      couple of thoughts:

      -I always had the sense that Don was done at SC&P but I didn’t sense the universal disgust that was ultimately played out at the meeting. Then I realized in some way he’d done something to piss off everyone in that meeting (including Joan) but still. After all those years to end up having to see that jerk Duck Phillips ushering in his replacement? What a kick in the balls.

      -I’ve never liked Ted and never saw him as a sympathetic figure. And it’s no wonder why Don doesn’t like him – for years Ted spent time jerking around Don in the press, playing stupid jokes on him and so on. Frankly anything nasty Don did to him he deserved.

      I’m sure there will be endless speculation as to Don’s next move (or even what year the next season will take place in – God I hope it’s not 1969!) but I’m also sure that Mr. Wiener & gang will come up with something way more far out and awesome than anything any of us could come up with.

    • HobbitGirl

      I got the impression that Pete gave up on his mother because a) he realized it would be chasing phantoms, and he’s not good at that (as his attempt to make himself into Don Draper has shown again and again) and b) because it would be very expensive and Pete is, for better or worse, a pragmatist who’s not all that crazy-rich anymore.

      • Sagecreek

        There is also a terrible, guilty relief when a parent who suffers from dementia dies.

        • formerlyAnon

          Yes.

    • CatherineRhodes

      TLO, terrific recap. Thank you for your incisive analysis all season.

      • Your point was well-taken regarding the writers assuming the viewer knows things that we don’t. Another point is that the writers seem to oblivious to what the viewers find interesting. For example, I was disappointed by the “Favors” episode, which followed the brilliant episode involving Peggy, Joan and Avon. The “Favors” episode focused major screen time on Dot Campbell’s soap opera and on Sylvia crying in her kitchen, when all we wanted to know is whether Avon called.

      • Speaking of Sylvia, there was so much plot development with her and Dr. Rosen at the front end of the season, then so little payoff. Remember the bromance with Don and Dr. Rosen in the first few episodes? Where did that go?

      • The show did an excellent job showing the arc of Peggy and Ted’s romance, and Don’s jealous attempt to torpedo it. From what I’ve seen of office affairs, Peggy and Ted’s rang true. Workplace affairs seem to have a GO, GO, STOP, GO, STOP, GO quality to them, with a big STOP at the end when the married one extricates him- or herself by leaving the company (or moving to California). And yes, office romances are often torpedoed by a jealous third party.

      • I was furious at Don for his behavior during the Hershey meeting. It’s one thing to let his own demons take down his marriages and his family, it’s another to allow personal issues to drag down the agency. Sure, Don should come to terms with his past, but that must be done privately, perhaps in therapy, not in an important meeting with a client! Jesus, Dude, have you heard of boundaries?

      • Megan can say “Fuck the agency” but the agency isn’t just a faceless enterprise — the agency is made up of human beings who have devoted their lives to its outcome, people like Peggy, Joan, Ken Cosgrove, Ted, Stan, and certainly all the support staff.

      • Loved the staging of the “Bert Lion” shot with Joan seated at his side.

    • Laylalola

      I don’t think all the partners abandoned Don because of his background — heck, Roger was unclear whether it was even true or just another in a long string of lies — as much as it was because it was yet another example in a long string of instances where he’s been so damn unprofessional and unpredictable (unstable, really), on his own making critical decisions that affect everyone else at the firm (dramatically and offensively altering a pitch to a valuable client so that it’s about Hershey’s and a whorehouse (?!?) or inappropriately feeling out GM executives for a personal favor to get a friend’s son out of the draft, just to name two recent examples). Which isn’t to say they wouldn’t find his background distasteful and shun him because of it. But I don’t think that’s what’s going on here at all right now.

      • Frank_821

        Actually I took Tlo’s comments regarding that as being more metaphoric “abandonment”.

        Yes none of them would care that much. Bert certainly wouldn’t. Ted and Cutler might. What we have of course is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Don has shown his true self in the most disgusting and inappropriate ways possible. so of course people will reject him for it

        • fnarf

          I guarantee that if you asked Don what happened in that scene with Megan, he’d say “she walked out on me”. Which she did, in a literal sense, but only after he took another dump on her. But Don won’t see it that way; Don only sees women abandoning him when he needs them most.

      • Meg0GayGuys6

        I agree, I don’t think they kicked him out because of that either. In a few episodes, one or more partners have said to him, no more surprises, or something to that effect. And here he goes again, doing something on his own, without talking to the partners first. I think this pitch was just the final straw.

      • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

        That’s not what we said. It’s actually a little surprising to us how much this is being misread but our point was only that Dick’s fear turned out to be true: that people leave him when they find out. That’s how he sees it; not how the partners see it.

        • Travelgrrl

          I think both are true.

          Roger did seem to have a barrel of discomfort over Don’s disclosure. Don’s perception of his ‘firing’ likely makes him think everyone else does, too.

    • njudah

      one other thing: anyone else notice how loudmouth “meathead” hippie types like Peggy’s loser boyfriend and that copywriter that yelled at Cutler came off as true jerks? I’ve not seen a tv show stick it to the hippies this badly since All in the Family lol

    • Ann Peters

      You type:
      “we find out that Megan isn’t quite as committed to this marriage as she tries to appear”

      I disagree. Megan has been as committed as a person can be but a human can only be expected to put up with just so much disrepect before she gets to walk.

      • Zaftiguana

        I tend to agree with this. My initial thought wasn’t “Hmm, I guess Megan isn’t committed to this marriage,” it was “Wow, Don, you took this child of an emotional abuser and an alcoholic, primed from birth to put up with amazing quantities of your exact flavor of bullshit, just as she’s been naively doing all along, and you still managed to finally push her too far.”

        Although I’m divided on whether or not their marriage is officially over or if the writers are going to drag it out a bit longer before the inevitable end.

      • Nicholas

        Definitely. The fate of the relationship was one of death by a thousand cuts, so there wasn’t going to be a crescendo nor climax to its end.

        “It’s just not working out” is probably the most normal way for a relationship to end, not with a bang but a whimper.

    • katiessh

      ahaha I keep watching the part with pete and bob over and over again. “I’m not great, bob!” cracks me up every time

      • Supernumerary

        His inflection on that line was stellar. Mad Men has made me into a Vincent Kartheiser fan. Not sure how I feel about that.

        • asympt

          You should feel fine about it! I’ve been a VK fan since Angel, when he played another damaged, difficult to like son of dysfunction. (But was allowed to be much cuter.)

      • Sofia Bentivoglio

        I totally agree! Pete’s meltdown was hilarious in this episode. After Don announced his move to California, I laughed out loud when Pete surrendered by saying “Honestly, I have bigger problems than this.” Best comedic line/delivery in the episode, IMHO.

        • MartyBellerMask

          That’s the whole season for Pete, in a nutshell! :)

          • Sofia Bentivoglio

            Absolutely! I love how all his misery just became funny in the end. Brilliant.

    • Peeve

      First of all, thank you both so much for the lounge, recaps, reviews, and Mad Style columns. Until this season, I had no idea how all of these could enhance the watching of the show! Thanks so much for this!

      Secondly, I’m with you on the Joan/Avon lack of information. I read Sepinwall’s recap and his interview with Matthew Weiner early this morning, and it totally pissed me off when Weiner just tossed off that sure, Joanie had gotten Avon, and somehow the audience was supposed to figure out the result of a major plot point with no input at all. Putz. I love the show, and Matthew Weiner’s writing, but this was lazy, especially for someone who usually takes such care. This whole season has jumped around with little exposition as to why characters made the decisions they made. Sometimes, that’s the most interesting part! I don’t need to be spoonfed, but why have a whole show revolve around dangerous decisions and actions, and then lose the payoff in the ether? Especially after having spent huge amounts of time beating us about the head with the Sylvia plot line. Urrrrgggg.

      That said, never have I been so irritated, intrigued, invested and entertained. Gotta love Matthew Weiner, the Mad Men writers & cast, TLo, and the BK for that!

    • sockandaphone

      i sincerely hope kiernan shipka gets nominations next yea.r that little girl is an incredible actor for her age. its kinda chilling watching her sometimes.
      I feel like the writers are somewhat ruining some of the women characters, particularly joannie, but it was nice seeing back-to-back scenes were women got verbally angry at their respective dudes because the patriarchy screwed them over.
      overall it was a great episode. this season started a bit rusty, specially with the incredibly dragged on sylvia affair, but the second half was exciting.

    • Mike R

      We all know what happened with “Laverne & Shirley” after that show moved to California. The decline in quality was tremendous. Be careful, Matt.

    • Doris Allen

      You almost cried? I was weeping! It was just a great episode. About Joan … I take the position that no news is good news, so Avon was a given.

      I love Bob! My fantasy was that Don would fall out a window and we would have Pete and Peggy show, but a Bob show would suit me just fine. Carve that turkey, fella!

    • purkoy28

      I dont think that Dons reveal about his childhood had anything to do with being left behind SCP, its because the way he said it with a ” u dont need any advertising” at the end, plus all the millions of other bad choices he made with the company, ditching important meetings without a word, leaving whenever he wants, always drunk, making decisions alone, without the partners and not being a team player. I know some of those things he has been doing for years but now he doesnt have the creative prowess to back it up. If u cant walk the walk any more then he should stop talking the talk.

    • purkoy28

      C’mon Peggy, u are smart……They NEVER leave their wives!

      • formerlyAnon

        Sometimes they do. And then, IF they stay with you, you know you’ve got a cheater.

      • Mike R

        Oh yes, they sometimes do.

        • Chris

          Yes, Roger did.

    • librarygrrl64

      Oooooo, I just wanted to smack that smug look off of Duck’s face! He is so gross, in every way. I always feel like I need to wipe him off the bottom of my shoe.

      I felt bad for Betty last night (what a nice job they — and you — have done with her this season), and also for Peggy. Ted would have done better to just leave her alone.

      Don’s revelations? Wow. Just, wow. Everyone played that scene brilliantly.

      And, man, how amazing is Kiernan Shipka? I was choked up several times last night, but that last scene killed me.

      Finally, I couldn’t agree more with this: “On the one hand, we appreciate a show that expects the audience to keep up and figure things out along the way without being spoonfed. On the other hand, the show’s pacing problems grew to epidemic proportions this season and it seems to us we could have been spared 30 seconds of Dick Whitman’s Whorehouse Frolics in order to get one short line informing us that the most important and dangerous thing Joan did all season actually paid off for her.” You guys nailed it, as usual.

      Can’t wait for season seven! :-)

      • BarniClaw

        Yes! The look on Ted’s face especially was an amazing piece of acting.

    • purkoy28

      I think Trudys demeanor with Pete is accurate, not all woman, but some would act like that after a llong battle with a husband is over. What I mean is, when its all fighting and betrayle for so, long then an angry seperation from eachother….. some people can move on and develope a genuine friendship and have no anbger left with them. I know this from experience, personal and from others.

      • sekushinonyanko

        I never got the impression that Pete constantly pissed Trudy off as much as Pete constantly being unable to pull himself together enough to make it work. Like I feel Trudy has always noticed that he does try, and his whole thing is how with everything he tries really, really hard. That kind of obvious effort tends to inspire patience in people, especially kind people. It still isn’t necessarily enough that someone can live with you forever. You have to succeed some damn times at meeting the expectations placed upon you, if only to avoid shaming and curtailing everyone around you every five minutes. I feel like Trudy’s in a place where she gets that Pete is Pete, and that’s all he can be, but she can’t be married to that. My best friend is gay and he’s a serial cheater. He can’t stop being either of those things, and I couldn’t be with him because of either of those things, but neither of them are my problem because I’m his friend, not his lover. So I don’t have to push against these things to love him or deal with them, so I can be much more awesome with him, because of the roles he does and does not occupy in my life. In contrast I dated a man that was gay and a serial cheater, in fact, dating him is how I met my best friend. I can’t deal with that man at all; we hate each other in the same constant and consuming way that forest fires hate Los Angeles. The fact that he couldn’t be the sort of man I could be with makes him feel incompetent and he hates me for it. The fact that I had to spend years in his theatre of self discovery at the mercy of his ongoing whims makes me feel bitter, exhausted and distrustful, and I hate him for that in return. If it’s not the characteristics someone has, but the way those effect your life, then there’s nothing to be so mad about if that person has the flaws, but those flaws aren’t busily wrecking your life.

