Mad Men: Waterloo

Posted on May 26, 2014

Mad-Men-Season-7-Episode-7-Mid-Finale-Review-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLOJohn Slattery in AMC’s “Mad Men”

 

“We can have the connection that we’re hungry for.” 

In the final episode of season 7.0 of Mad Men, (with season 7.1 scheduled for a year from now), people have either long moved on from Don Draper (“I’m starting to think of him as an old, bad boyfriend,” says Betty), are just starting to move on from Don Draper (“You don’t owe me anything,” says Megan), or want to move on from Don Draper but don’t manage it this time (“I’m tired of him costing me money,” says Joan. “You’re just a bully and a drunk.” spits Jim Cutler). Despite the surprisingly triumphant and upbeat ending (to the point of the show going wildly, exuberantly off-model in its last 3 minutes), Don is not ascendant as we leave him. In fact, a large part of the story had him handing off his duties to his former protege because unlike him, she is at the height of her abilities and still trending upward. Despite this last minute save, this is not the Don who kicked down Art Department doors in order to steal files and start his own agency. This is not Don the Rock Star anymore.  All his enemies and antagonists were arrayed before him, just waiting for a Big-Dicked Don Draper moment where swagger and talent would win him the day once again – and it never came. Instead, for Don to triumph, he had to, as the kids say, get by with a little help from his friends. It wasn’t Don’s brilliant maneuvering or even his talent that saved him. It was Roger Sterling stepping up and winning the day for him. “And now I’m going to lose you too,” Roger says to Don, his voice cracking, after breaking the news of Bert Cooper’s death to him. He’s been in Don’s corner for a good portion of this season – and there was never any doubt that the two had a longstanding, if contentious, bond. But this episode revealed that Roger actually loves Don. Of course he had many reasons for pulling the brilliant, if a little insane, stunt that he did, but one of the chief motivators was the fact that his best friend was about to be kicked out of the company he helped found. Having lost his daughter and now his surrogate father, he can’t abide seeing his crazy-talented friend and cohort get taken away from him too.

But as we said, that wasn’t the only reason. Unfortunately for Roger, the man he looked on as a father pretty much told him he was a failure in his final words to him. “Whoever is in control is in charge,” says Bert to Roger, followed by a highly Bert-specific explanation of teams and loyalty and leadership, the final point being that Roger is not, in the eyes of Bert, a leader. Bert instead lavishes his final word of praise  – and final word, period – on Neil Armstrong for the singular achievement of being the first man on the moon: “Bravo.” Alpha men, leaders and heroes were the kind of people Randian Bert Cooper admired most. To him, this specific brand of greatness was embodied in the figure of Armstrong.  “She was an astronaut,” he said of his former lover Ida Blankenship when she died, paying her the highest compliment he could think of. The circle completes.

That sense of things coming full circle permeated the episode, which owed quite a bit to the season 3 finale “Shut the Door, Have a Seat,” when Don rallied the SC partners to escape the hell of working for McCann by forming their own agency. “You old men love building golden tombs and sealing the rest of us in with you” Don said to Bert in that episode. “I want to work,” he added, trying to convince Bert to not go gentle into that good night. “I want to build something of my own.” Compare that to what he says to Roger this episode: “I just want to do my work. I don’t want to deal with business anymore.” In many ways, Mad Men is about how people don’t fundamentally change; that the best they can do is learn to work within their own paradigm once they figure out who they are. Don is still largely the same person he was in 1963, making the same mistakes over and over again. But he actually has learned something in the ensuing years: he’s not a businessman and he should stay out of that side of the agency. He just wants to create, because that’s his true love and true calling.

Continuing that theme of people making the same mistakes, Don and Megan have a final phone call, putting the period at the end of the sentence that was their marriage; a direct callback to the scene in “Shut the Door, Have a Seat,” when Don called Betty to tell her he won’t fight the divorce. “You’ll always be their father,” she tells him as a goodbye. “You don’t owe me anything,” says Megan as hers. But there is cause for hope. Don walked out of that Ossining house that last night after roughing Betty up and calling her a whore and a spoiled bitch. At least he ends his marriages like a grownup now. “Aren’t you tired of fighting?” asks Megan. And the truth of the matter is, he is.

But if there’s one thing the creative team on Mad Men knows how to do, it’s pay off a story. The solution to Don’s problem came in the form of Roger saving the agency by appealing to the man who inspired its formation in the first place; the man they were all desperate not to have to work for: Jim Hobart of McCann Erickson. Lane Pryce must have been spinning in his grave. It’s a wonder his ghost doesn’t haunt that office. But as we said, there were many factors inspiring Roger’s little coup, not the least of which was the rather pointed question he asked Joan: “Is this what would happen if I died?” Would they all immediately gather over his corpse and discuss matters of business? Yet another callback: the night Roger had his heart attack and Joan came to the office at Bert’s request to compose telegrams to all their clients. Not quite so mercenary an act as Jim Cutler’s power play over Bert’s cooling corpse, but Joan must have been reminded of the time business sprung into action in the middle of the night when it looked like a partner might die.

In other news – and in a way, another callback – Peggy finally has her Carousel moment with Burger Chef, delivering a pitch every bit as emotional and stirring as the one Don did all those years ago for Kodak. She had everyone in that conference room eating out of her hand, and if she wanted to, she could have gotten half of them to burst into tears with just the power of her words and the sound of her voice. But crying executives don’t sign contracts, so instead she appealed to their pride and the idea that their fast food chain is capable of providing something akin to a religious experience. This was a spectacular scene, partially because of the looks traded between Don and Peggy throughout the meeting; the secret, unspoken language they use, the little nods and smiles that only they can see. “I got this.” “Yes you do. Bring it home.” They’re fully equals now. Like Don did with his Carousel pitch, Peggy splices in bits and pieces from her own life, mentioning Julio back home in front of her TV (but leaving out exactly who he is to her) and even painting a family picture with “Dad likes Sinatra,” calling back to the pseudo father-daughter dance she shared with Don to “My Way.” But because they’re equals now, Don steals directly from her too, using the exact introduction she composed in the run-through meeting:  “Every great ad tells a story. Here to tell that story is Peggy Olson.” Maybe Don has changed; at least in this one area of his life, with this one person. His insistence that Peggy do the Burger Chef pitch – when his own fate was up in the air and a classic Don Draper pitch could only help his chances at the moment – was as pure an act of selflessness as anything we’ve ever seen from him. Much as Roger loves Don and fought on his behalf, Don in turn loves Peggy; enough to sacrifice his own chance at a Hail Mary pass, not only because she deserves this shot, but also because she’s the best person for the job. There’s no way Don could’ve beaten that pitch. 

But not everyone’s feeling the love right now. Joan has dug in her kitten heels and won’t budge an inch when it comes to Don Draper. We wish we could say this was an instance of the show paying itself off in a satisfying manner, but to us, it still comes off as a badly written character turn. It’s too simplistic to say, as Bert did by way of explanation for her anger, that Don “cost her a million dollars” by scuttling the public offering. He didn’t even know there was a public offering because half the partners – Joan included – were pursuing it in secret. It’s interesting to note – and boy, was Roger gleeful about informing her of this fact – that she stands to make an equivalent chunk of change with the McCann buyout, which is entirely dependent on Don Draper being part of the deal. Who will be the one to point out to her that her wealth is due to in large part to Don’s talent and reputation? We hope it’s Don, because he looked alternately hurt and furious with her this episode.

Meanwhile, off in Rye, Sally Draper has yet another milestone in her life – and it’s a surprising one. For all her Betty-like affectations, like the suddenly huge hair and the dead-on cigarette-smoking mimicry, Sally is not her mother. She doesn’t go for the alpha male football player in front of her. She goes for the smart, quiet, nerdy guy. Never in a million years would Betty Hofstadt ever have kissed a boy like that. Interestingly, she originally seemed to be more interested in the pinup brother, going so far as to repeat his thoughts on the space program to Don seconds after he uttered them. But Don took his daughter to task for being too cynical and a bad influence on her younger brothers. Sally didn’t like hearing that – because what teenager ever likes hearing parental criticism? But suddenly she’s out in the backyard showing a sudden interest in the stars with a nerdy boy named Neil, instead of watching a square-jawed hero named Neil make history on TV. Inadvertently, Don essentially steered his daughter away from guys like him. She skipped the swagger and went for brains and sensitivity instead, forging a path inspired by, but entirely separate from her parents’. She’s going to be fine.