        • Glammie

          Well said. This also explains why Betty can now get along with Don. He’s no longer wrecking her life and with Henry getting elected, she now has a successful life again.

      • 1carmelita

        I thought when Trudy told Pete he was free now, she might also be thinking “I’m free, too,” which might account for her calm demeanor, too.

        • Sagecreek

          Yeah, there was an element of “just get him out the door without another fight” in that scene.

          • 3hares

            I didn’t get the impression either of them felt the other was spoiling for a fight.

    • fnarf

      I’m a little confused how Pete, a man who doesn’t know how to drive, was planning on keeping that secret from Chevy, the ultimate gearhead company with “gasoline in their veins”. He was an odd choice for that job to begin with, whatever his position at the company. Ironically, the one guy at SC&P who is into cars is Don. I know Don’s not an accounts guy, but he’s the guy Chevy really wants to talk to, not gay Bob or any of those other weasels.

      In fact, the one real slip-up in the storyline is Pete’s adventure in the car. As someone who CAN drive a stick, but remembers what it was like to learn, there is absolutely no chance at all that Pete was going to slip it into reverse and actually move the car on his very first attempt, with no instruction at all. He would have killed the engine instead. Or, more likely, since he possibly didn’t even know what a clutch was, he would have ground the gears mercilessly — a sound no stick driver will ever forget.

      • Chris

        I agree with the part about Pete, it really made him seem like an idiot to take the bait in the first place to drive the car, then put it in reverse. There were a few things in the finale I thought were sloppy writing.

      • NMMagpie

        I could not agree more. My daughter said immediately: “No way! Everyone knows he can’t drive!!” When he backed up, we were non-plussed. Everyone can drive stick in our family and that kind of thing just does not happen. I guess the grinding would not have been as dramatic a scene.

      • Mike R

        Point taken, but he DOES know how to drive, albeit badly. We saw him driving multiple times last season. He just doesn’t know how to drive a manual transmission. He probably didn’t expect that to be a job requirement and no one else thought of it either, except crafty Bob.

        • fnarf

          That’s true, he took lessons. There’s still no way on earth he’d find a gear, any gear, in that Camaro.

          • CozyCat

            And he tried to pick up a cute teenage girl in his driving class.

            Aha! He must not have been paying attention during the manual transmission lessons! ;-)

            • Cheryl

              I forgot which season it was when he took driving lessons, but I took lessons in 1966, and we were never taught how to drive with a manual transmission. My drivers’ ed cars, plus my family’s cars, were all automatic by then.

        • SFCaramia

          But then, what do you expect from a company who doesn’t even do the bare minimum of vetting employees?

      • Historiana

        One other thing about Pete–why is he going to California? I must have missed something. One second his mom’s dead, then he’s crashing a car in Detroit and is off the Chevy account, next he’s off to California. Did I miss an important life decision that was made entirely through facial expressions?

        • fnarf

          Yes. See the other comment from someone below — Weiner decided not to show that part of the story. But yes, Pete — the least Californian person in the world — is off to LA. Autopia.

      • MartyBellerMask

        I will give the show points for accuracy, though, in having the Chevy guy call it a “stick”. I grew up in a GM family, in a GM town, and nobody EVER used the word “manual”.

    • purkoy28

      Maybe Bob did have a hand in the Manolo scam/murdr. Last ep. when he was on the phone with him he said to Manolo ” I dont care if shes nice, her son is a SOB” or to that effect, ect, ect. Maybe thats what he was referring to?

      • sweatpantalternative

        Yeah but what would Bob have to gain from Pete’s mom’s death? Unless Bob was thinking her death would send Pete into some sort of self-destructive grief-induced career tailspin (kind of a stretch), there’s no reason for him to help orchestrate her death. It was my impression from that earlier scene that Bob was reaching out to Manolo for help in dealing with Pete, but more on the lines of looking for/planting something equally incriminating on Pete.

        • fnarf

          Yeah, I can’t see it. If Bob was working the same con as Manolo, he wouldn’t have worked at SC&P for a whole year first. He’s in it for real. Manolo’s got his own thing going. It’s possible, even probable, that he knew what Manolo was up to, but not in detail. I think what was happening in that conversation was Bob telling Manolo not to, and Manolo accusing him of being in love with Pete, and Bob denying it, saying that Pete was an asshole.

    • terwin

      I thought Trudy’s treatment of Pete was realistic, given the fact that his mother is presumed dead. Regardless of the relationship between Pete and his mother, the loss warrants her softened, sympathetic attitude.

    • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

      Thank the deities for you guys explaining this and all the episodes this season to me. I often think I am not smart enough to watch this show, and I am probably right, because for most of this season I have been all what the heck is going on oh never mind, I’ll just wait and read the TLO recap posts. :)

      • Sagecreek

        Don’t feel bad, I miss a lot, too.

    • fnarf

      If Don has even a sliver of brain left in his booze-soaked head, he’ll take this as a sign. Get on your damn knees and beg forgiveness from Megan, and follow her to California. They’re still pretty rich, even without a huge income. Don still owns a large chunk of SC&P and a swanky East Side pad, plus a lot of other stuff. I wonder how much cash is in his drawer now? If Megan stops wearing new $5,000 outfits (2013 dollars) every day, they could get a cheap apartment somewhere and live reduced but perfectly comfortably until he finds something. There ARE ad firms in LA, even in ’68, and he has a good reputation. LA was the land of starting over then. Shed that old skin and leave all those creeps behind.

      • makeityourself

        I think Megan is part of the old skin too. And now he may want to be physically nearer his children.

        • Mismarker

          Agreed. Can’t see him going to CA when he’s just realized his kids need him around. The final shot may be foreshadowing of something happening to Betty next season, leaving Don with sole guardianship. That could be interesting.

          • Angela_the_Librarian

            Did her husband get elected to state senate (or whichever position he was running for?). She said something about him being in Albany already. She might be busier being a political wife and may have less time to spend with the kids, which is where Don may step up to the plate a bit more.

            • Qitkat

              That seems to be the case. Remember a remark was dropped about Nixon’s election, just shortly before Thanksgiving here, so presumably that same election saw Henry successful in his bid. MW assuming again we would understand this.

            • [email protected]

              Where does his mother live? It was Thanksgiving and Betty mentioned her mother-in-law, so I assumed he was in Albany for Thanksgiving but.. maybe he did win.

          • MartyBellerMask

            Don Draper, stay at home dad? Gotta admit, I would never have seen that coming.

      • golden_valley

        I think Don and Megan are better off without each other. She was his crutch for a while. His money let her pursue training and a career as an actress. I think that dependency on each other is not good. And he seems to have more interest in his kids and a detente with Betty. He can’t work that in California.

        • fnarf

          Maybe. I find it very hard to believe that Don is seriously interested in being near his kids. He’s had these waves of parental (and spousal) feeling before; they pass. He’s ALWAYS wanted California. He wants to live in Anna’s house in Long Beach. Hmm, does he still own it? Move there with or without Megan (she’s going to want to be in Hollywood and points west) and live on his buyout from SC&P. Maybe start a cult. There’s already one of those up in the hills who will be coming down and wreaking a little havoc in less than a year.

          • decormaven

            No, Don sold Anna’s house. That’s why he and the kids stopped off there in “Tomorrowland.” They met Stephanie and the notary who was going to notarize the final papers.

            • fnarf

              Damn. Oh, well — lots of houses in LA, and real estate was dirt cheap back then (compared to today).

      • Cheryl

        I think Megan’s story is done. We’ll hear one throw-away line about her next year, but his story is in New York, and is about repairing his relationship with Sally. That’s what we saw in the last scene.

    • Cynthia Gallaher

      Peggy’s pantsuit print-and-color scheme reminds me of the wallpaper in Ted’s office. And now by her taking over Don’s corner office, Peggy has finally replaced both gents. That said, I’ll turn my attention to Bob Benson, toward whom I now cast a suspicious eye. If he’s such a great guy to begin with, why might he need to access so many “motivational” recordings? To manipulate and deceive? He turned the tables on Pete — and may even have been accessory to his divorce (luring him to the brothel when Pete’s father-in-law was present to see him) — and the mother’s disappearance (via friend Manolo) — wiping away any last vestiges of sour-little-man Pete’s NY life — allowing good ole grinning yes-man Bob several steps up the SC&P ladder.

    • Robyn Garrett

      Okay, here is what I don’t understand about the Dick Whitman flashbacks. Where is Adam? Was that ever explained? Because I am very confused about how this seemingly new DW history (spends his teens in the brothel) matches up to the old history (grew up on a farm, parents died, raised by stepmom and uncle Mac, and runs away to join the army).

      • DeniseSchipani

        He was on the farm as a little boy, with his father and step mother. When his stepmom was preg with Adam, the father was killed (kicked in the head by a horse). That’s when the stepmother, presumably with no other options, moved to the whorehouse (was it that her sister was there?), and submitted to “uncle” Mac. So I guess Adam was there, too, after he was born. But I gather that by the time Dick joined the Army, they (him, stepmother and Adam) were no longer living at the whorehouse. ??

        • Cheryl

          Didn’t we see at least one flashback with Jon Hamm supposedly about 20 years old, in the yard outside the farmhouse, working on a truck with Uncle Mack? This was before he went to Korea.

          And yes, Adam must be playing somewhere off-screen, and Weiner expects us to just fill in the blanks there.

          • decormaven

            That’s in the box of photographs that Adam had for Don, shown in the first season.

            • Cheryl

              It was only a photograph? I was sure it was an actual scene.

        • urbantravels

          The episode “The Hobo Code” shows young (adolescent) Don living on a farm with Uncle Mac and his stepmom. So apparently Uncle Mac got out of the cathouse business at some point and went into farming.

          • decormaven

            In “The Hobo Code,” Dick/Don is living with Archie & Abigail.

      • decormaven

        Adam was 10 years younger than Dick. The child of the late Archibald Whitman and Don’s stepmother, Abigail, he was born at the whorehouse owned by “Uncle Mac” and his wife, Abigail’s sister. By the time Adam was of any age, Dick was headed to Korea.

        • Robyn Garrett

          So toddler Adam is at the whorehouse too and we just haven’t seen him? Teen dick Whitman is probably 13-14, so Adam would be 3-4? I remember the scene where he was born at the farm. I was wondering if the stepmother maybe sent him somewhere considering that he was her precious angel child…

          • decormaven

            The only time we see Adam at the whorehouse is upon his birth, which Dick/Don saw in flashbacks in S1’s “Babylon.”

    • Jacquelyn

      If Jon Hamm doesn’t get the Emmy for this episode then there is no justice in the world. After denying him for YEARS, he deserves it now more than ever.

      Also, was it just me or was Peggy wearing the same blue and orange piping suit when Ted “broke up” with her as when he offered her a job back in S5?

      • decormaven

        You are correct.

      • onebluepussy

        I knew I’d seen it before!

    • tweety

      Don’t forget Ted showing up in Peggy’s apartment building hallway and then following her in smacks of Pete Campbell creepiness from the end of the pilot episode :)

      • decormaven

        Ha ha! Pete said “I wanted to see you tonight.” Ted says, “I need to talk to you.” Peggy really needs a building with a doorman next season.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=572633200 Tanzina Ahmed

          That and far, far, far better taste in men.

    • Girl_With_a_Pearl

      I liked yesterday’s episode, but was hoping for a lawn mower moment.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=572633200 Tanzina Ahmed

        I’m pretty sure Don’s kid-in-a-whorehouse speech was it. I know I cringed just as much in that scene as I did watching that British guy get his foot amputated!

        • Cheryl

          We may never see another “lawnmower” moment. I think the new episode highlight is his non-verbal exchange with Sally at the end. That’s where the story will be heading.

      • Glammie

        They don’t do lawn mower moments in the finale.

      • MissKimP

        I thought Pete in the car showroom was a somewhat low-key lawnmower moment.

        • Girl_With_a_Pearl

          It was low-key, but didn’t have the same punch as say the lawnmower moment or Peggy stabbing Abe.

    • Zaftiguana

      I was aghast at his big revelation in the Hershey’s meeting. I don’t know about others, but that was a five lawnmower moment for me. In some ways, one of the most shocking moments in the history of the show. It was also deeply touching and simultaneously disturbing that the final trigger for Don to have possibly the most honest moment he’s ever had on the show (certainly with anyone besides Anna and possibly Peggy) was…his genuine love for a product.