Many other things happened, like Peggy meeting the next guy she’s going to have sex with (we hope), Ted trying to kill himself in the middle of a client meeting, Pete doing outrage the way only Pete can, sputtering the soon-to-be immortal lines, “That is a very sensitive piece of horseflesh! He shouldn’t be rattled!” Harry getting shut out of a partnership once again, and Peggy saying goodbye to her own surrogate child, but that’s all stuff we can cover in our Mad Style post on Wednesday. What’s more important is that Robert Morse got the “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” sendoff the show creators felt this song and dance man deserved. As we said above, it was wildly off model for the show (even though the series had more than its share of musical moments), but it was so full of genuine love and respect for the actor that we can’t complain. It was utterly charming, if utterly unexpected. After all, Bert’s final interactions in the story were decidedly negative, telling Roger he wasn’t a leader and essentially suggesting to Don that he kill himself and save the agency a lot of bother.  But here he was, happily singing and dancing his way to heaven, reminding Don that the best things in life are free. Why? Because his work is done. Don finally understands loyalty and Roger is finally a leader. He’s raised his boys.

 

EDITED TO ADD: Tom did a bleary-eyed, coffee fueled turn on the “Talking TV with Ryan & Ryan” podcast, with Mo Ryan and Ryan McGee, discussing this episode and expanding on some of the stuff in this review. You can listen to the whole thing at the bottom of Mo’s very fine review of the episode here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/AMC]

    • Lady Bug

      I loved how Bert was shoeless-even in his musical send off. RIP Bertram Cooper.

      • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

        Absolutely – the socks were what made salt water form in my eyes.. it was beautiful.

        • Cheryl

          I loved the little nod to ‘How To Succeed In Business….’.

        • Capt. Renault

          Softshoe without shoes.

        • Vanessa

          If you miss Robert Morse, also go back and watch the Loved One, a 1965
          film based on the novel by Evelyn Waugh. he was wonderful in that and
          it also skewers American culture and capitalism of that era beautifully.

          • DollyMadisonWI

            I LOVE that movie!!! Saw it years ago as part of an obscure film festival.

      • MartyBellerMask

        Fitting finale. I loved it.

      • mwolff

        Like (the deceased) Paul McCartney walking across Abbey Road (in September 1969).

        • Kathryn Sanderson

          Of course, Paul wasn’t really dead, so maybe Bert…naah, he’s gone.

          • Lilithcat

            Maybe if we rewind the show . . .

          • suzq

            Mr. Morse is still with us.

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              Right, but Bert is dead.

            • Glammie

              83 years old with a much younger wife. He’s a lively guy. Go Bert.

        • Munchkn

          Paul was barefoot, wasn’t he? Another sign that Paul was dead (according to “Paul is dead” CT.)

      • MK03

        The only thing that would have made it better would have been if he sang “Brotherhood of Man.”

        • Alanna

          Since last night, my sleep-deprived brain keeps confusing Bert’s song with “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”. And then I start laughing at the idea of a Mad Men – Monty Python crossover.

          • MilaXX

            lol, that really cracked me up for some reason. Imagine Bert hanging on the cross singing “Bright Side of Life”

            • suzq

              Lane should be singing that tune, don’t you think?

      • Rottenwood

        Although I think it’s no coincidence that poor Cooper dies right after someone went into his office with their dirty shoes on.

        THIS IS ON YOU, STERLING! YOU MONSTER!

        • aimeslee

          Hahaha – well, Joan didn’t take her boots off a couple episodes back when telling Bert about Don being there…but she stayed at the door. Good catch!

          • Nancy Aronson

            Also, she received permission.

    • siriuslover

      Yet again, you guys have made me cry with your last lines! My favorite moments of tonight in bullet form:
      *the Julio hug and cry
      *Jim Cutler saying, “what? It’s a lot of money!”
      *Peggy, man, Peggy, knocking it out.of.the.park!
      *Roger gleefully telling Joan her share (though she seems so greedy greedy greedy with her comment about her share…a bit uncharacteristic)
      *Sally Draper!
      *Is Betty going to go all “The Graduate” on us?

      • Lady Bug

        The Julio moment was so bittersweet. Like Peggy, I’ve become fond of Julio over the season, maybe his mom will decide not to move to Newark after all.

        • Cheryl

          The Viking asked me, why does Julio hang out at Peggy’s? I said that I thought it was because Peggy had a television, possibly even a colour TV and maybe his mom doesn’t have one. Plus Peggy’s has grown fond of him, even though she was surly with him at first.

          • Janice Bartels

            Also, pretzels and popsicles! Take it, break it, share it, love it!

            • AnotherJulie

              It’s moments like that that make this show so genius.

            • AnotherJulie

              (My above comment was meant for Janice Bartels re: Peggy’s previous pitch for popsicles)

            • MartyBellerMask

              What about the pretzels, Utz?

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              Utz was potato chips, wasn’t it? Or did they make pretzels, too?

            • FibonacciSequins

              I buy Utz’s pretzel rods all the time.

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              I stand corrected on the nature of Utz products. :D

            • MilaXX

              They make both

            • Cheryl

              Yes, I had a chuckle that Peggy’s treat for Julio was Popsicles!

            • Travelgrrl

              Plus hearkening back to the little boy with the popsicle on the front steps of the Hershey Whorehouse!

          • EddieA

            Julio is also roughly the age Peggy’s child would be now. Maybe Peggy doesn’t even fully get that but her tears were a knife in the gut.

            • testingwithfire

              When Peggy was talking to Julio, at times her tone sounded just like a ’50’s TV mom. So fitting, especially for this character, who has chosen a field in which TV plays a huge part, who is understandably uncomfortable with the roles of marriage and motherhood, and who as she ages will bear some regret and (unearned) guilt about her own motherhood.

            • MK03

              Oh no, I think she’s very aware of that.

            • Travelgrrl

              I also think she was shocked (and gratified) that Julio really LOVED her, and would miss her, and not just her free TV and popsicles. That scene was so touching!

            • Alloy Jane

              I’m with @MK03:disqus in that I think Peggy fully felt the weight of giving up her child during that hug. When Julio says his mom doesn’t care about him, that “Yes she does” was loaded with knowing that mothers can’t help but love their children, even if they don’t know them. I teared up at that scene.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Or/and knowing that there are mothers who are not capable of caring for whatever reason.

            • Nancy Aronson

              How can she not?

          • UsedtobeEP

            They need to get Julio out of the way though. There’s a new handyman in town.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Maybe he needs a father figure (wink)

          • Chris

            I think Peggy also gives him attention that his own, probably very overworked Mom doesn’t have time to give him. Peggy doesn’t have anyone (apart from her job) claiming her time so she can lavish some on Julio and give him treats and let him watch a newish TV .

            • Nancy Aronson

              Mom’s unemployed?

            • MilaXX

              I didn’t get that she was unemployed, just that Newark was a better job & a better neighborhood.

            • T C

              I got that she had no job when Peggy said, “You want your mom to work.” There’s probably not much in their apartment so as a growing child he comes to Peggy’s to eat; she asked him not to use the stove again.

            • MilaXX

              I think his mom works, but NYC has always been more expensive to live than elsewhere. As for him using the stove, I think it just shows how at home Julio is there. His mom probably gives him the 3 basic meals, but it’s Peggy’s’ place where he gets snacks like Popsicles and pretzels.

            • P M

              Peggy was the fun mom, his mother would have been the strict mom.

            • suzq

              I know. Imagine Newark nicer than the upper east side. Oh, the 70’s was a topsy turvy decade, indeed!

            • EvanCowit

              Peggy lives on the Upper West Side. She was going to move to an apartment on 84th and 2nd, but then Abe convinced her to buy on the UWS, because he pictured his kids being raised with all different races.

            • Chris

              I assumed she probably had other kids to take care of as well.

          • Redlanta

            I think he was an original Latchkey kid. Mom probably had at least 2 jobs.

        • TeraBat

          I would not be surprised if Peggy somehow gets Julio’s mom a better job with SC&P, just so they can stay in the city.

          • Kathryn Sanderson

            That would be nice, but it seems out of character for Peggy and the show…but maybe not.

          • Alloy Jane

            I doubt it. She understands that they are leaving not just because of the job, but because where Peggy lives is in one of those increasingly unsafe neighborhoods that will be a total war zone by the early 80s. Peggy won’t get in the way of a better life for her little friend, who I think she finally realizes is something of a surrogate son to her.

          • Alanna

            That would be marvelous, especially since the show doesn’t currently have any Latino characters (unless I’m forgetting someone). But alas, I doubt it would happen.

          • suzq

            Nobody can understand her. If she spoke some English, maybe she could work at SC&P. But Peggy’s secretary doesn’t even understand her.