      Sure, the months/years of self-destructive behavior and the appalling state of his marriage and relationship with his daughter were huge factors, but the final straw was that poor, fucked up little Dick Whitman from Hershey, Pennsylvania couldn’t let those execs from Hershey leave without letting them know that their chocolate was the only thing that made him feel loved as a child. It spoke volumes about why this man ended up in advertising and why he’s so good at it. What he should feel for and with people he instead feels for market goods. It’s like his own capitalist, mid-century version of Reactive Attachment Disorder.

      • Nicola Anna Molly Page

        I agree. I had my hands up to my face, scary movie style, mumbling ‘no, no, no,’ during that scene. I was both horrified and proud of Don – when he has moments like these I remember why I root for him – but oh if it didn’t send everything crashing down around him. Maybe the next season will be Dick Reborn, and the journey toward separating who he wants to be and who he’s tried to pretend to be. I don’t doubt letting go of Don Draper: Ad Man of Mystery, will be difficult for him. Dropping that shield will be shattering for everyone in his radius.

        • Zaftiguana

          “I had my hands up to my face, scary movie style, mumbling ‘no, no, no,’ during that scene.”

          YES. And you just knew that was it for him at SC&P. They put up with a lot in that industry/company and they don’t fully understand things like mental illness and recreational drug use, but they understand being a drunk and the show has established through Freddy and Duck that you can only take that shit so far. And after spending the whole season systematically alienating anyone in a position of relative power within the company who might have had his back, forget it.

          • Cheryl

            Interesting that he was “on time” for this meeting. Ted and Cutler couldn’t believe how Don ran meetings by showing up after they were actually over.

            • Zaftiguana

              Right? But Don will probably process this in a way that’s so typical of people with his level and type of self-loathing. He’ll ignore the months/years of ever-increasing slacking off, screwing up, drinking himself silly, sinking accounts, disrespecting or outright insulting nearly everyone else in the office, etc. that actually lead to this moment and think it’s all about how he was an unlovable son of a whore from the sticks.

            • makeityourself

              Very astute.

              (Let’s add lying, cheating and sabotaging to your list as well.)

        • onebluepussy

          Me too! I kept hoping for one of the Hershey execs yo jump up and go: “I grew up in a whorehouse too! This is BRILLIANT!” or whatever, but no. Had to clutch my cat (and my Sauvignon).

      • Mr Littlejeans

        I was the same! I could not believe that Don was actually letting Dick Whitman see the light of day VOLUNTARILY. Betty found out by accident. He did tell Megan and Dr. Faye voluntarily but to me he told them with the condition that he’d get something out of it- either some form of acceptance or savior escapism (when he proposed to Megan out of the blue). In the presentation with Hershey he came out and told the truth and had absolutely nothing to gain- in fact, he had a lot to lose. I can’t think of a time that Don has ever done that before, and then he physically and voluntarily brought his kids to the the house of horrors – the site of so much (though not all) of his childhood trauma, AND he let Ted go to California. All those decisions showed growth which, after an entire season and in a sense an entire series cataloging Don’s downfall, was hopeful and heart wrenching to watch.

        I’m not saying that Don’s going to suddenly keep a picture of the horse that killed his stepfather in a locket around his neck in the final season, but I have a glimmer of hope and I’m really curious to see if season 7 will be about Don testing the boundaries with how much of Dick Whitman he allows to be seen by the people in his life and what that will mean for his tortured soul.

        • siriuslover

          Exactly. I am surprised at myself because watching this season, I was firmly in the belief that Don was irredeemable. I just felt he couldn’t pull back from the hell he’s created for himself. But in this one episode, I felt like there is actually the possibility of some kind of redemption for him…and not in a sloppy kind of way you see on a lot of shows. The entire setup felt authentic to me. And therefore far more meaningful.

    • Jasmine Gonzalez

      Interesting that Bewitched was playing on the bar tv. Long time Bitter Kittens may remember TLo pointed out the similarities between Darrin and Don back in S4. Perhaps Don will wind up in California and in TV in some form or another.

    • bros

      Did no one else catch don’s replacement saying to him “Going down?” at the elevator? thought that was a witty bit of dialog and in line with the metaphor of the fall of Don Draper that’s been underlying this whole season.

      • VioletFem

        I did! I thought for sure TLo would mention it. No truer words were spoken during this episode.

      • jozie310

        Some “suspension” they’ve got Don on, eh?

    • Beth

      A socialite being thrown overboard by her gay gigolo is about as way out, for me, as a guy having his foot amputated by a lawn-mower driving secretary. There have been MANY “out-there” moments on Mad Men. Just like real life. Might seem hokey sometimes, like the burglar mammy. Weiner says one of his writer’s actually experienced this type of break in.

      • fnarf

        People complain about “soap opera moments” but Mad Men has always had a bit of soap about it. It’s not a bad thing.

    • Virginia McMurdo

      I don’t know how else to say it, and in the spirit of a looming 1969, I am proud of Don’s “small step.” That’s one small step for Don, one giant leap for Dick Whitman.

      • BarniClaw

        Yes! Well said. And I just love how he was literally facing his past at the end.

    • Travelgrrl

      I sobbed at the end of this episode, the first time ever with Mad Men. The looks between Sally and Don completely trashed me.

      I had to turn the episode off and calm down twice during the episode: once when the Hershey presentation took a terrible turn, and again during the partners’ meeting.

      This season did not disappoint, for me. So many things happened; and I do see growth in Don’s dealing with his double life. A stunning finale!

      • amy_raks

        Same here. Watched it again this morning and cried AGAIN at the end. The idea of someone feeling ashamed for how they grew up, which was out of their control, wrecks me.

        • Travelgrrl

          He finally drew back the curtain, in the most uncomfortable way imaginable.

      • Orange Girl

        I cried at the end. I cried when Pete visited Tammy and I even cried *for* Peggy when Ted told her he was going to California. Also teared up when Ted told Don to have a drink before the Hershey meeting, because I finally understood that Ted was likely trying to avoid being like his father by keeping his family together, and Don’s shaking hands in the meeting reminded him of that. (But I’m pregnant, so all of the crying might have something to do with that.) At any rate, I agree with you, a stunning finale!

        • Travelgrrl

          I wonder if Ted’s revelation about his alcoholic father was part of Don’s impetus to tell The Story.

          • decormaven

            I think Ted’s observation “I’ve got kids. I can’t throw this away” also pushed Don toward the story. Ted values his children and wants to do right by them. He’s the good dad, the one Don fantasizes about in his Hershey’s commercial.

            • Alice Teeple

              I think that’s partly right. I don’t think Don is capable of being purely selfless. We’ve seen acts that seemed selfless before, that turned out to be self-preservation moves. I think that parallel we saw of Lane and Ted lying on the sofa in identical positions might have alluded to Ted also being seen in Don’s office in dire straits, relying on his mercy. Don is capable of a little sympathy, and I wonder if Ted reminded him of Lane at that moment – and this time he wanted to make things “right,” in his weird way.

            • decormaven

              Good point!

            • decormaven

              Good point!

    • jozie310

      Sally/Don parallel each other with:
      1. being sent to jail
      2. being put on suspension

      Everyone says she’s a young Betty. I think she’s Don’s doppelganger.

    • Candigirl1968

      Another thread with some of the main characters was that their suspicions, at least no paper, turned out to be true. Roger feared that he was just an open wallet, and his grandson draws a picture of grandpa holding bags of money. Pete’s concerns that Manolo was a shady operator after his mother’s money seems to be dead on accurate. But all of the three (Pete, Roger, Don), once faced with their truths, seem to be – at least temporarily – liberated by the fallout coming from that truth.

    • mousetomato

      Have yet to read comments yet, so forgive me if this has already been said, but Betty expressed regret to Don in the final episode of season 4, right before he told her he was marrying Megan. Would love to know what Don told the kids regarding Megan’s absence at Thanksgiving.

      • decormaven

        After Don dropped the bomb of the Hershey Whorehouse, I think these kids might have a clue that everything’s not exactly copasetic at Chez Draper. Plus, I think they have noticed the rift between the two. Case in point: Dad works late, Megan off with agent, Ida waltzes in.

    • Killer Bees

      I felt good about this episode. Don is booted out of SC&P but he’s okay. Wife leaves him, but he’s okay. He’s all survival instincts and right now his game plan is Sally. Nothing gets to Don like his kids. I think he thinks that if he can fix things with Sally, he’ll get through this.

      I just wish we had like, one line about Avon.

      • Laylalola

        I don’t know, I kept thinking about the original ending to Gordon Gecko and that Don is basically setting himself up for a long, long prison sentence.

      • OrigamiRose

        I totally agree. Weiner gave an interview where he said it was “obvious” that SC&P got Avon. If it was so obvious, why did so many avid viewers miss it? The amount of time he dedicates to hammering home the same stuff over and over (like the whorehouse flashbacks) completely contradict that line of defense. If anything was obvious, it was that Don was tortured by his childhood. Got it, didn’t need another scene to carry that one home.

        • AutumnInNY

          I’m on board with both of you. Don will be fine. And really, I couldn’t take and can’t for season 7 one more whorehouse flashback. We get it already. I read that interview where Weiner said it was “obvious”. Well, maybe in the writers room it was, but they could have spared ONE word or even a shot of a storyboard with the word AVON on it.

    • Browsery

      Betty didn’t reject Don because he wasn’t a football player estranged from his father. She rejected him because he lied to her for years. He concealed fraudulent behavior that could destroy him and their family. He also seemed poised to run at any moment, given the contents of the forbidden drawer with the money and other documents.

    • Browsery

      I almost teared up too at the exchange of looks that Sally and Don give each other against the background of Judy Collins singing “Both Sides Now.” What a wonderful scene.

      Although Mad Men is head and shoulders above most shows, I found this season to be the most uneven. The finale, however, was excellent.

    • Girl_With_a_Pearl

      I may be the only one, but I saw Don’s taking his kids to his former home and even saying out loud that he was born in a whorehouse (but not where he finally chose to say it) as a positive thing. Yes, Sally looked at him with perhaps horror and surprise, but she had said that she really didn’t know anything about him. She may not have liked finding out that he was from a poor background, but the positive thing is that she now knows something about his former life. And while Don was put on leave, he is still a member of the firm and can, if he gets his shit together, come back. There were consequences to telling Don’s secret in a potential client meeting, but the world did not end and Don can still get his job back.

      Anyway, I see this a the beginning of Don’s redemption arc. Of course he hasn’t come clean about not being the real Don Draper, but one step at a time.

    • MartyBellerMask

      Damn Amazon. Very late in getting the episode up. By the time I watched it and read this recap, you’ve got nearly 600 comments. Dammit. I’m pretty sure everything I need to say has already been said. Now to read it all! :)

      • SoulMo

        Seriously, I was gonna start work late, and kept refreshing. Now I have to watch it so many hours later. Although, dear lord it sounds breathtaking.

      • formerlyAnon

        Don’t let it stop you if you really want to comment – you never know what will strike a chord in someone! (Possibly a someone who hasn’t had time to read all the way back to comments 1-100)

      • Glammie

        Oh, hell, I’m on the West Coast–I never get to see the recaps before there are hundreds of comments.

        • Cheryl

          Then you should move here for Mad Men season. I think there’s a sublet in Pete’s House of Seduction apartment building.

          • Glammie

            Hmmm, well, I suppose it’s better than subletting Peggy’s–still, I’m hoping for Don’s place.

    • amy_raks

      I am now going to be obsessed with looking up Avon’s brooches from around 1968. Maybe Joan has been wearing them?

      • decormaven

        Google on Avon catalogs. There actually is a digital repository for many of them. I looked at one of them last night, but did not spot the brooches. I want to say that Avon first got into jewelry by having perfume brooches. The brooch had a a compartment that could hold a small disc of solid perfume. This was in the day before allergies came into full diagnosis; in the 1969 catalog I looked at last night, the company carried a full line of scented hair spray. Can you imagine wearing a perfume AND scented hair spray? I’m scent-sensitive- I would go into a tailspin.

    • fnarf

      OK, I’ve got it all figured out. Don’s going to go to California too, and he’s going to meet Ted at one of Harry’s parties, and they’re going to take a boatload of acid and become buddies, and Ted’s going to hire Don on the sly as a freelancer under the name Dick Whitman to create some of the classic hippie-dippy ads of the period — remember Columbia Records’s 1968 campaign “But The Man Can’t Bust Our Music”? The music business hasn’t really gotten started yet, in the modern mega-business sense brought about by David Geffen (he founds Asylum Records in 1970), and TV is still burgeoning — these are LA businesses that the New York dinosaurs are completely incapable of dealing with, but which a chameleon like Don–er, Dick, once he dries out and gets a suntan and his mojo back, can.