        • sojourneryouth

          Elisabeth Moss, man! The myriad emotions washing over Peggy’s face as she hugged Julio, realizing she was losing him…it was just a masterful bit of acting. Peggy even seemed shocked that she was so moved by Julio’s leaving–you could see it slowly dawning on her how much their time together and the surrogate family she created with him meant to her, and how much the prospect of losing it shocked and hurt her. I love how the pitch intentionally left off who the ten year old in front of her television was, and of course it was strategy, but the fact that Julio’s relationship to her was left undefined in the pitch is actually right in terms of their connection–he was her main companion and activity buddy as well as pseudo-son, and she seems to have no real social life to speak of other than hanging out with him, so he had become integral to her life, the only one there to greet her when she gets home.

          My favorite part was how she wiped a tear and arranged her face to tell Julio that things were going to be fine and that they would stay connected–which he didn’t buy for a second. It was a very maternal moment, Peggy attempting to control her own emotions and comfort Julio. Motherhood may not be for Peggy right now, or ever, but her instincts were selfless and on point. And Elisabeth Moss, with this scene and the pitch, has proven yet again that Mad Men would be nothing without her portrayal of Peggy Olson.

          • jtabz

            Chiming in to share the Elisabeth Moss love. I thought that, between the scene with Julio and the ad pitch, she stole what was an all-around excellent episode.

            I hope she gets an Emmy this year.

            • Hilda Elizabeth Westervelt

              Oh yes, that would be fabulous. She deserves it so much.

            • Juvenile Sinephile

              Between her and Marguiles, I am going to be really if upset if neither wins and we have Claire Danes again. No offense to Claire, that show fizzled out in spectacular fashion. But this is undoubtedly Moss’ season and a lot of trajectory is covered for her in so few episodes.

            • Nancy Aronson

              I loved the Peggy moment the night before the big pitch when she realized, yet again, that she was in a dry state. Oh, shit!

          • Vtg Fashion Library

            That was definitely her Emmy moment. No doubt.

          • buddy100

            Here here. Elisabeth Moss has had so many fine moments, but this was exceptional. She captured Peggy’s lingering bitterness and sadness, but balanced it with renewed hope and connection. A lot of people are wondering what the hell happened to Peggy this season. But I think it’s vital to remember that work is Peggy’s life. And Don wasn’t just a mere boss, he was the first and sometimes only person to have faith in her.

            When she was abandoned by both him and Ted, then cast aside and cut down at work, she suffered the deepest blows to her identity and ego imaginable. That doesn’t justify her general hostility, but it does make sense for her character. Her reuniting with Don paved the way for her redemption. Hell, they need each other. Peggy has the support she needs to believe in herself, and Don has the true positive regard he needs to heal.

            And the power duo of Hamm and Moss get us invested in every moment of it. So, in short, I agree. :)

        • https://twitter.com/butt_texts Bostwick

          “Yes she does [love you], that’s why she’s moving” with the decrepit building she owns in a rough neighborhood acting as an additional character in the scene…

          BIG FAT TEARS. Julio has to go to Newark; it’d be even sadder if he didn’t.

          • Nancy Aronson

            right after saying no one wants to move to Newark . . .

      • siriuslover

        OK, I can’t keep editing my comments, but OMG, Meredith! That girl has got some serious cray going on! Just hilarious! But also, she looked far more mature than normal, too.

        • Lady Bug

          Her scenes have been priceless all season.

          • Nancy Aronson

            beautiful supporting actress work

        • P M

          Yep, which I expect will get addressed in Mad Style. This is the Mature Meredith Doll :D

          • Cheryl

            Even her voice was different!

        • Hilda Elizabeth Westervelt

          That whole scene was like a strange Alice in Wonderland acid trip.

        • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

          Is she married? One of the last get-a-job-to-find-a-man secretary in the office? What a great scene – but I’m sorry we can’t see Don and Megan having a lovely after-sex chat about life…

        • aimeslee

          I thought THAT scene was ten times more oddly placed as Morse’s FAB Broadway number. What, so like now must there be these Don-the-stud sprinklings throughout the episodes, like when the blonde interrupted his dinner with Wells Rich Greene to tell him her hotel room #? The only thing I can think of is that they have sprinkled these in so that we see by Don’s disinterest that he is changing, maturing, leaving womanizing behind.

          • Janice Bartels

            Well, other than the awkward 3-way, he hasn’t messed around at all this half season. He has definately reprioratized after the leave of absence.

            • aimeslee

              Exactly. And by 1969 standards, a 3-way that included your wife wasn’t cheating, so he’s practically virginal now, LOL.

            • http://www.pinterest.com/linlin Linlin

              By what standards is a threeway that not only includes your wife but in fact was her plan cheating? I can’t think of any. It might be considered immoral according to some standards, but not cheating.

            • Eric Stott

              cheating, no…creepy yes.

            • Juvenile Sinephile

              Well, the awkward 3-way was awkward because he…… didn’t really seem to care about it. He didn’t even feel jealous, which seemed to be what was happening with Megan’s redhead friend.

          • ItAin’tMe

            I’m a little concerned that he’s leaving all pleasures behind.

            • aimeslee

              Well, it won’t last long, LOL winkwink.

            • Ruthie O

              I don’t think sex was ever about pleasure for Don. Sex, like alcohol, was always a compulsion, a need. I think a big part of his redemption arc is him finding out what actually makes him happy.

            • ItAin’tMe

              Or at least finding out that none of his compulsive pursuits have made him happy.

            • Juvenile Sinephile

              Yup, when Betty gets that out of him when they had their reunion tryst, that seems to be a major revelation. Heck, even the whole season has been how the Draper persona is still working even when he is not in any interest to carry that in terms of drawing in women.

            • Charly

              THIS. I met a poor-boy-made-good guy on a plane with the Don Draper charisma. After a year-and-half pursuit of me, he said, verbatim, “sex just doesn’t give me any pleasure anymore.” It was about the chase, this need to feel some emptiness in himself with money, and a status-object woman, and booze. So much booze.

            • melisaurus

              Work is pleasure when you do what you love. Isn’t that the american dream?

        • Chris

          Her whole outfit seemed like a throwback to the early sixties and something we have never seen on her before. She was all part of how “the old” Don Draper would have dealt with things. Fool around with the secretary rather than face reality. It was a great way to help show Don moving on. Before fooling around with a young woman would have been part of his macho deal but with Meredith it just looked awful and gross in a way it never did (to me) with Megan. With Megan, despite her age, they looked like the star couple not the creepy boss and his secretary.

          • Hilda Elizabeth Westervelt

            I think because Meredith acts and dresses like a child, it gave a real creepiness vibe. Thank God Don pulled away. That scene was hilarious and creepy all at once.

            • Azaelia Bearson

              Exactly. I actually think even the old Don would have; Meredith was never his type. He was a womanizer, but he liked his women to be a bit smarter and worldlier than her. Unfortunately I think Pete would have gone for it. :(

            • MK03

              Say what you will about Don, but he pursues women, not girls.

            • Chris

              Well he did make that creepy play for Anna’s niece, had the affair with Joy in CA, Allison in the office, and Megan was comparatively young. I do agree that on the whole he went for more sophisticated or mature women a lot but he wasn’t above taking what was offered at times.

            • Alloy Jane

              Bethany was pretty girlish too, with her little speech about waiting around for him like a puppy.

            • Nancy Aronson

              And, Don wasn’t attracted to her.

            • Chris

              I think Don was attracted to her but he wasn’t making the same mistake twice with Betty 2.0. It was very clear Bethany was out for marriage and Don was climbing out of the bottom of a bottle every night. He wasn’t in the frame of mind for a serious romance but if she wanted to get frisky in the back of the cab he wouldn’t say no to that either.

            • Nancy Aronson

              I haven’t watched this in a long time, but I don’t remember Don being all that into her. The dude wasn’t going to turn down a beej. But I didn’t get the sense that, in his heart, he was seeking a new, younger Betty. The only blond I remember him being interested in was the behavioral psychologist who helped him transition to Megan, and she wasn’t a prep school groomed for marriage and babies type of blond. And, as above, I haven’t watched those episodes in awhile.

            • http://armchairauthor.wordpress.com/ LesYeuxHiboux

              Stephanie and Joy were both a bit cynical, a bit of an old-soul vibe (even though Joy was quite frivolous) despite their youth. Allison was behaving as a mother to Don, and Megan was both the aggressor and very plain-spoken about her hopes and expectations for the hookup. Meredith was clearly of a little-girl mentality, off in a fantasy-land. I think it also bears consideration that a twenty-year-old woman then was not seen in the same light as a twenty-year-old woman now.

            • Nancy Aronson

              None of them spoke with a baby voice. This isn’t about age. It’s affect.