      Now, you might be thinking “oh, that’s ridiculous”, and maybe it is, but I just want to see Don baked out of his mind watching the sun set over 1968-era Pacific Palisades.

      • decormaven

        Oooh, I could get behind Don – or someone in MM- getting into music industry promotion. So funny – I just watched the American Masters’ doc, “Inventing David Geffen.” Really insightful piece; Geffen and his partner, Elliot Roberts, hit the music scene right when singers/songwriters were hitting their stride. Their NY savvy proved beneficial for both their clients and their business as a whole. They formed their alliance in 1970.

        • fnarf

          And that’s the moment when rock stars started getting stinking rich, because Geffen got them such good contracts. Before that, you could have a good income if you worked 250 days a year as a studio guy, like Hal Blaine, or if you were Beatles/Stones/Beach Boys big, but your average rock stars got completely screwed. After Geffen, all the musicians were able to buy those big houses in the canyons that were previously only within reach of the movie or TV stars and executives.

    • Qitkat

      At this point, Don has nothing left to lose, except his children. He’s going to try to be honest for a change, to stop lying. Imploding the Hershey account quite possibly gave him a deep, deep sense of relief, of being able to breathe for a change, of gaining a new insight into what truth-telling feels like. As did the trip to the Hershey house with his children. Sally and Don both grew up a little bit this episode, on a route that may or may not lead to (more, for Don) mature adulthood.That their actions have consequences is now a major life arc, for each of them. They are both suspended from their own personal hell for awhile, and that’s most likely a very good thing.

      It’s interesting to note that Matthew Weiner says in interviews that he hasn’t planned the specifics of the final season, but he knows how he wants it to end, and that he seems to be saying it will be a satisfying conclusion, and not overly ambiguous. In so many ways this episode could have been a series ender. While I’m glad it isn’t, next year will be bittersweet for many of us viewers. Clearly this writing team can take us on journeys we can’t predict. I eagerly await them.

      • Cheryl

        He actually has to wait and see how much Kirstan grows during the hiatus — I mean in both height, and maturity. This season wouldn’t have made sense if Sally had been any other age. She might have been played older or younger, but for this season she was just right.

        If she has a growth spurt, they can move the story forward a few years, and let her play Sally as an older teen. If not, they’ll probably pick up with the Lindsay Snowstorm of 1969.

        • somebody blonde

          You mean Kiernan, right?

          I’m hoping they don’t do much of a time jump for the last season, personally.

          • Cheryl

            Yes, I knew her name looked wrong. I should have known how to spell it after all these years. I think they’re really stuck at this point, because she needs to look 15 in 1969. However, Bobby will always be seven and Gene will always be mute.

            • fnarf

              She’s not that far short of it — she’s almost 14 in real life.

        • Glammie

          I think they won’t move it forward that much anyway. I think the idea is to end the show by the end of the decade–with a possible flash forward.

          I’ve always wondered if they meant, at one point, to get an older actress to play Sally, but Kiernan was such a find that Weiner changed his mind. I kind of wonder if Sally’s older teen-age friends kind of stood in for story lines that might have featured Sally instead–i.e. the girl who runs away.

    • Katherine P.

      I don’t think there has ever been a more hopeful end to a season for Don. Hear me out. Several years ago Henry (one of the few true adults on the show) told Betty that “There are no fresh starts, life goes on.” Don has never understood that. He always has sought to fragment his life. He assumed the fragments would make some whole and eventually would make him whole as well. Last night Don gave up that ‘fresh start’ and continued with his life. Perhaps even understanding there were never any ‘fresh starts’ before and he needs to integrate all those pasts, whose details are hidden from those around him, even if their consequences are not.

      I agree with the idea that he exposed his past at the agency and felt ‘shunned’ a day later. What makes me even more hopeful for Don is that he knew that, experienced it, and then took his kids to his childhood home. He seems ready to a accept the past as a past of is present. My God, we certainly have.

      By the way, best TV/Film commentary ever! Can’t wait for Wednesday.

      • Cheryl

        I can’t wait for the second half of Season 7 (since I hate the first half of almost every season).

    • flamingoNW

      To all those haters who were bored with Don “repeating” all his mistakes and not covering new ground, I TOLD you Weiner was playing the long game and it wasn’t pointless. It was building to something.

      • Frank_821

        While I can only speak for myself, I genuinely no longer care if Don is able to redeem himself, overcome his demons and reconcile his life or not.

        I feel like Megan. After 6 seasons of seeing him repeating the same mistakes or making worse versions of them, I’m too exhausted when it comes to Don Draper or Dick Whitman. While Jon Hamm has been magnificent, I’m just indifferent now to the character’s final fate.

        • flamingoNW

          Ok, why do you watch the show, then? I’m confused by this sort of response. I don’t know what would have been an acceptable arc for Don Draper, given the style and context of the show. I don’t think anyone would have believed a transformation, and really didn’t last year, complained about how he wasn’t this seemingly loving husband, that he was still the dog Don Draper.

          • Frank_821

            I watch the show for the other characters. I’m still invested in them since many of them have evolved and changed over the years. Some for the better and some for the worst. But they still hold my interest. I still care about them.

            Hamm does the role of Don proud. I still greatly appreciate the work of the actor but I no longer get the same depth of emotional response I use to a couple years back since I’ve tired of Don and the near stagnant crawl in the growth of the character.

            • Alice Teeple

              I kind of agree with you. I feel like Don has become the fulcrum of the show rather than the focus, and while I’d like to see some sort of character growth in him, I feel like he’s a lost soul. It’s been more fascinating to see how his toxicity has affected everyone around him, for better or worse. They all reflect his personality.

    • Maryanne525

      I’ve always been a fan of Don Draper…although, I guess the more appropriate thing to say is that I’ve always rooted for Don – even if he’s being a total dick. I’m always so sad to see moments like when he gave up California to help Ted, and it implodes in his face. I surprised myself at how sad I was at the end of this episode. Even if good comes from it in the long run, the betrayal of his partners hurts worse than anything. Had a hard time with this episode.

      • fitzg

        I root for him too. Every time I reach the point where I’m utterly disgusted with him and about to write him off, a tiny piece of his potential to be a decent human being shines through, and I’m sucked back in. In this episode, the last scene with Sally and the “sweetheart” to Dawn were the two genuine moments that made me hopeful for him. And I am choosing to see the “loss” of everything as a real opportunity for him — he no longer has to feel like he needs to hold onto the Don Draper persona by any means possible — it’s gone and he is free (much like Trudy said to Pete about CA).

        Not to be too philosophical, but I think Don is the dark part of the soul, writ large. He represents everyone’s personal demons. And so, on some level, I feel like I need to root for him because if I didn’t, it would mean that I didn’t believe in the humankind’s capacity to change for the better, and that’s too depressing of a world view.

    • OrigamiRose

      I want Bob’s turkey apron. And I don’t even cook.

    • Orange Girl

      Pete had the best lines in this episode. “Not great, Bob!” and “She loved the sea.”

      • lockmm

        I think Roger gets the best lines from a writing stand point. But Pete just has the best delivery. Its a crime that he hasn’t been nominated for an Emmy.

        • Orange Girl

          Agree on the Emmy. Anyone who can make Pete Campbell a sympathetic character must be an amazing actor.

          • CozyCat

            I think the problem is that VK is one of those actors who is so good that people don’t realize that he’s acting, they think he’s just like that.

            It wasn’t until season 2 that I figured out that he had played Connor on “Angel” because he’s so different in the two shows.

    • Bob Ross

      My big take aways are that people always do abandon Don when they find out the truth. Betty did, now his work did. I know its more complicated than that, because his behavior causes it, but when people discover a lie that big, it alters your perception of a guy. He is at rock bottom, he is such an alcoholic he is getting the shakes giving it up, he lost his wife and his job. My big prediction is he will try to get Betty back next year. They seemed to have reconnected and she is feeling very guilty about her children being from a broken home. Plus he called her birdie for the first time since they were married.

      Also, people were way off about Bob. Looking at the story over the whole season, he was a manservant who took off with a rolodex and set his gay friend up with Pete’s mother, and he himself was strangely fixated on Pete. This leads me to wonder if he is just a sociopath con man who “fell upward” into a good job with the firm. Maybe Pete and his family’s money was the sole focus for them. He hit on Pete, and when that did not work, Manolo marries and bumps off his mother. It seems almost premeditated.

      • Lilithcat

        If people abandon Don when they find out the truth, it’s not so much, I think, because of what the truth is, but because of the betrayal of trust.

        • joything

          TLo and other BKs have remarked that Don reveals who he is AFTER he has already alienated the people around him. He doesn’t get it that first, you have to not shit on people. When Don was an asset to Sterling Cooper and taking care of business, Bert Cooper’s response to the truth about his past was, “Who cares?”

      • missinmass

        I agree with you about Bob he is wicked shady.

    • rainwood1

      It’s interesting to read all the different perspectives. I totally agree about Joan and Peggy not getting the story arcs they should.

      And although I think Don may have professionally hit rock bottom, I felt a twinge of joy and affection for Don at the end because, for the first time, he made a choice to stay and try to fix something rather than run. Maybe I’m being too Pollyanna about it, but this is his chance to start over, but by being honest and sticking around. To me, it felt like a thousand pounds of demons had flown off his shoulders and for the first time I thought I saw a spark of redemption. MW will probably piss all over it next season, but I was touched by both Don and Betty last night.

      • CatherineRhodes

        I think Joan and Peggy got great story arcs, but not enough screen time — wished they’d eliminated Dot’s story line and cut way back on Sylvia’s.

        • caketime

          Agreed. I wish they’d develop Dawn’s story as well. I thought we’d see more of her this season. SAD FACE :(.

      • caketime

        It would be exhilarating thing to watch if he shed all of the bullshit and started being real, with others, with himself. He’s basically a mask. Who is DIck Whitman?

    • Girl_With_a_Pearl

      Some stray observations:

      1. Poor Ken still has his eyepatch.
      2. Pete and Clara finally have a good working relationship. Remember how she didn’t respect him and he treated her like crap?
      3. He was disappointed, but it’s probably better for Pete’s health that he’s off the Chevy account.
      4. Megan was more sympathetic this season, but I don’t really care if she and Don work it out. Actually, I think it’s better for her if she finds a nicer guy and becomes a star in Hollywood (in whichever order).
      5. Looking forward to seeing what California does to Pete’s fashion choices next season. Also, will he be smoking more weed?
      6. I’ve spent most of the series loathing Pete, but felt sorry for him for much of this season. Maybe California will be good for him.
      7. I can’t wait for next season.

      • somebody blonde

        I agree with you on all points. ESPECIALLY Megan and Don- I think they’re better off without each other.

        • http://lauriekalmanson.blogspot.com/ laurie kalmanson

          she was his previous dream of redemption; it didn’t work. i’m not sure what he was to her.

          • fitzg

            a father who wouldn’t disappoint her. but then did.

            • http://lauriekalmanson.blogspot.com/ laurie kalmanson

              perfectly said

    • chauncey

      About the title: things are sent “in care of” someone else when you are in transit, staying temporarily at a different address. Moving across the country, into a new office, LA, Detroit, a whorehouse, at Joan’s for Thanksgiving, it seemed like everyone was displaced (including Pete’s mom, who was displaced permanently).

      • CatherineRhodes

        Well said. This dovetails nicely with TLO’s observation that the agency is now another of Don’s broken homes.

    • Mike R

      Don is a surprisingly likely candidate (as much as it seems unlikely now) for full-force participation in a whole range of ’70s human potential work: est, Esalen, following a guru, or all of the above. He actually has a lot of similarities with Werner Erhard, the founder of est, come to think of it.

      Don is exactly the kind of guy you could visualize at an est seminar in a hotel ballroom in 1975, baring his soul and confessing his innermost sins. “I was a middle-aged ad account executive of all things, totally square, and repressing all of my feelings. I hurt everyone close to me…” and on and on and on.

      The repression of the 50s trickled out in the 60s, but it wasn’t until the 70s that the spigot went full force with emotional honesty and “sharing” and “deep inner work,” and it was sometimes the once-most-repressed that became the most voluble.

      Plus, there will be lots of cute girls at those things for him.

      • missinmass

        I can see him owning a bar in Huntington Beach taking advantage of all the free love that is coming.
        Or Venice Beach promoting rock bands like the Doors.

      • Glammie

        Really? Don’s always struck me as a little cynical for that. The people I knew who were into such things were look for quick fixes–I think Don knows there’s no quick fix at this point. He’s a little sharp for Werner Erhard.

        • Mike R

          Don is the king of looking for quick fixes. Unhappy and lost? Marry Megan, move to L.A., take est. It fits the pattern to me.

          • Glammie

            Yeah, but he just switched on moving to LA and he just took his kids to the whorehouse where he grew up. That’s not quick-fix feel-better-about-yourself.

            But more to the point, Don knows when he’s being fed a line–because he’s so good at them himself. Also, he’s not really a follower. He’d see Erhard’s con for what it is.

            The one I could see going that way is Ted.

            • Mike R

              You do have a very good point. I still can see him baring his soul in the 70s, though maybe not est itself. Self-disclosure feels good, as he just found out.

      • not_Bridget

        I could see Paul Kinsey running that kind of scam. I doubt Don would be suckered in….

        I can also envision Manolo, just returned from South America with Secret Shamanistic Techniques….

    • missinmass

      Way to go Roger don’t invest in refrigerator trucking…

      • Chris

        I thought he had but the son in law kept losing money on his deals. Didn’t Rogers’s secretary say the daughter had been bleeding him dry of money? I thought they wanted more from him (hence the picture for Pop Pop) and he said let’s hold off for a bit.

        • missinmass

          thanks I totally missed that. I have the season stored and will be watching for it this summer. :)

    • Lilyana_F

      I don’t quite get the reactions to Don’s reveal. I mean, say, I’ve known a person for 5-10 years, we’ve been through a lot of stuff together, if he reveals sth painful from his childhood the last thing I’ll think of doing is slam the door in his face like he’s wronged me personally. I’d probably feel sorry for him and a bit awkward, but that was waaay harsh. It doesn’t ring true for Joan to react like that, I feel.

      • Mike R

        They were reacting to his utter sabotage and destruction of a chance to work with one of the most then-iconic brands in the country. It didn’t have anything to do with “rejecting his childhood,” and it had everything to do with the loss of money and prestige, as well as considerable embarrassment, for the firm. Companies are in the business of making money, not being a network of supportive friends. I’m not even sure if they knew or cared if his story was real. It was abundantly clear that DD needed a break due to his many screw-ups.

        • Lilyana_F

          For all Don’s contribution over the years you’d think that he’s allowed one screw-up, especially if they see it’s coming from a real and painful place for him. I don’t know, it just didn’t ring true to me. They all have been through stuff together, it goes beyond professional relations.

          • Chris

            I thought it was a culmination of him firing Jaguar on his own, the merger being his decision mostly, the way he was never around for meetings with Partners or clients on top of the way he really went for Ted’s blood. Cutler and Joan were in the aspirin meeting and got a good eyeful and earful. The Hershey’s thing was probably the last straw.

            • Cheryl

              Hi, Chris, jinx you owe me a Coke.

            • Chris

              Great minds!

          • Cheryl

            It wasn’t just one screw-up. He’s been completely unreliable this year — not being present even when he’s “present.” Putting accounts on the line while he sparred with Ted — in fact, even his reckless decision to merge with CGC — and scuttling the public offer attempt. Showing up late to meetings. Calling in sick. Being drunk in public (Roger’s mother’s funeral.) The year before, when he and Megan were on an endless “love vacation.” It was an accumulation of factors, culminating in his sudden outburst in the Hershey meeting.

            • Lilyana_F

              Fair enough, I agree with you. Still, I just wish the partners had handled the situation more subtly, I mean the guy was obviously going through a catharsis of sorts.

            • Glammie

              That and Cutler’s presence–he’d have pushed it and, in most ways, he’d be right.

            • not_Bridget

              Yes, I’ll bet Cutler was behind pushing Don out. There were real reasons to do so–Don had been screwing up for some time. But Cutler had been wanting to trim the staff, ever since the merger. He convinced Bert–that Ayn Rand fan, with his eye on the bottom line. Roger went along with them. Joan has a very small percentage–would fighting them have helped?

              Testing time will come next season. Will the dweeb that Duck found be a good replacement? For all his faults, when Don was good he was very good. Does Peggy work well under yet another man? Does Stan like him any better than he liked Don? Will he drive Ginzberg around the bend, finally?

              If it becomes evident that the company needs help & Don is doing well, who will realize they need to call him?

            • Glammie

              Joan, Pete, maybe Roger. And, depending on the plot turns, Peggy. Though I’d think some sort of reconciliation will be in play for the last season.

          • Mike R

            How are they supposed to react to a 30-year-old memory that they don’t even know is true? From their standpoint, it looks like he’s unraveling and having a meltdown and nothing more.

          • decormaven

            Hershey’s was a big money account- and one that had not ever been successfully reeled in before. The pitch was for business – that’s the game being played.

        • Qitkat

          Still, @Lilyana_F:disqus has a good point. How can Don possibly not think that some of the rejection wasn’t due to his very revealing story at the Hershey table. Although he did cost them the account, and embarrass the firm, nobody acted like they gave a damn, personally. They have all known each other for more than a decade. What sad nonsense, that no one can be a supportive friend, as well as a successful business person.

          • Cheryl

            But Don takes it like a mensch. He knows that they are right. That’s why the last scene is so important. He has a lot of work to do before he can start to make things right — with his kids, with himself, and then his professional life. There was no objection, no pleading or yelling, just the acceptance, especially when he saw Duck and his replacement, coming up while he’s going down.

            • Qitkat

              True. But it seems we are left once again with Don having no friends, at all. That’s a kind of tragedy in my mind.

            • Cheryl

              He still has Dr. Rosen.

            • Qitkat

              I considered that. But given Don’s new-found honesty, how can he continue to be friends with Dr. Rosen? He can never tell him anything importantly true, because he will always have to juggle the other lies about Sylvia. I hope we (and Don) have seen the last of this couple. Even having a platonic relationship with her is going backwards. She wasn’t good for him. Dr. Rosen needs to left in the past too, even if Don has to abruptly end the friendship. No good will come of continuing.

            • Glammie

              I figure he’ll move out of his apartment, which will take care of it.

            • decormaven

              Yes. Arnie and Sylvia Rosen are in Don’s rear view mirror now.

            • Cheryl

              I was kidding, but now I think they should have told us that the Rosens moved away. It would amplify Don’s feeling that he really is alone.

            • http://lauriekalmanson.blogspot.com/ laurie kalmanson

              when will it be available?

            • siriuslover

              He may still have Ted, too.
              Also, I didn’t read that scene much in the same way as others have. I felt he kind of deserved it, not for revealing his past, but for yet another Don-centered, non-company moment. From Jaguar to Sunkist / Ocean Spray to Sheraton no-show to going to California without consultation (his intent at least) to finally the Hershey’s pitch, he’s costing the company a hell of a lot of money. For once, the company is thinking like an actual corporation. I felt for Don at that moment and it was certainly touching, but from a purely corporate standpoint, here was Don messing up a huge account yet again.

            • Glammie

              He has Sally–or at least a chance with her. They’re really looking at one another at the end. He’ll have a chance with his sons.

              Don’s friendships have always been severely hindered by his not being able to be who he is.

              But I think some people will feel kindly toward him–Ted Chaough owes him. I think Peggy will come round because she and Don have that bond–they get each other on a certain level.

              And, oddly enough, I want to know Pete’s reaction. He was willing to politely cave in to Bob, but Don A) spared him when he could have had him fired and B) brought him into the new agency. Pete actually owes Don in some weird way.

            • joything

              B) includes Don footing Pete’s partnership fee of $50,000 (roughly a cool million in today’s money).

            • altalinda

              Betty might be now. And, he didn’t seem to really have any at work anyway.

            • Qitkat

              He might have assumed some of them to be friends. Given the longstanding working relationships. He and Joan, he and Roger, without clients, have been shown in bars together, laughing. She’s the one I am the most disappointed in. She felt she had to go along with her co-partners, her feminine softer instincts were overridden by hypocrisy and general male loathing, she has lost empathy over being surrounded by assholes for so long??? Whatever.

              1968 macho men, realizing weakness amongst one of their own, which affects his work, who cares what else it affects, they’re all so flawed and selfish and self-absorbed; genuine pain and suffering on the deepest human level, left them all not knowing the slightest thing to do, but can him, and distance themselves from him. It might be catching, this telling the truth. Not for ad men. Bah humbug.

              Nobody would stand up for Don, even a little bit. I am realizing this makes me quite angry. I do hope Betty will continue to show this softer side, and after all that has happened, still be there for him. She has had a wonderful redemption arc this season.

            • Cheryl

              We don’t know if Joan (or anyone) tried to plead Don’s case before they came to a decision. And if Joan came to the same conclusion as the others, why should her “feminine softer instincts” have come into play? This was business, nothing personal.

            • Qitkat

              Here’s where we can agree to disagree. Saying, ‘this was business, nothing personal’ is one of the oldest excuses there is. All (most) of these people have worked together for over a decade. Hell, yes, it’s personal. It’s business too, but these aren’t robots, without feelings. No one will ever convince me that there’s not a personal element in every business transaction. With the possible exception of two computers transacting a predetermined action together.

            • Eric827

              I don’t think anyone’s saying that it wouldn’t affect anyone personally.

              Just that the other partners’ motivation was based on business, as opposed to being disgusted by him personally.

            • Qitkat

              And yet I also think they were disgusted by him personally. Clearly I’m in a tiny minority on this. I can’t debate this any further ;-/

            • Glammie

              Joan was pissed off at Don because he blew her IPO, which would have made her rich.

            • Qitkat

              Oh, I know, but still? She’s turned out to be much more shallow than I ever thought she was initially.

            • TeraBat

              Oddly enough, I think he and Betty are on track to have a fairly solid friendship. Betty’s finally figured out Don and she’s mostly gotten over the divorce. I think she’s in a secure enough place that she can be there for Don, and she has enough warm feelings for him that she’ll be wiling to do it.

      • jozie310

        It was one too many times that Don made it “all about him” in a way that didn’t work. His swan song in that regard, I imagine. I hope, anyway!

    • jinco

      CREDIT SQUEEZE IS AN ABOMINATION.

      It is especially egregious with this show. It cuts the carefully
      crafted tempo and atmosphere off at the knees every time. This episode’s
      abrupt cut off was really bad. The song, which was summing up so
      beautifully such intense emotion, a whole season’s worth really, was not
      even allowed to finish the sentence, ..”I really don’t know clouds…”
      SCREECH! and some stupid promo starts. REALLY? They couldn’t even let
      her sing the next 2 WORDS?

      It’s horrible and AMC remains in the bush leagues of broadcasting as
      long as they don’t understand why that is so wrong. It’s bad enough to
      have so many commercial breaks. But to just kick us in the teeth at the
      end of each show like that? Rude.

      • decormaven

        Since I view MM on ITunes, I don’t get to experience this, thankfully. Are they speeding up the credits to get them quickly, or just stepping on the end of the show? That’s poor switching, for sure.

        • jinco

          They squeeze them down and then step on the audio and add video with promos for next week’s show, or in this case, since it was the end of the season, for some other show.

          • Mike R

            Stepping on the audio during the credits is very uncool. If this is what you meant, pls disregard my earlier comment. I watch on iTunes so don’t see/hear this.

        • Qitkat

          Stepping on the end of the show.
          I’ve been thinking once this show is over, it might possibly be the first show ever I would buy the DVD’s for, to get all the bonus extras, but just as importantly, to see each episode uninterrupted. I’ve been spoiled by some of the streaming I do on other shows, when I can see them, without commercials. It makes a world of difference in continuity and smoothness.

        • urbantravels

          Was it just me, or did iTunes actually bleep out “Fuck” when Megan says “Fuck the agency?” Because I heard her say “____ the agency!” but her mouth movements clearly didn’t match.

          • decormaven

            Closed caption on ITunes has it as “(inaudible) the agency.” How can it be inaudible to closed captioning? LOL.

          • Qitkat

            Silenced, not bleeped, on AMC too. Makes me realize how much I appreciate HBO and Showtime.