            • P M

              I don’t think even Pete would sink that low…… would he?

            • Nancy Aronson

              what about the driver’s ed girl and the au pair?

            • P M

              Oh right.

            • Guest

              Pete pursued a 16-year-old and forced sex on a young au pair. So, Pete’s that low. Or certainly has been. I do think he felt bad about forcing the au pair–getting caught and all.

            • Azaelia Bearson

              He did basically rape that German nanny… I think he’s grown since then, but I still don’t think his standards are very high.

          • Nancy Aronson

            I don’t think she would have been “the Old Don’s” type.

        • Anne

          Meredith is BRILLIANT. When she asked if she could have a word with Don and then sat down and patted the couch for him to sit down…I lost it. Hilarious.

        • Sobaika

          The LOOK Don gave her was priceless. I absolutely lost it. Also at: The clients want to live too,Ted!”

          This episode was surprisingly hilarious.

          • MilaXX

            I have a picture of a dog giving that exact same face. I use it all the time on twitter. It’s the Don draper, “Chile Please” face.

          • Nancy Aronson

            Interesting that the ramifications of Ted’s suicidal gesture with clients versus Don’s. Anyone?

            • suzq

              Well, the result may be the same. They’ll probably lose Sunkist. All the better, really. If I recall, Sunkist was a big part of the Florida Citrus Commission, whose spokeswoman through the 70’s was the lovely, talented and bigoted Anita Bryant.

            • Juvenile Sinephile

              The turning off of the engine is not that big of a deal, but the disinterest Ted had in the clients and what was coming out of his mouth was certainly on Hershey level. But, only the clients were present to witness that who told Pete who told Cutler, who seemed to be working as ‘The Ted Whisperer’. Pete accepted Ted as a lost cause but he is not using him as a pawn in office civil war.

              But let’s also be fair, only Pete has seen Ted’s behavior up close, and they did not really seem to interact very much, and we still have no idea what is Ted’s whole turmoil. He seemed checked out from what we have seen, but was it Don-level Season 6 actions? The Hershey blunder was the clincher for Don than one isolated incident. Ted’s Sunkist blunder was more of him realizing he is not into it and wanted to leave.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Interesting and revealing analysis.
              While not comparable, I’d say cutting off the engines, even if reported about and not experienced in-person, obviously crosses some very important line. In the immortal and already oft-quoted words of P Campbell, “the clients want to live, Ted.”
              What kept Ted’s position safe was being sequestered and managed by Jim and his own indifference. And mostly the random skew of office politics, which were driven, admittedly, my huge amounts of chickens from Dons past coming home to roost. Make that mostly luck.

            • Juvenile Sinephile

              Not a big deal as in it was never going to really crash. Plus, did those Sunkist clients look like the cream of the crop to you? They seemed incredibly junior grade, the high-pitched voice and the wide-eyed impressionable guys who need to be impressed on a plan. They did not seem that quite important. The Sunkist account and LA accounts were not ever taken seriously because LA wasn’t taken seriously. They weren’t in New York, they weren’t Hershey, and those guys on the plane weren’t the shoe shine to those Hershey execs.

          • P M

            That was a well-controlled, almost bursting out of him full on Peter Campbell 5-Alarm Tantrum. It was so much better for not being projected out.

        • Kathryn Sanderson

          Her dress was still pretty darn childish, at least by today’s standards. That rickrack! (And that daisy pin reminded me of one my mom had.) She may have been acting a little more mature, but to me she still came off as a little girl trying to act like a grownup by trying to console Don and seduce him at the same time.

          • Nancy Aronson

            Remember young (first day?) Peggy’s hand on Don’s?

        • AnnaleighBelle

          And Don’s face the entire time.

          I guess it’s still the time of secretaries being the office wives, and it went to Meredith’s empty little head.

          • siriuslover

            She’s a new secretary (she was at the front desk until the big Shirley switch up) and doesn’t know the realities of the new situation, I think. She seems to be parroting some kind of storyline that’s playing only in her head. And her flirtation with Don has been beyond the pale the last couple of episodes. As far as she knew, Don was still married, too, which makes it even more weird. Meredith is truly clueless.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Since the very first day Don returned to the office, in fact.

        • NinjaCate

          That scene was PRICELESS. And the look on Don’s face right after she kissed him was EVERYTHING!!! I thought it was actually really kind of him to just ask for his lawyer rather than flat out rebuff her.

        • Nancy Aronson

          divine blend of maternal and batshit crazy. count me in.
          and Don handled the cray cray with workmanlike compassion. go, Don!

      • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

        I loved Cutler’s ability to see when his dream is dead and to accept it. He changed course as well as James Garner evaded a tail in Jim Rockford’s Firebird.

        • TheDivineMissAnn

          Good observation. Cutler is a chameleon. And very, very creepy, might I add.

          • Kathryn Sanderson

            He’s an actor, too, and good actors are like chameleons. There were a couple of scenes where it felt like Cutler was working off a script and even hamming it up. Not that Harry Hamlin was doing that, but he was playing Cutler playing…whatever role it was convenient for Cutler to assume at a given moment.

        • Gatto Nero

          He’s a pragmatist.

        • ConnieBV

          I also loved that you saw how uncomfortable it made Cutler to think of Red writing. That’s his Don!

          • Nancy Aronson

            Que?

            • ConnieBV

              Thanks,I fixed it! #! :-)@! Spell check

        • Shug

          “What? it’s a lot of money!” — Yeah, I about spit out my beer.

          • Nancy Aronson

            And the way each partner looked at him as the camera panned around the group.

      • Chris

        “The clients want to live too Ted!!” That made me laugh out loud when Pete yelled it. The whole situation with Ted is really disturbing though. I’m glad he is responding to Dick Whitman’s school of dealing with things (This never happened- Move Forward) by refocusing on his work the way Don and Peggy do when their lives take a bad turn, but this guy needs some real professional help. He needs a psychiatrist, possibly some helpful medication and someone needs to suspend/revoke his pilots license. That scene in the plane was very disturbing. Furthermore, if neglecting your work and pitching to a potential client about your whorehouse upbringing is enough to get you put on leave, ignoring your work then terrifying, threatening and almost killing existing clients should at least get you some help. I know Don needed Ted’s vote but he seemed like the only person in that room who cared at all about helping Ted in some way. Joan looked like she was going to burn him to death with her laser eyeballs when he threatened her money.

        • UsedtobeEP

          Maybe Ted is our man falling off the building.

          • Chris

            I don’t think there will be anymore suicides but I could be wrong. I think Ted is just reinforcing to Don that you can’t run away from your problems like he wanted to do so many times before. Don helped break Ted in a way last season and now he wants to help him put the pieces together again. Don is becoming a better person. The good person perhaps Ted said he saw in him and thought he was getting in the merger.

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              I dunno. Someone directly compared Ted to Lane Pryce (wasn’t it Cutler? or maybe Bert?).
              Also, Ted’s behavior in the plane (and maybe the way the scene was filmed) reminded me of Ken in the car with GM execs covering his eyes while he drove. Dangerous behavior in a vehicle. Except in that one, the clients were putting Ken in danger, and it this one, Ted was putting a client (and Pete) in danger.

            • Chris

              Pete said the Lane Pryce line about Ted during or right after the phone call. I can’t see MM repeating the partner killing himself theme and I think next season will be (hopefully) about Don and Ted trying to have the creative partnership Ted imagined they would when they merged. Before Don was too damaged for it, now Ted is. I’m hoping they can team up against their new owners to do great work.

            • Glammie

              Ted will be back in New York, so there’s also the Peggy issue. It’s a little weird just how thoroughly Ted has lost his mojo. It’s like Joan, both characters are underwritten this season.

            • UsedtobeEP

              I think the fling with Peggy has destroyed him. He’s a man with a conscience.

            • Glammie

              More like a boy. He could use a little “This never happened” instead of completely falling apart. Seems like Cutler liked him in part because he was too weak to even think of pushing back against him, leaving Cutler on top. Don’s a different kettle of fish.

            • Nancy Aronson

              How Roger Sterling.
              So if you feel you are not a man? Don abandoned his team when he was falling apart in his way. Ted needed his breakdown time. Life happens to us all.
              I love Ted for being lost and smart and vulnerable and having a soul and not knowing what the fuck. There is strength in being able to face the darkness and admit you are lost. Ted may be one of the few likable characters. He is an honest man in pain who sees the shallow businessmen for the craven assholes they are.

            • Glammie

              Don’s been through a lot more than Ted ever has. Ted collapsed emotionally when he experienced inner conflict, not being a fully good guy.

              Ted hasn’t been facing the darkness–that’s part of the problem. He just kind of withdrew into making airplane models and refusing to give a damn. Until his expression of suicidal ideation extended to taking Pete and the clients with him.