            • urbantravels

              Yes, I didn’t mean there was a literal “Bleep”.

            • Qitkat

              Right, I think those have largely gone away.

          • Orange Girl

            She says “FUCK” on Amazon!

      • Mike R

        Golly, I actually quite like it, or at least don’t mind it. How could we be expected to hear the whole song, when all songs are different lengths and the credit sequence isn’t? Are they supposed to stretch out the credits to five minutes to accommodate a five-minute song? It also kind of reminds me of “The Sopranos,” which usually did this so-called “squeeze” to its closing-credit songs.

      • makeityourself

        I completely agree with you. Cutting off the song mid-sentence was awful. I so wanted to hear all of the lyrics last night.

    • melanie0866

      Peggy’s pantsuit made me squeal, because so many women would be squeezing themselves into that pantsuit in the coming decade, with very unflattering results. It looks OK on Peggy, because she is thin and stylish. On my fourth-grade teacher, not so much.

      I laughed out loud at Pete and his brother deciding that perhaps they would leave a few stones unturned in the search for their mother.

      Ted is selfish and childish, and I’m glad Peggy is shed of him. She does keep choosing the wrong guy (Pete, Abe, Ted) because there’s really not a right guy for a woman like her – smart, independent, hardworking. She doesn’t fit into any man’s image of what a woman ought to be – not yet, that is. Hopefully eventually she’ll find someone who doesn’t want to turn her into the mother of his love children or his dutiful housewife or his hot office romance.

      And Stan – ick. Stan is just gross. The beard, the potsmoking, the mattress on the floor of his apartment, having sex with that little hippie in the office – yuck. Not Stan.

      • formerlyAnon

        I think you’ve hit on Peggy’s problem with finding the “right” guy. At least the major part of it.

      • Glammie

        There may not be a right guy on Mad Men, but there were women like Peggy who found good guys to marry. MM makes her out to be unique, but she wasn’t. A lot of trailblazers like her married, though not all had children. (Which is actually still the bigger career sticking point.)

        • asympt

          Yes, Ted could have been a right guy for her. _If he hadn’t been married with kids._

          Even Abe was fine with her being a career woman–he just hated that it was an Establishment career.

    • http://pinkpopmash.blogspot.com Marissa

      At first I didn’t think Bob had anything to do with Pete’s
      mom’s fate, but remember last episode where he spoke to Manolo and told him to
      do what he had to do or some other threat, before Pete held out the white flag?
      What if, the plan went through regardless?

      • Cheryl

        I still have it on the DVR, I can play it again. Basically Bob said that Pete was a pig, and was spoiling his plans. I think he said something about, “I know she’s a nice lady, but…”

        I don’t think there was anything nefarious there, just that he really, really hated Pete. (Whether that means he still loves him, I don’t know.)

    • ashtangajunkie

      I think I’m in the minority here, but I loved Peggy’s pantsuit. GAH, the Dorothy Campbell story line. Too weird, and I totally agree that it was not at all a real ‘Mad Men’ story. Very daytime, starring Susan Lucci, and not necessary. I laughed out loud when Pete backed that Chevy right into the GM sign though – poor Pete (but ha!). Annoying that Weiner says in an interview that Joan landed Avon, but neglects to tell viewers by writing it into the show. Kiernan Shipka broke my heart with that last look – the girl is just brilliant. Such a long wait until next season, but we have lots to think about.

      • Qitkat

        Oh, I loved the pantsuit also. It was perfectly of the moment. And I remember. Ha.
        Dot and Pete and Bob and Manolo. Can Broadway be far behind? Fairly preposterous, but I enjoyed it. Shame on me.
        Agreed about Joan and Avon. The writers only needed one more line. They really dropped the ball.
        Kiernan Shipka. What a jewel they discovered in this child actress. She is remarkable, and plays off the adults so very very well. Heartbreaking.

    • Terri Terri

      I think Peggy was wearing the same outfit in her final scene with Ted that she was wearing when she went out for that interview with him before he hired her away. What a different set of circumstances!

    • CommentsByKatie

      Randian Lion Bert Cooper!!!! So perfect! Thank you for that TLo!

    • Dhppy

      I waited for three episodes parsing sentences and looking for clues to find out if Joan landed Avon. I cared much more about that than whether or not Peggy would sleep with Ted Chaough.

    • otterbird

      Good grief; I wept twice. Don’s Hershey monologue and as soon as the opening notes for Judy Blue Eyes’ signature song started. Damn it, Mad Men; I spent all season despising Draper and now I’m rooting for him again.

      • http://www.sayshelen.com/ Helen

        THIS. I just said this to my co-worker during our weekly Monday Morning Mad Men Rehash.

      • caketime

        From the beginning I was never a big fan of Don, but I’m rooting for him now too. Telling the truth about himself at such an inappropriate moment might seem self-destructive. But maybe on some level he wants to obliterate the Don mask so that he can get to be Dick Whitman. There’s still some hope for him, a chance that the foreshadowing of death, particularly in the Hawaii episode, might mean death and rebirth. Or not!

    • Therese Bohn

      I just knew that sooner or later in this series we’d see Peggy Pantsuit! I made a collage with just that theme on the Basket of Kisses blog a few of years ago — just type Peggy Pantsuit in their search box ans you’ll see it. It’s very silly.

    • yellowhannah33

      Just wow. Only just got to watch. Curse you, not living in America!

      Actually watched the Hershey meeting through my fingers. One lie too many at exactly the wrong time.

      All the Whitmans looking up at Dick’s former home was a remarkable piece of television. I’m hoping Don can save Sally with some belated honesty.

      Poor Bobby is probably still left wondering, ‘are we negroes?’.

      I hate Ted but I think that a part of Peggy wanted that outcome. She sent him back to Nan, Ted’s commitment to his family has always been obvious – he told her as much before they slept together. As soon as she sent him away you had to know where it was going (LA, apparently). I can’t speak for America in the 60s but in Britain in the 60s and 70s if being a woman hadn’t already killed your career getting married almost certainly did. It’s a prejudice still suffered now – ‘oh, she has a ring, she must only be interested in a big white dress and babies/she doesn’t need the money/she doesn’t need or want the promotion’. This is better for Peggy. Whether SDCP&DPSCPDS&C is better for Peggy is a whole other question, ‘Ted feels confident he can oversee Peggy from LA': Kindly fuck off, Peggy feels confident she can run rings around all the old men and wear a bitchin’ pantsuit whilst she does it.

      I know everyone is saying the storyline with Pete’s mother is unrealistic, and obviously, it is, but it was also HILAIR. Also, plenty of people prey on the old and infirm. The flags were there with Manolo. At least she went happy, right?

      • Cheryl

        Everything you said, but remove the “D”: SCP&PSCPS&C. Interesting that the new name of the merged firm agreed upon a few weeks ago – SC & P — leaves out the D for Draper.

        • Alice Teeple

          It also left out Chaough.

    • MisScarlett

      I am watching this episode for the second time this afternoon and that final scene between Don and Sally… I know it’s already been said a thousand times, but that may be one of the best unspoken dialogue I’ve ever seen on television.

      • PowerfulBusiness

        Yes. Yes. Yes. Absolutely gut wrenching and gut warming.

    • TheDivineMissAnn

      Perhaps Trudy’s kindness toward Pete was because he had just lost his mother?

    • TheRealAndra

      Not nearly enough Joan this season. WE WANTS THE REDHEAD!

      • Chris

        Pirates of The Carribbean, nice.

    • BethAnn3

      Pete and Bob have more tension between them than Peggy and Ted. Loved the scene with the car, with Pete saying “I’ve never seen it in the flesh,” then Bob tempting him with the keys, and Pete getting in the car, with the stick shift knob looking so phallic. I’m sure there will be more of Pete and Bob next season. There can be no earthly reason for Pete not to turn Bob in for his fake identity (not to mention other transgressions) other than his being secretly in love with him. Pete has nothing to stop him now from going fully “bi-coastal.”

      • MartyBellerMask

        As much as I love this comment, it seems like this relationship is over before it began, with Pete off in CA and Bob mostly in MI. Oh well, they’ll always have Manhattan.

      • asympt

        Every earthly reason. Pete’s been to this rodeo before and he knows it. He goes to Cooper and Cooper says “So what? Chevy loves him.” His only card was Bob’s fear of being revealed, because revealing him would work no better than it did on Don (especially now that Bob’s pulled so far up the ladder and made himself so valuable), and Bob isn’t scared of him any longer.

    • TeraBat

      The story I’ve spun for myself in my head regarding Pete’s Mom is:

      Last episode, Bob Benson frantically called Manolo and screamed about how Pete was ruining his life and career. Manolo and Bob have some kind of bond – perhaps they’re lovers, perhaps they’re just con men who’ve partnered up and back each other up from time to time. So Manolo takes it upon himself to take matters into his own hands, and he marries Dot. He doesn’t tell Bob because he wants Bob to have plausible deniability when this comes out (he can honestly say he knew nothing) and I think also because he wanted to surprise Bob with the Campbell family fortune. I don’t think he tossed her off the ship, but he probably abandoned her when the ship was at shore (don’t cruise ships given you a few days on shore?). Which is still not great, because letting an old white woman with dementia wander around Panama is only slightly less cruel than dumping her overboard. Or she just wandered off and Manolo didn’t care enough to find her. Either way, I think Dot is still alive in South America somewhere.

      • Qitkat

        Oh my, that’s quite a tale, but it’s as plausible as the version Pete is getting from the authorities.

        • joything

          My own fanfic version of Dot+Manolo is that when Dot brought in the ship’s preacher for the wedding (believing Manolo had actually proposed), he knew he had gone along with her too far — and he needed to get out of it fast. Fortunately he had already hooked up with a busboy and there was some kind of staff turnover happening via a small boat on the night of the party … so, Dot goes over the side, Manolo quick-changes into his nurse uniform, grabs Dot’s jewels, and he’s gone with the busboy to somewhere in Panama.

      • asympt

        Cruise ships keep careful logs of who gets off and who gets back on. I’m sure they did back then, too. They’d’ve known if they’d lost her at an excursion point.

    • Kathryn Sanderson

      If Bob does indeed get married to follow Roger’s advice about being a “family man,” I hope he marries a lesbian. I don’t know this for a fact, but it wouldn’t surprise me if I found out that it used to be bit of a thing for gay men and lesbians to marry for the sake of appearances and live separate sex lives.

      • ricky rocky

        everyone did everything to survive…

      • Cheryl

        Joan seems to be getting along quite nicely without having a man in her life, sexually speaking, unless Matt Weiner expects us to just fill that in, too. I think that she and Bob could have a faux marriage; it would protect his image, give Kevin a live-in dad, and save her from the likes of Jaguar-guys and Rogers.

    • Kate

      So, it’s down to “everyone moves to California?” What is this, Laverne & Shirley?

      • ricky rocky

        funny, but in ’68 thru like ’72, that is all you heard. “she/he is moving. where? California” SOO many people took off including my brother who was in a rock n roll band. Usually SF.

        • ailujailuj

          the historical references are so engaging. I didn’t realize that CA was considered so pioneering that late into the 20th C. I have always lamented the fact that I was born in the wrong decade. I think I would have loved the 60s, 70s as a young adult.

          • formerlyAnon

            At the time, the ’70s felt plastic & shallow and a little scary – it was very clear that the post-WW II boom economy was gone for good and we experienced unusual (for the U.S.) inflation, and stagflation (Google it), the price of oil soared and it became clear the U.S. didn’t control the world oil market, we had recessions, there was the Watergate scandal, there was a backlash amongst those who felt the ’60s had led to a morally lax culture, those who felt the ’60s were going to bring peace and love to the world were disillusioned as well as feeling the backlash from the growth of conservative feeling culminating in the “Moral Majority,” (google Jerry Fallwell & Moral Majority), the fact that extended drug use DID have negative consequences for some people became apparent, divorce became commonplace and institutions (schools, churches, government) lagged in adjusting to the reality of increased numbers of single-parent families . . . and, oh yeah. For those of us who’d emerged from the ’60s married to a certain kind of pop musical snobbishness, the ’70s, at first, seemed like a musical desert – yeah, there were oases, but there were long barren stretches inhabited by novelty country-pop songs and **shudder** the beat-centric, intellectually barren dance music known as DISCO, promoted to equivalent airplay status with, like music that had real integrity and soul, ya know, man?

            And then the ’80s came along, Bob Marley died, AIDS descended and the rehabilitation of the ’70s began.

    • desertwind

      I wonder how many car accidents Pete will have in LA? THAT move came out of left-field didn’t it?

      SC&P are really gonna miss Don, but it will take a little while for the other partners to realize it. I’ll bet they get Hershey’s after all. (If anyone does. And Don did say that Hershey’s doesn’t advertize when he first heard of the opportunity.) Of course, he also said: I love Hershey’s and we believe him. Those clients won’t forget that pitch in a hurry.

      Remember how it seemed Don & Roger’s California trip had been a bust then only bore fruit because Don thought “orange” and television was the main way to advertize oranges? How it appeared in first episode of the season that Don had blown Sheraton, but we learn in the finale that they’d avtually got the account?

      Probably more I can’t think of right now because Sylvia took up so much space. That plot was important but they sure dragged out. Yeesh. If MW just figured viewers understood Joan got Avon couldn’t he figure we’d get that Sylvia affair went on for a year….

      MORE JOAN. And other thoughts.

      • Glammie

        Yeah, this goes with MW’s idea that Don’s not burnt out creatively, but a genius ahead of his time. It takes a while for his ideas to sink in. And one thing his whacked-out revelation *didn’t* do is knock Hershey. It actually praised it to the skies.

        • joything

          Yeah, in a weird way it reinforced the pitch that they adored – Hershey’s is the currency of love.

    • Adibug

      Please, please, PLEASE! Can we have a Mad Style rundown of Clara?

      • decormaven

        Yes! I looked for a Tumblr of her fashions to no avail. If I was more clever, I would do my own screen caps. TLo does such a good job with getting the best shots.

    • PeachCat

      TLo asked if Bob is the “only account man” on Chevy. As realistic as this show seems at times, the agency structure and size is nowhere near what it would be in real life. Even if they “only” have the Vega product launch and not the entire Chevy line — which has never been clear — they’d have half a dozen account people on it. If they had the entire Chevy brand, there would be an entire account staff to cover the trucks, the cars, the fleet accounts, the dealer groups, consumer advertising, car shows, promotions, sponsorships.

      There’s also no way that tiny creative dept could handle all those existing accounts, much less Chevy or even one Chevy product. Two executive creative directors like Don and Ted would have two or three assistant creative directors (or “copy chiefs” like Peggy) with a few art/copy teams under each of those.

      That’s been my experience on the creative side of this business, anyway.

      • Qitkat

        That’s really helpful to learn.

      • Glammie

        Sounds right. I think it’s only one product, not the whole kit and kaboodle.

        • PeachCat

          I think so too….I seem to remember something about it being just the product launch, but they keep calling it “Chevy.” Still, when it comes to agency life, there’s a lot that the show does get right. I’ve worked with many “Stans” and lots of “Petes” and even a “Burt”.

          • Glammie

            Yeah, I grew up around an ad agency and despite being a stickler for detail, Matt Weiner will get little things off–particularly when reality would interfere with the narrative. But’s it’s not a documentary, so I don’t worry a lot about it. It’s not the 1960s, it’s one man’s take on the 60s.

            • PeachCat

              I’d just like to see a few more creative people, even as filler/background, This season, you just have the two goofy guys from CGC, and Stan, Ginsberg and Peggy. And that was after the merger. There’s got to be a production art department somewhere, too. Even without Chevy and Sunkist, the client roster was pretty robust. Samsonite would’ve been an big account, as would Leica, etc. I have loved Stan from the very beginning and I hate that they dropped Ginsberg’s storyline altogether.

            • CozyCat

              My guess is that they keep the number of characters down to control production costs. Every time you give someone explicit, individual direction they cease to be an extra and become an actor–and you have to pay them more.

              They’ve already got a big cast, so costs are sure to be an issue. (same with sets, hence the inside joke last week: “we live in a mansion and everyone spends all their time in the kitchen!”)

            • decormaven

              And the production values for this show must be immense. The set decorators really source out their material- I’ve been watching since S1 and there have been minimal flaws. Plus the clothes- I’d love to see the line item on fashion! But I agree- the amount of people they’ve shown for ad production is laughable. I’m figuring a lot of SC&P is print, and this was pre-computer production day. Lots of color overlays to produce!

            • PeachCat

              Right. You’d think they’d mention it though – “if you don’t want to work on it, I’ll throw it to one of the other creative teams” or something.

            • Glammie

              Yeah, you don’t see traffic or production managers. There should also be a bookkeeper–though maybe that’s sort of Joan. Somebody’s making sure the paychecks are getting cut and the bills are paid.

              And then there’s my ex-department–media. All you ever see is Harry (surely there are some buyers doing print.) and his version of the job has nothing to do with what I remember–except for the wined and dined part.

      • filmcricket

        Pretty sure Ken’s still on the account, he’s just not in Detroit, no? Will have to re-watch last week’s ep. But one can assume either Cutler or Sterling will be on it now (and really, one of them should have been from the beginning, even if it’s only one [soon-to-be-doomed] car and not the whole line).

        • Cheryl

          Don’t forget that in the meeting last week, the partners insisted that Bob stay on the Chevy account, since he had been there for awhile already, and Pete was just getting started. It looks like Bob has made himself indispensable there, and that he is subtly taking over the account. Of course it’s not realistic; it’s drama (or comedy; the whole Chevy business seems to be played for laughs) but I guess they needed a huge, deep pockets company to fit the storyline, and one of the major car-makers fit the bill.

    • PeachCat

      Where was Pete supposed to drive that Camaro? There was another car right in front of it and a sign behind it. I agree with TLo that the writers didn’t really do a good job of letting us know what happened with Pete, Chevy and Bob. Wish there were no time constraints and every story could play out in detail.

      • lulubella

        I think it was a little too pat but I can fully see how the Chevy execs would have shunned him in the imminent meeting and Pete, out of embarassment, would have declined that dinner. The execs had no problem walking away from him in disgust, muttering about how he couldn’t drive a stick. Hell, THEY SHOT KEN! I have no trouble seeing them head upstairs, sit in a meeting room (or even in the elevator ride up there), and tear Pete limb from limb, demanding to know how the hell he can possibly market cars that he can’t even drive.

    • rage_on_the_page

      While in a way I see that the Manolo thing could be perceived as soap-opera-like, I think it totally fit this episode. It was Bob Benson’s somewhat seedy grifter side life and/or past seeping into his professional life. Maybe they used to run cons together, I don’t know. But some people don’t change and can’t hide as well as Bob.

      • lulubella

        I know, the look on his face and his demeanor screamed to me, “This is NOT out of our playbook!” “Manolo would never hurt anyone!” At least he didn’t in the last five cons!

    • caketime

      Some commentors have expressed dismay over the lack of understanding that his colleagues showed after his meltdown with Hershey. II wonder Don expected or wanted sympathy. I am suspicious of that idea. Don’s understanding of how people will receive the stories he tells is flawless. I think his heart hasn’t been into the fakery of being Don Draper for a long time. His sabotage of his Don persona is deliberate on some level, conscious or not. It seems like he has been slowly dismantling it through his lack of engagement at work for a long time. When he gave up the opportunity to start over in LA (perhaps he let go so easily because deep down he didn’t want it since it wasn’t a total enough change, just going to another coast but still being “Don”), he essentially torched his career in that meeting with Hershey. He’s sick to death of being Don. I hope that means that he’ll have the courage to find out what it means to be DIck Whitman, without succumbing to all the demons he tries to drown out with booze and sex.

      • caketime

        Ok, just watched the “Inside Madmen” video, should have watched it before commenting, a lot of these things that I was guessing at are spelled out by MW and the cast there.

        • lulubella

          No worries, I liked reading your comment! I never go to the MM site …

    • alex

      I have not read 946 comments, but has there been discussion about the scene between Roger and Bob regarding his “friendship” with Joan that obviously set Roger off? That brief exchange was pivotal for me—in terms of the two of them misinterpreting or not understanding each others’ actions/motivations. It also set up the slap-in-the-face follow-up scene where Roger arrives at Joan’s apartment on Thanksgiving, only to find Bob in charge of dinner events. Has this scene been discussed?

      • decormaven

        Roger’s engines got racing when he saw Bob B. give Joan a toy car for Kevin after he returned from his Detroit trip. He wanted to make plain to Bob B. not to “toy” with the affections of Kevin and Joan.

      • lulubella

        I know, if there were ever two skewed lines in space. However, one could say that both are toying/have toyed (heh) with Joan, Roger with her emotions, and Bob playing up to her for whatever political rung on that ladder he’s grabbing to which Roger referred. And, what was Bob’s first gift to Kevin? A football? Something that made Joan say, “He’s only xx (age)!” And again, Roger had to point out the car toy was premature, as it would only incite him to want the real thing. I like the subtle little reference that Bob doesn’t quite get it. Maybe he was never around other children growing up, never had appropriate toys of his own, or maybe he is just a guy in his twenties who’s a bit clued out to children. Not that what he did was radically inappropriate, but for someone who always seems to know what to say and where to be (“What, are you circling my office?!”), this shows he can be a bit off game. Well, then there’s the whole Manolo and the potential murder he inserted into the equation …

    • lilyvonschtupp

      Question: (which probably will never be answered)

      Who was Stan arguing at Don for over the blue memo? Peggy?

      • Darren Nesbitt

        His secretary Dawn. When Don buzzed for his secretary she happened not to be at her desk. Stan said something to the effect of “what did you think was going to happen when you left, she is without a job”. I think he was trying to say Don took his opportunity and is hurting others with no regard.

        • lilyvonschtupp

          I initially thought that he was arguing over Dawn, too. But you’ve never seen any interaction between Stan and Dawn, so I then thought Peggy must be the subject. Peggy was the one who typed the memo about the merger, so it was possible she typed that, too.

          • Alice Teeple

            I think Darren’s right – the point was that Dawn wasn’t at her desk, and Stan happened to see the memo about Don going to Cali on Dawn’s desk, helped himself to it, and read it. It calls back to Pete’s earlier “Ted Chaough can fly her there” rant to Clara about her losing her job if he goes. (…Which makes me concerned now…is Clara out of a job??)

      • jjk2277

        I think Stan was referring to Dawn, and how Don never took her fate into consideration. Don had just paged her for a pack of cigarettes.

    • lilyvonschtupp

      I TOLD you Megan was going to bolt for CA without Don!;0)

    • SpunkyBug

      I do hope you’ll be mentioning that groovy new logo that made multiple appearances.

    • jjk2277

      Chevy account man to Bob Benson: “Bobby, you like to get into trouble, don’t ya.”

      Miss Porter’s student to Sally: “You like trouble, don’t you.”

      • lulubella

        Good points! Although Bob is best suited to outwit/outfox the radical frat boys at Chevy. He’s what I call social playdoh.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000570151428 Jo Bleaux

      Something just occurred to me tonight: I think the name Dick Whitman is supposed to echo Dick Whittington (not the real mayor of London, but the pantomime story Dick Whittington). To the point where I’ll bet that at some point in the next season, Don/Dick is holding a cat and hearing church bells in the distance.

    • Darren Nesbitt

      I’m SO happy
      – Joan got Avon and is seated with the men in her power suit.
      – Peggy put on her pants. Even though she won’t officially get don’s position, I’m sure she will take those reigns at the New York Office.
      – Meghan is leaving for California.
      and I hope they sale some SC&P mugs soon. I would want one for my desk at work.

    • Blimunda

      Thank you, Tom & Lorenzo, for all your extremely delicious Mad Men writing!

      Like so many, I was floored by the final scene. “I don’t know anything about you.” “My father’s never given me anything.” Now, finally, he’s given her something, something she truly needs…truth (even if it isn’t pretty), authenticity, a piece of himself…he let her in. Hugely satisfying moment. Beautiful scene, acting, musical choice. Excellent finale all round!

      This may have (probably) come up already…Re: the title, “In Care Of”…does anyone know if this line was visible on the envelope addressed to Sally about the court case? Something seemed to click for Don, staring at that envelope…was thinking maybe he got a jolt concerning his fatherhood. Yes, I’m being lazy in not finding a way to watch it again (yet!)

      • Ally08

        Huh, interesting. It said “Miss Sally Beth Draper, c/o Mr. Donald F. Draper” (F for Francis, btw). Later, Sally gets her fake ID made in the name of “Beth Francis”.