              Ted wouldn’t have gotten out of a brothel and reinvented himself. And, more to the point, he’d have had a very hard time giving up a child and carrying on with his life. He is a nice person, but he’s been relatively sheltered–and that’s in the script–with Cutler and Gleason protecting him and the older-seeming, wiser wife.

              Is Don the more screwed up of the two? Oh, yesss. Is he a paragon of adult masculinity? No. But he’s a scrappy survivor in a way Ted isn’t. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t screw up and let people down, but he also pushes the pieces of himself back together in the face of defeat.

            • Nancy Aronson

              To me, these are two men on different paths, neither of which is intrinsically better or worse than the other.
              Everyone gets through existential crises in their own way
              Don has spent much of the series digging himself out of the living as if it never happened hole.
              Model airplanes could be seen as a healthier avoidance behavior than black out drinking, no?
              Ted has many more tools at his disposal. He had a surrogate father. He has a spiritual foundation in the church, and would never consider walking out on his family and assuming a new identity, or abandoning a sibling.
              I don’t think this makes Ted better. Nor does it make him less of a man.
              Comparing the paths of these two in this way serves only to deny their individuality.

            • Glammie

              They’re meant to be compared–same job, competitors for accounts and for a certain copy chief.

              And, yes, Ted has many good traits–no one said he didn’t. I still say he’s childlike in a way neither Don nor Peggy are.

              Ted, of course, did consider walking out on his family, which is part of the reason he ran to California–the gap between his desires and his principles was wider than it had ever been.

              You don’t know what he’d do in Don’s situation because the character has never been there—it’s not his background. But most people *don’t* climb out of the deep pit that was Don’s childhood and succeed. Those that do, bring a lot of baggage with them. It’s one of these things I like about the show–it’s made clear that no matter how much Don would like to, he can’t escape his past. You are who you are–even if some of the things that made you that way were unfair, or awful or not at all what you wanted.

              Don’s not childish or naive in a lot of ways because he couldn’t afford to be. He’s also very damaged and trying to recover. We see no indication of this kind of depth of trauma with Ted. We also see that he looks up to and is dependent upon other men–I really think he’s meant to be a little brother stand-in for Don–or will become so. The man who’s like Don, but more guileless and more vulnerable. Don kind of took him apart at the St. Joseph’s meeting even more than Don intended.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Being seen in light of each other is not the same as being compared. The way that you analyze the two characters seems to me to make it more like a competition than an exploration.

              If Ted had divorced his wife, he wouldn’t have walked out, claimed a new identity, and abandoned his children and wife. The latter is the act of a child. And, of course, neither would Don, at this point.

              Every person has to struggle to be an adult in his or her own way. Don has had to overcome tremendous obstacles and has been given unique gifts. He’s a miracle of accomplishment and a mess of neuroses.

              Ted’s way has been paved more smoothly for him, although he’s had a few challenges. I imagine he went to a good college, had a more solid family. Probably he had to take on responsibility a little earlier than was optimal because of a child-father who drank rather than face up to responsibilities.

              I don’t think Ted is less of a man in the way that he faces his demons because he has had fewer hurdles to overcome. He’s definitely luckier. His trajectory has been less intense. Perhaps as a consequence he has been able to put more energy into doing some of those things that make one adult: systematically caring for his children, nurturing his creative team, contributing to his family.

              We can always agree to disagree.

            • Travelgrrl

              He said it to Don on the flight.

            • UsedtobeEP

              Agree. I don’t want another suicide; it’s been done. But I can see a plane crash in Ted’s future perhaps. If he moves back to NY, then there’s the tension between he and Peggy that must be dealt with, and frankly, with 7 episodes, there isn’t time for that. If Ted agreed under some duress to a 5-year contract, the easiest way out is sudden death. And again, I hope not. But that’s the unfortunate thing about MM coming to a close. Time must now always be a factor in any projections.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Nancy’s gut says: both Ted and Don live.

          • EarthaKitten

            It struck me mid-way this mini-season that Don is the man falling but rather than crashing he winds ups a whole person in the end. Literally, the graphic of the falling man captured Don’s life up until the point that Freddy helped him turn things around. At least I hope that is what the graphic means.

            • Chris

              I never found the falling man visual as jarring as others do because he lands on a couch. To me it had a Superman quality to it, that the person was charmed and would always end up OK.

          • bingo

            what’s odd to me is that what Ted did is ostensibly 100x worse than Don’s moment that landed him in purgatorio. And yet it’s as though nothing happened. Maybe because it didn’t cost Joan any money.

            • Nancy Aronson

              that she knew of

        • Beth

          Pete’s hysterical histrionics reminded me of, “NOT GREAT, BOB!!” hehehe

          • Chris

            When I was typing above I almost put “the clients want to live too Bob!” By mistake. It was such a classic Pete Campbell outburst.

        • Alloy Jane

          You know, Joan was of the “working to find a husband” ilk because a good husband = status/money. Now that her job is her husband and gives her both status and money, she doesn’t care about anything but retaining that status and keeping that fabulous money. Don cost her money, she despises him for it. Ted was about to cost her money, laser eyeballs for Ted. I really don’t understand how almost killing Sunkist didn’t get Ted thrown under review. That’s way more subversive than reminiscing about a whorehouse upbringing and interfering in the company going public. Murder: That shit be crazy.

          • Chris

            Agreed, but it just showed the tenor of the meeting. All of those people wanted Ted’s shares, vote and or cooperation so badly they were all willing to overlook that this guy is just in a downward spiral. Despite Cutler being his nominal friend, Don offered Ted the only real overture of help. Cutler plays like he cares about Ted but he likes having him weak and just a name whose shares he can vote with to play his games.

            • suzq

              Can’t get rid of Ted or Don. McCann wants them both for GM.

            • P M

              I think Gleason might have kept Cutler in check when he was alive. With him gone, the dynamic completely changed. Within that trio, it seemed like Ted was like the kid who looked up to both of them. Cutler may have protected Ted from Cutler’s more predatory nature too.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Cutler appears all Iago, but who knows? He now seems like a deeply insecure barracuda who played a deeply crafty long game and had nothing left. Like Lou, he’s done. All he has at night is his big mattress made of money.

          • suzq

            No. You can’t get rid of Ted because GM/Buick division–and McCann, by proxy–want Ted and Don, the dream team that pitched to GM in the first place. The destiny of SCD…whatever it is…is tied to two troubled men with serious emotional problems: Don Draper and Ted Chaough. How they actually pull this off will be very interesting.

            • Alloy Jane

              Don’s confession offended the Hershey people. Ted threatened the physical well-being of the Sunkist clients. There is no logical explanation for Ted’s stunt, which happened probably a week before the McCann offering when he wasn’t material to the company’s future, to not have gone under immediate review by the partners. That makes no sense to me. Don has a bad year and falls apart with a client and he gets told to take some time off. Ted has a bad year and tries to kill people and only Pete is shitting a brick? I don’t buy it.

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              I agree with you. But I just want to point out that a crucial difference is that most of the partners witnessed Don’s deeply embarrassing meltdown, whereas they only heard about Ted’s secondhand from Pete. It was a “he said/he said” thing, too. I think Cutler (or Roger) said something to Pete about wanting to get Ted’s side of things. Still, putting a client’s life in danger would seem to be a lot worse than offending one.

            • Chris

              Well that was the whole thing about Don’s review- most of those people had axes to grind against him to begin with. Roger was the only one who thought they were giving him a slap on the wrist, like detention for embarrassing them. Joan hated him for whatever reason by that point- messing up jaguar and the public offering supposedly. Bert seemed to think Don was too arrogant and thought himself too powerful and needed to be knocked down a few pegs and maybe fired. Cutler had his own agenda since day one and that was running everything. Ted and Pete didn’t vote personally. Cutler would never dream of putting Ted on review, he needs a weak Ted so he can use his votes and he was the force behind Don’s review. Roger needs Ted for the deal to keep Don, Don wouldn’t do that to Ted now, Pete is a minority and Joan didn’t have an axe to grind against Ted until he threatened her money. I agree it’s completely outrageous and just shows what a sabotage attack it was on Don.

            • jtabz

              Thanks for this analysis of the unfathomably light reprimand Ted received after his mile-high breakdown with Sunkist. Like @alloyjane:disqus and some other folks on here, I was beside myself by how apparently unconcerned the partners were with Ted’s meltdown in comparison to their reaction to Don’s less serious offense. I like how you frame it — objectively illogical, but consistent with the personal motivations/agendas of the various partners.

            • Chris

              Thanks for the thanks. I was irked by the pass Ted got as well considering they not only put Don on review they (at least some of them) were out to steal his shares from him. Shares we see are literally worth millions now. I was also irked by Don’s review last season only because in that agency far worse things happened than Don’s Hershey’s pitch like Roger keeping the Lucky Strike news to himself, telling off Honda etc. Before Cutler came, none of the partners would have thought to turn on another that way. Roger was cold shouldered and people were mad (rightly so as it almost toppled their agency) but there was no sense of booting him out. Lane had to forge and embezzle and Don still wasn’t going to publicly out him on it. It goes to show what a huge shift occurred under Cutler’s influence and how much power he has. It’s almost entirely his decisions lately but hopefully that will change for the better under Roger.

            • Glammie

              I think it does come down to power politics. Don dominates, Ted never does. Though it seems unbelievable that Ted’s not on a real mental-health leave after Sunkist. I suppose it’s also part of Pete’s Cassandra role–no one ever takes what he says seriously, even though he’s usually right.

              Uh-oh, now that I’ve said that, that doesn’t augur good things for Ted. Well, maybe helping Ted will be a Don redemption arc–atoning a bit for the death of his brother and Lane–though I don’t fault Don for Lane in the same way.

            • Nancy Aronson

              2 things: Cutler’s managing cosmetics of the situation (Did New York office know about Sunkist? Did Pete tell them? Has Pete become Discreet?) Ted physically being out West has impaired his ability to funktion. He, like many of us, feeds off the energy of others. Also, he needs to be doing creative work. Out there he was courting clients. Ew.

              Things may get worse with him facing up to things with Peggy. But my sense is that, despite appearances, Ted is a fundamentally sound person with no roadmap for dealing with the Peggy situation. Feelings v. duty: what to do? He doesn’t want to be his father. He lives to pursue his passions, personal and artistic. Running away didn’t work, but he will recovery.

              That is my guess for the moment.

            • P M

              I’m with @kathrynsanderson:disqus. Only Pete (and possibly Harry) have been around Ted for long periods of time this year. Pete being Pete he would not have been able to communicate, or even see, how serious things were with Ted.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Pete saw the seriousness. His response was to become infuriated, rather than to attempt to address it in some more compassionate or constructive manner.

            • Juvenile Sinephile

              He didn’t try to kill them. Come on. He spooked them. He’s a trained pilot and he knew that engine move was not going to kill them. He had an existential crisis and honestly, that appears to be the only time he actually had any moment. He sulked in his office and never went outside seems to be his only previous offenses up until that point, on record.

              Besides, Joan and Pete were going to kill him had he not accepted the McCann deal, which would have been very much a Don Season 6 movie and something that would have gotten him drawn and quartered by the agency.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Scaring the shit out of the clients to the point where they think they are going to die is a fire-able offense. It’s not homicide, just potential career suicide.

            • Juvenile Sinephile

              Career suicide, yes. That is probably what can be described for the situation. Afterwards, it sounded like he was just waiting for them to say, ‘You’re out of here’.

          • UsedtobeEP

            Joan’s reaction to Don is a mystery. One explanation: Joan respected Don, and seeing someone fall apart like he did, treat women like he did, and drink himself into a mess—it’s possible that under the money issue, there is the issue of disgust. She may be angry that he couldn’t suck it up and get his act together, and that goes deeper than his causing her to lose money. Merging the agency, in her opinion, could have been a hair-brained scheme spawned from a drunken meeting with Ted, a wild ride he took the agency on. He didn’t just lose money, he lost control of himself (and took all of them with him), and that’s something Joan only does when there’s a model airplane to throw. Being disappointed in someone can raise some serious fury. But again, we haven’t seen that in the writing, and it’s a big leap to make without some script backup.

            • hey_feygele

              I don’t find her reaction all that mysterious. Joan’s attitude toward Don has sharply cooled ever since he screwed things up with Jaguar. He totally invalidated everything she’d been through solely on account of his wounded ego. It’s not that surprising that she wouldn’t be all that ready to forgive Don’s subsequent blunders, particularly when those blunders personally cost her a million dollars.

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

              “He totally invalidated everything she’d been through solely on account of his wounded ego.”

              If she believes that, she shouldn’t be an account executive. Clients come and go and no one who landed a client, no matter what they did to land them, “deserves” to have that client kept in perpetuity. She slept with the Jaguar guy to get a partnership, not to land Jaguar. That was specifically in her contract request – that she get the partnership whether Jaguar signed or not. Don didn’t take anything away from her.

              Keeping the IPO a secret from Don and Roger is what cost her a million dollars.

            • hey_feygele

              I doubt that Joan thinks that she’s entitled to keep every account she lands forever. She’s been with the company a very long time, she knows how things work. But we watch the other account execs like Pete have screaming tantrums every time they lose a big account. I don’t think anyone is questioning whether or not Pete has what it takes to be an account executive. I think Joan has every right to be fed up with Don’s antics, and I don’t think her qualifications for her new position need to be questioned for it.

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

              I’d be fine if Joan just had a screaming tantrum instead of trying to get Don fired over losing a client. That’s what tips her reaction over into the untenable for us.

              Why on earth can’t her qualifications be questioned? She’s very new in the position and she’s acting contrary to the way most of the other partners are acting.

            • hey_feygele

              Cuttler was trying to get Don fired because he violated the terms of his contract. Once Cuttler forced everybody’s hand Joan agreed with him because Don did, in fact, violate the terms of his contract. I mean, I guess anyone’s free to question her qualifications for whatever reason they want, but I really don’t think that anyone’s partnership is contingent upon staying in the Don Draper fan club.

              I think it’s profoundly sad that Joan doesn’t have Don’s back any more. But the guy’s been very selfish and erratic and ruled by his addictions. I don’t think that it’s unbelievable that Joan would be sick of his behavior by now. It’s a shame (for Don anyway), but it’s not mysterious.

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

              Joan has clearly wanted Don fired all season. Roger, Pete, Ken and Harry clearly don’t want to see Don fired. She stands alone on this matter among all the old SCDP principal players. It’s notable and worth questioning for that reason alone. Even Bert didn’t want him fired.

              “I mean, I guess anyone’s free to question her qualifications for whatever reason they want, but I really don’t think that anyone’s partnership is contingent upon staying in the Don Draper fan club.”

              This has nothing to do with anything I said in this thread.

            • Nancy Aronson

              I’m confused by your collective assertion that Bert didn’t want Don to go. And, for that matter, about whether Bert wanted Don to go. In the episode where Don went to Bert with the idea to court the computer guy for ad business, I thought Bert encouraged Don to leave the company. In the parliamentary procedure moment, I thought Bert’s problem with Jim’s letter was that he put all of the partners’ names on it without consulting them. Even though Bert made the long, rapid, cryptic speech about standing behind the people on your team, I wasn’t sure that he really saw Don as on his team. He referred to Don as “a pain in the ass,” but that doesn’t mean Don isn’t on the team. Bert be as inscrutable as the many octopus tentacled Orient.

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

              He considers Don part of his team and thus, someone that needs to be brought to heel rather than thrown away. It’s a matter of loyalty to him. Don can choose to go but Bert wasn’t going to cut him loose. If he really wanted Don gone, he could’ve just informed the other partners that he’s been living under the assumed name of a dead man. That he didn’t play that card tells you something.

            • Glammie

              Yes, my sense is that Bert sees Cutler as a leader who will step in and take over in a vaccuum–but that doesn’t mean he likes him or shares his views on the future of the agency. So it was a wake-up call for Roger. Bert’s also too much of a true pragmatist to disregard talent. (Hmmm, is Pete really a junior Roger or a junior Bert?)

              As for Joan, she did tell Cutler (after voting with him) that “You shouldn’t have done that.” She’s sending out mixed messages–and I’m convinced there will be some serious accounting in the next season. But, then, Joan has a history of terrible judgment regarding men and being wrong.

            • Nancy Aronson

              ah. helpful.

            • Nancy Aronson

              I still maintain Bert was a deeply weird dude.

            • Amy Griner Stafford

              But that’s just it…Joan CAN’T have a screaming tantrum. She a woman and an exec at a point in time where a woman having a Pete Campbell-Esque tantrum would be labeled as unstable, or unable to handle the job. When at the office, she can’t have that reaction, unless she’s alone (or maybe with Roger or Peggy) lest it gives Cutler (or Harry Crane, for that matter) fuel to question her ability to be an account exec or a partner. I believe Joan is very aware, and sensitive to that issue. Heck, even Peggy can get away with tantrums with more leeway, because she’s “creative,” like Don. Creative people are supposed to be difficult. Even now, men can have outbursts over clients, and they’re “passionate about their work;” in many companies, if a woman did the same thing, she’d be “an impossible to work with bitch with anger-management issues.”