        So Don’s got three Elizabeths in his life: Betty, Peggy and Sally Beth.

        • Blimunda

          Thank you, Ally08! So perhaps that’s indeed a link to the title. Thanks also for the initials and repeating names…good stuff.

        • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

          “Francis” is Betty’s last name, so “Beth Francis” is literally a version of her mother.

          How is Peggy an Elizabeth in Don’s life?

          • Ally08

            Um, oops, because she’s played by Elisabeth Moss? Sorry, it was 2 a.m.; in my fevered state I decided that Peggy was short for Elizabeth rather than Margaret.

            There goes that theory, along with Elizabeth Tate.

        • marishka1

          Oh! The penny drops: Sally Draper IN CARE OF Don Draper. Duh!

        • AutumnInNY

          Interesting. Francis is Don’s middle name and Henry’s last.

    • Ally08

      The Globe and Mail had an interesting interview with a psychoanalyst about the Don Draper character. She pointed out that, being without loving parents from birth, Don was never soothed or learned how to self-soothe, hence all the coping through women and bottles.

      She also made an interesting point about Ted; that it’s basically been sibling rivalry in the office (“I don’t know what I brought out in you.”) It made me think, that being something of a freckly quasi-ginger, Ted looks quite a bit like Don’s half-brother. So the jealousy over Peggy may have been about losing his work wife (ahem, Elizabeth), his creative catalyst, and something of a maternal figure (that great episode when he fell asleep in her lap). At a stretch, maybe finally being nice to Ted was a way to alleviate some latent guilt about Adam Whitman.

      The echoes of Season 1 were interesting: Pete the failed-Don reenacting the father visiting the child scene, Peggy reenacting her first ill-advised work romance with an office superior, etc. Some of the ‘new’ revelations are just retreads, however. The final scene with Sally, while powerful and moving, was not much different from the moment he already had with her in Anna’s house at the end of an earlier season, when he began to open up about his past.

      For me, an interesting path-not-taken was when Don toyed with the idea, long ago, of not coming back from a trip to California, but becoming a mechanic out there or something. Maybe in the last season, we’ll get Don’s On The Road adventures in late-60s California (I recommend the somewhat obscure Robert Redford movie ‘Little Fauss and Big Halsy’ for a creepy but effectively moody capture of the era.) Hopefully we’re done with the L.A. party scenes, though; as I mentioned in the other thread, it just looks like Alvy Singer fish-out-water awkwardness.

      I was impressed with how effectively this episode manipulated me, though. After a season of Don driving me crazy with his empty-headed shenanigans, I felt sorry for him again, and felt for many of the others again, too. Also, it was an incredibly fast-paced mix of absurdist comedy, standard romance dilemmas, adroit direction (the editing of Don’s revelation scene was thrilling with the cuts moving in and out from him with a pace akin to a stuttering heartbeat), and great dialogue (“Why don’t you just tell them what I saw?”, “I’m gonna have that sandwich on my desk; I need to get to it before you do.”, “Not great, Bob!”, “She loved the sea…”, “Well aren’t you lucky–to have decisions.”)

      Anyway, thanks TLo for the best Mad Men posts on the interwebs & bringing together such great commenters and discussions!

    • lilyvonschtupp

      Did you notice that Peggy is wearing the same outfit when Ted breaks up with her as she did when Ted first interviewed/hired her?

      • lulubella

        I noticed there was a scarf similarity, but not the plunging neckline. Was it the exact same dress? I love seeing a more sexy side of Peggy.

        • Laura Kaufmann

          I just commented on this up above that yes, I did notice this immediately! I think it is the exact same dress but she has it draped differently.

    • Richard Banger

      I think it was pretty clear last episode when we saw Joan sitting in on Peggy and Ted’s creative meeting, as well as sitting in for the meeting with the baby aspirin clients, rather than simply escorting them to the conference room, as she always did. She was training herself to be an accounts woman. Don’t you agree?

      • lulubella

        Good point. It was subtle compared to the big marquee events happening around her in the last few eps. Maybe we’ll get more of Joan leading accounts in Season 7 … it may be necessary, with Pete out of the picture, as his absence will allow her to fulfill more of those duties. We saw her skill in Harry’s “dept,” so this should be interesting to watch. She’s as smooth as Don in many ways.

    • lulubella

      So much to say about this wonderfully devastating episode, but the only thing I can summon right now is hot hot Peggy in her black and pink mini. Can we get a side by side of her first day at the office with that sad little pony tail and sadder set of bangs and THAT glorious dress and amazing lip color? Love. Also, loved how she echoed/ripped off Marilyn Monroe: When asked what she wore to bed, MM was said to have replied, “Chanel No. 5.” So when Cutler asked if he smelled No. 5 and she said, “It’s all I wear” — I imagined that is what Ted was thinking of at that moment, jaw agape: Peggy, toute nue, en Chanel 5.

      • urbantravels

        That outfit was an overshoot. Peggy’s always struggled so much with clothes. At long last, she’s got a professional, pulled-together office look and looks comfortable and confident in it. But her sexy date/Ted bait outfit had way too much going on, and she looked fairly awkward in it.

        It actually reminded me of that episode where she is still a junior copywriter and gets annoyed at being excluded from the all-male gatherings outside of work, so she shows up at the burlesque club where they are, dressed way up in some kind of satin party dress, tons of makeup, etc. In both cases she shows how uncomfortable she is with dressing up “sexy,” so she tries way too hard.

        And once again we show that wronged wives on Mad Men never have a sense of smell…as Ted gets home from his wallow in Peggy’s Chanel No. 5, hops right into bed with Mrs Ted, and snuggles up.

        • Qitkat

          The sense of smell, ha, that’s the first thing I said to my husband too!

        • Ally08

          As Ted gets out of Peggy’s bed and the camera settles on her watching him, we hear the shower turn on in her apartment.

          It’s actually quite smooth the way he rolls out of bed in one darkened room (with Peggy) and into another (with his wife), on the same side of the bed with the woman in the same position, resting her head on his chest. Still-somewhat-well-intentioned Ted doesn’t want to be that guy. It just takes a chunk out of your nobility when you still got the extramarital shag in first, Ted.

          • urbantravels

            Unless he also washed or burned all his clothes, he’s still going to be wafting.

            • Ally08

              I don’t know, he got her out of that dress pretty efficiently. (His turtleneck must have been tricky, though.) And for all we know, Nan wears Chanel No. 5, too!

        • lulubella

          He took a shower …

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000570151428 Jo Bleaux

            Yes, but he hugged and kissed her with his clothes on. I don’t think he changed. Chanel No. 5 tends to cling to clothes.

            • lulubella

              True, the tell tale cling!

      • ailujailuj

        oh yes – I LOVE that the writers have integrated, via Cutler’s keen olfactories, a vivid connection with a sense that is ordinarily left out of a tv show. It is said that your olfactory senses hold memory rather intensely. I can still remember the scent of my first boyfriend’s neck (mixture of RL’s Polo, Irish Spring, laundry detergent, and his boyish musky scent), forever engrained in my emotional memories. Whenever I see a guy in a t-shirt – the scent comes wafting back through my memory.

        • boweryboy

          Great olfactory story. I remember dating a guy back in my late 20s. We were both totally enamored with each other and probably should have been together but circumstances on both sides prevented that from happening. To this day I remember his scent: a mixture of his gamey boyness, CK One, and Big Red gum.

          Whenever I smell CK One or Big Red gum it takes me back.

          • lulubella

            I ended up buying a cologne my old BF wore, but enough time had passed that I was just able to enjoy it without every detail of the experience coming back to me. Right after we split I was in a store and could smell it on someone behind me. I stood frozen to the spot, as I panicked thinking it was him and I did not want to see him. The power of the mind-nose!

        • lulubella

          Ditto. I think of the original Chanel for Men and swoon. Didn’t Cutler remark on someone else’s scent in a previous episode?

          • ailujailuj

            Yes’m. I think it was the new front receptionist, Meredith (brilliant writing for her) – right before Cutler’s brilliant quip, “well Ted, some men love women, some love memos.”

            • Alice Teeple

              I thought that awesome quip was very telling about Ted’s personality. Cutler was making fun of him for not being a lecherous old cretin, so it was clear to me that Ted had probably never strayed from Nan before The Peggy Affair.

      • jozie310

        I’m sure Chanel paid handsomely for those two mentions. As McDonald’s did for placement in the previous episode.

    • lilyvonschtupp

      “Little Ralphie’s spastic” – I love Caroline

      • urbantravels

        “Spastic” was the word people used then for cerebral palsy. Caroline wasn’t making a funny. Believe it or not there is still at least one CP charitable foundation around using the word “spastic” – the former Spastic Children’s Foundation, now known as United Cerebral Palsy Spastic Children’s Foundation.

        (Although I did get a kick out of how totally matter-of-fact she was about it, not treating it as tragic or shameful.)

        • ailujailuj

          I wondered about that. I have heard it used in that context at some point but didn’t know of the historical timing. I think it’s appropriate that she would be so open about it with Joan. What I found surprising was that she would consider inviting Roger to her home!

          • sweetlilvoice

            I thought it was really sweet that she wanted to invite Roger too. I also didn’t pick up on cp reference, I thought it she just meant she had a wild kid. All the secretaries have really gotten close to their bosses this season (in a mostly sweet way).

      • Tippi123

        Sorry, but who is Ralphie?

        • Frank_821

          that’s Caroline’s son. She said she’d invite Roger for thanksgiving except that her husband couldn’t handle both Roger and their son since the husband is on the wagon now

          • Tippi123

            Thank you for this explanation!

      • AutumnInNY

        She is a great character! I love her scenes with Roger. You can tell they enjoy them as well.

    • Emmie

      Hershey’s doesn’t need an ad and Don is realizing he doesn’t either. In the season four finale, Don was shown in an idyllic scene with Megan and his kids in a diner in California- something straight out of a Coke print ad. He rushes into marriage with Megan to pursue the ad, the illusion.

      A Hershey chocolate bar looks the same on the outside as it is on the inside. There’s no illusion and that’s what Don likes about it. He’s letting go of the illusion. He’s showing his kids where he grew up. He’s telling the real story.

      The agency is putting him on hiatus because he’s no longer what he’s selling.

      If you think about it, sex is another illusion for Don. Growing up in a whore house, he watched those women draw on their beauty marks, powder their faces, pretend to want it. He saw what went into the illusion and how to fake it. An ad man is not so far off from a whore; we all know they’re selling us something, but we buy into it because we want to believe it. Standing outside that whore house, Don confronts all of those illusions.

      Perhaps it’s good that Don isn’t heading to California anymore. It seems that he’s so willing to change all the external factors in his life- his wife, his home, his name- that he’s avoiding any personal change. Although anytime he’s attempted to change, such as his self-reflective period in the beginning of season four, it hasn’t lasted for long.

      Also, I loved that his assumed replacement asked him, “Going down?” Really making that a low moment for Don.

      Every woman in Don’s life has now slammed a door on him at the end of an episode (Sally, Peggy and now Megan), except for Betty- the one woman he actually has an open and honest dialogue with.

      • Ally08

        Wow, I’m gonna be quoting your first two paragraphs there!

      • lulubella

        Nicely put, although I would argue that the episode left an obvious opening for Don and Sally with the look that passed between them as they stood in front of his childhood home. It’s a tall order to expect a child to process what her father has done and his beginning at an amend.

      • DeniseSchipani

        YES. What you said. yes.

      • lisbeth borden

        Great post! I just want to mention that Sally is the only girl he can’t divorce, dump, abuse, use, or leave. I love that it was Don’s losing SALLY’S love & respect that’s his real catalyst this season, for a turnaround. A man like Don probably never really loved or trusted a female in his life. I can see him as completely unprepared emotionally for the one girl he can’t walk away from. This is very true-to-life, in my experience, with certain types of men (misogynists/players)—Some men can’t respect any woman until they have a daughter of their own.

        Thanks for reading. Cheers.

    • boweryboy

      Geez. The finale whizzed along at breakneck speed. I watched the entire thing alternately holding my breath and gasping aloud.

      And thanks to TLo’s Mad Style posts I immediately picked up on Joan wearing a b/w leopard print blouse when she discovered Roger was uninvited to Thanksgiving at his daughter’s. I was all, Oh boy. Girlfriend has her sights on her prey.

    • Dan

      Back when Better Halves aired I had, in the spirit of color analyzing that you guys instilled in many