            • Juvenile Sinephile

              Bingo. Whatever she did for that partnership she does not see as any worse than how the other partners have behaved and put themselves out there for clients. But if she did 1/10th of anything the other partners have done in a public way, she would be gone. Joan is the most play it by the rules person but she knows the hypocrisy of how those rules are drawn up.

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

              Why can’t she have a screaming tantrum? She’s yelled at people before, when she had far less power than she does now. She gets plenty of leeway to express herself strongly in partners’ meetings and she’s taken the opportunity to do so plenty of times.

            • Nancy Aronson

              I can remember her firing secretaries loudly and being countermanded and embarrassed. The first thing to come to mind, in fact, are all the ways she’s been humiliated. She seems so much the vengeance served up cold type. Has she ever had a screaming tantrum?

            • Amy Griner Stafford

              IIRC, when Joan yells, it’s downward, and it’s not that common. It’s directed at secretaries, not partners. Really, I don’t recall her ever yelling at someone on the creative team, either. She’s a pro with a withering look, a cutting remark and turning on her kitten heel and walking out when dealing with creative. But a Pete-style tantrum, I don’t recall her ever having. And I don’t see her having one where either Jim Cutler or Harry Crane especially could find out about it. Too much double dealing and ambition with those two, and Joan’s smart enough to not trust either of them. And the second she has a Pete-style tantrum, in their eyes, shes’d no longer be an equal/professional, she’s an woman who can’t control her emotions and can’t handle the stress of the job. And she KNOWS they’d use that to their advantage and her detriment. Believe me, there’s no woman that had any position of power in corporate America up to at least the 90’s (and I’d argue, in some professions even now) that wasn’t acutely aware that any emotional display would only undermine them in the eyes of not only colleagues but also men below them organizationally (especially those with aspirations of advancement). It’s a tough place to be, and I can completely understand the cold, yet outwardly professional fury as opposed to direct confrontation.

              With that said, I’m wondering if MM is waiting til Season 7.2 for Joan’s arc to be completed where in a red-haired whirlwind of pent up fury, she completely unloads on EVERY partner in a meeting, letting them know exactly why/how she feels they’ve wronged her.

            • greenwich_matron

              What I hate is that it seems really obvious that two seasons ago they decided that they wanted to manufacture a “Don v. The Whore” scenario and every plot point they used to get there has seemed artificial. No one would pay $50K to improve the chances of getting another client. No partners would ever agree to giving a voting share to someone who performed a one time service that she made clear she would not repeat. If Joan didn’t want the world to figure out how she got her partnership, she would have happily accepted a silent partnership. The IPO would never have worked without Don’s enthusiastic approval. No one would ever buy them after the stunt they pulled with Putnam, Powell, and Lowell. The value of partnership shares do not increase by 2000% in one or two years. The partnership charter would not allow Don’s probation. Then, to make it work, Joan has to be petty and vindictive (okay), she has to be unreasonably, blindly angry at someone who has been a serious embarrassment (but not a toxic liability). She has to be so angry at him that she is actively trying to deny him what something she clearly values very much. For a show that works so hard to get costuming and schizophrenia right, they have completely thrown out any business related reality.

              She has to ignore her incredible vulnerability (voting her out would be easy and immediately profitable), and she has to so angry that she cannot act in any strategic, political, or even polite way. I can believe that she is irrationally angry; I cannot believe that she would behave like a pouty thirteen year old who insists on holding a grudge and letting everyone know it.

            • Glammie

              Oh dear–you’re being realistic. Yeah, MM does not stand up well to that kind of scrutiny when it comes to how the business is actually run. The importance of Harry’s job is way off–and with three networks and limited print buys, you didn’t need a computer to figure it out. (When I bought media, I didn’t use a computer–and the agency *had* computers. I could see that the bigger agencies might use them by then, but media buying just isn’t that number-crunching.) MM is so meticulous about some details, but the running of the agency is pushed this way and that for plotting purposes. (You wouldn’t have a Lane Price/CFO at a medium-sized agency–that was another one.) You would have more than one art director, some media buyers under Harry, a production staff. But it’s a television drama and they maneuver things to make it work as a drama.

            • greenwich_matron

              Yeah, I should let it go, but they have gone through a couple of seasons of this nonsense, and it seems to be for the sole purpose of making Joan yet another whore who uses and abuses Dick Whitman. Maybe when he manages to forgive Joan, he will learn to forgive his mother, step mother, and Aimee. I’m going to go throw up now.

            • Glammie

              I think Joan will have her own arc and I think she will have to come to terms with her own limitations. I actually think she’s already sort of easing up–she voted against Don, but she wouldn’t have brought up the vote and told Cutler that he shouldn’t have done that.

              I think it was less about Joan-the-whore and more about trying to give Cutler a semi-believable ally for plot purposes. And, no, not well done. It’s a screw-up.

            • MadMenMurphy

              I agree. And, don’t you think it was more realistic at the original agency where Sal and the rest of the art department were in a separate “bull pen?” It drives me crazy to see drafting tables crammed in with copywriters in the same office! Not my memory of ad agency divisions…

            • Glammie

              Yep. I was at a small agency, but if there was more than one art director, they shared a space and some of the equipment. They were never with the copywriters. Copywriters used typewriters. Typewriters make noise and irritate the hell out of people not typing. The jobs require different equipment, no point in sharing an office.

            • Juvenile Sinephile

              But I don’t get Don vs. The World so much when his biggest credit for this finale is he was prudent and realized he is not just one person in an agency but of an agency with a lot of talented people. He could’ve pulled a mutually assured destruction pitch at the Burger Chef meeting after that breach of contract but gave it to Peggy because she and Pete worked hard on that. He accepted the terms of McCann because of how much Roger wants to keep this agency alive. This is about Don realizing he is a team player.

            • Therese Bohn

              TLo. I really hope that Joan’s character will be fully rounded out and finished in a good way in the last 7 episodes. I hope we’ll see more of her work with Avon, and that the writers won’t leave her hanging. Also, I don’t know if she’ll end up with Roger and I don’t know if she really should. Maybe she can start her own agency with her new wealth.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Hadn’t there been a number of times throughout the series that Joan assumed the position as sexy dominatrix, hand on hip, or lingerie configuring body such that hip thrust out pointedly, looked at Don with exasperation and said with full drama: you don’t act as part of the team. You’re into being the hero, and it’s egotistical and it pisses everyone off that you’re taking huge risks. You better watch it, Buster. Or is that my imagination?

              By the bye, of course some of her qualifications must be questioned. She’s an anomalous entity that the company must learn how to groom. It makes sense that both she and the company are at a loss as to how to go about doing so.

              Fabulous does not equal infallible.

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

              Yeah, I think that’s your imagination.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Good to know.

            • Chris

              Pete gets over it. The problem with Joan is that the only explanation given for her obsessive hatred of Don is the IPO or Jaguar. Joan’s hatred is still white hot in every scene with Don. It’s like she can barely choke it down. If she is going to be like this over every account they lose, it is a serious problem in business. Pete had to give up a huge deal with aeronautics because of Don’s past but he got over it. Same with the IPO, Jaguar, Ocean spray juice etc. Joan needs to move on. Especially since the account she is mad about was replaced with a better one- Chevy which may end up being replaced by Buick. That’s the nature of their business.

            • Phaedra

              This is just a thought, but maybe Joan has some underlying resentment of the way that Roger relentlessly champions Don. Roger fights for Don like he never fought for her.

              (In fact, how many people have ever fought for Joan? I get the feeling that she’s always felt a little isolated at work, but it’s been getting more intense for her since she got made a partner. She’s trapped *inside* a glass ceiling; the other partners don’t value her opinion enough, and she can’t exactly socialize with or boss around other people like she used to.)

            • Lynn

              Very interesting thought. Throwing something else into the mix:
              Maybe Joan equates Don with Dr. Rapey in that there was such expectation piled on Don to be the rainmaker of the agency and last season he acted unstable and weak. Joan may be seeing this weakness as something up with which she will not put! (I still don’t get her fury though.)

            • Chris

              I can think of a bunch of reasons why she may be mad and you and a lot of others have come up with some great ones but my problem with Joan is it makes her look irrational, unprofessional and overly emotional. Just as I hated it when Don used Peggy as a verbal punching bag for a lot of his issues I hate that they are making Joan into a crazy vindictive virago where Don is concerned. She was always a very practical and rational character and now she wants to dump a major asset of that agency and screw him over because she is mad at him. It’s actually counter productive in a lot of ways for her and IMHO not consistent with the character we have seen in all the other seasons.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Sometimes people are crazy and irrational. It’s true!

            • Nancy Aronson

              Roger did save her luscious ass back in the day. He thought of her back when the moment struck. But she isn’t in the men’s club, it’s true. It isn’t easy for women in that men’s club. Oh, the rage.

            • MadMenMurphy

              That’s right! She could still be at Bonwit Teller — thanks for the reminder of Roger calling her back in!

            • Nancy Aronson

              Reading all of these posts I’m beginning to formulate a new possible motivation for our Joan and her rage toward our Don.
              All I got is that I think the reason approaching the inquiry from a rational, masculine, business paradigm leaves us finding the whole narrative absurd is that, Joan’s motivation may originate from a more feminine and unconscious place.
              In Season One, Joan really is considered the most desirable female — the most feminine, the most fuckable. She can have any man she wants. She has the most powerful position in the office that is available to a woman. As the seasons progress, she loses her status, piece by piece.
              While she’s still insanely hot, her body type goes out of style. I think we learn she’s over 30 (heaven forfend) by the end of the first season. Then, eventually, she becomes a divorcee who screwed her way to the top (which is fairly widely known) who’s had to withstand multiple forms of humiliation along the way, including watching Roger putting a ring on Jane’s finger, wedding the infuriating and incompetent Dr. Rape, enduring the leers of Sir Jaguar post-bedding, living with Mom, watching idiot boys acquire families and careers seemingly effortlessly . . .
              And then there’s Don: unpredictable, threatening her bank account.
              But this is what I think is Don’s biggest sin: something about him is so easy to relate to, and thus so easy to project onto. He’s vulnerable, even feminine, despite being all footbally and dreamy. He respects her and doesn’t treat her like a piece of meat (darn it).
              & he’s an alcoholic. & he has everything and he fucks everyone and he risks everything for himself and everyone else.
              And he’s so high maintenance! She keeps on having to find him new secretaries! He promotes them! Or Roger marries them! Or he gets wasted and screws them! Or they die on him! Or he marries them! Or they want to marry him! Asshole! Troublemaker! Entitled, egotistical sonofabitch!
              And a million bucks!
              No, I don’t think it’s a business thing with Joan. Or even the money. For Joan it’s more about the heart and the viscera than she knows.
              Don’s biggest sin is that sees her and he cares for her as a person; unfortunately for Don, she is ashamed. He tries to protect her and he values her (albeit, in his patronizing, dick-swinging way) and he feels tenderly towards her. That may be Don’s biggest crime in this life for which Joan has chosen to harden and debase and display herself.
              Or maybe its just that fucking lingerie.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Yet Pete showed equanimity in this instance. Joan could learn from Pete (sometimes). They each have their strengths. Joan has been kept down, no doubt. And she has, as a consequence, has some skills to acquire. Not fair, but possibly true.

            • zoë

              My thought on Joan’s reaction is that it’s an issue of respect. Joan is absolutely fanatical about receiving respect from others. When Don cast off Jaguar, that was like twisting a knife in her, basically, since her partnership has never felt “respectable” to her based on the treatment she receives from others about it (especially Harry). I disagree that her reaction is unrealistic. She feels disrespected, and she feels especially like Don didn’t respect what she did because he couldn’t put up with Herb after she put up with him in a far more demeaning way. And she is clearly obsessed with money, which she has begun to conflate with respect. I can definitely see myself reacting that way if put in her shoes. It drives me absolutely CRAZY when I don’t feel like people are appropriately perceptive about what I might be going through. I imagine that Joan still feels incredibly threatened sometimes and like an outsider, regardless of whether there’s much reality to that or not. Her insecurities are making her extremely reactive to threats that may not actually be present.

            • Nancy Aronson

              My take on this is that it was a delayed traumatic response of sorts. Joan couldn’t summon the professionalism to process the commonplace understanding of business that Roger’s father taught him – the minute you get an account is when you start losing it, or something much more verbally adept to that effect. & the reason Joan can’t process it is her complete and utter horror at what she has did to try to seal the deal with Jaguar (which,incidentally, may not have been necessary– which i haven’t seen explored).
              It makes sense to see the way Don handled the situation as disrespectful. In the best of all possible worlds, Don would be less egotistical, dramatic and reactive. He would have informed the team of his decision, and had the consideration (and respect) to give Joan notice before dropping the client.
              But is that how such things generally go down? Perhaps that’s realistic. My guess is that such is not a realistic expectation of men of that era in that industry. Thoughts?

            • bayusc

              I agree. I’m especially confused at her being so anti-Don when he was the ONLY person who made an effort to show up and tell her NOT to sleep with the Jaguar guy.

            • Amy

              That may make her feel like Don is the only one who would truly think less of her for it in the long run.

            • Nancy Aronson

              That and Don not reading his mail.
              But Don never reads his mail. Some people text. Some people email. A business is a complicated mechanism.
              And maybe Bert just resented that his last hurrah of fabulous dealmaking did not manifest. So he wasn’t able to get beyond *his* ego to give Joan perspective.
              Interesting that Pete, of the three of them, was able to man up.

            • kapalabhati

              That’s the reality, but from her perspective, Don trashed the deal.

            • Nancy Aronson

              I wasn’t aware that she actively kept the IPO a secret from Don and Roger. That’s helpful information. So what was their motivation for doing so?

            • Nancy Aronson

              And this is where Joan needs to Grow Up! Frustrating! If she’s going to play with the big boys, she needs to get beyond the dollar signs. Just like Don needs to see beyond the end of his swinging dick, of course. Forgiveness, children.

            • missthing77

              As far as Joan seeing only dollar signs, I see a very practical issue in that Joan is a single mom who also seems to be the sole support of her mother. She is watching and counting the money because she wants to raise her son right and take care of her mother and herself – her one salary and assets have to serve for three dependents for the foreseeable future.. . I don’t know how this could be left out of the conversation. As a woman, non creative person, who also took a sexual route to making money she has three strikes against her in how she is treated in that office.She can’t assume she will keep that job or the money that goes with it, so of course is very understandable if she doesn’t take money lightly. I wouldn’t either if I were her. Don’s very real talents are overvalued. Her very real tents are undervalued. Of course she is resentful- it’s hard to build a business based on the whims of an ego driven skittish mercurial alcoholic, and I for one don’t fault her for finally getting sick of Don’s immaturity.

            • Nancy Aronson

              I don’t think Don’s skills are overvalued, although I agree Joan’s skills have been systematically undervalued (although not, apparently, her piece of ass, sadly). If Don’t skills were overvalued, SC&P wouldn’t have been on the verge of booting him out, and so insistent on humbling him on such strong terms.
              While Joan is the sole support, etc., she has a lot of money now — I’m guessing it’s enough cash to begin squirreling away some to do all of that stuff you’ve talked about. It is not uncommon that men are faced with taking much more extreme risks and facing big losses when doing business at that level.
              It looks like the ego-driven, etc, etc Don has a chance of locating some recovery as evidence by the profound change in his relationship to Peggy, his quite authentic-sounding pitch to Ted.
              There are so many variables . . . . The absolute worst aspect of how Joan is handling this has been her refusal to talk to Don. She’s acting like a wife whose husband’s been cheating on her, giving him the cold shoulder, making it clear that she wants him out, dead in the water.
              Not necessary. Not professional. Not kind. She could speak to Don one-on-one, tell him the effect of his actions. Instead she’s acting like a young girl who almost has to convince herself that she’s right by being a bitch.

            • Juvenile Sinephile

              I think Cutler giving her the office clinched it. She finally was not being treated like a secretary which, in addition to how she earned the partnership, put her at complete odds with a lot of people in the partners room, particularly Don.

          • Nancy Aronson

            Does Joan know, though. Cutler tightly controls the flow of that information as tightly as he controls the sound of his step and the muscles on his face.

        • Alanna

          I adore Ted, and that plane scene was just awful. I do think Weiner and his writers dropped the ball in establishing Ted’s depression. I could list several reasons for it — the breakup with Peggy, the move to CA, the lack of anything stimulating to do at work — but we didn’t see much of that onscreen. One of the cardinal rules of writing is “Show, Don’t Tell”, but all we really got was characters like Pete and Harry telling us that Ted was “useless”, along with a few shots of him staring into space. Quite a change from the man who in earlier seasons was relentlessly cheerful and optimistic — and who was apparently regarded by Madison Avenue as nearly as formidable as Don Draper himself. I won’t even begin to pretend that I know much about mental health, but he seems like the type of person who experiences situational depression rather than deep, clinical depression … which gives me hope that he’ll be able to come back from this fairly well, especially if he can move back to NY and just be creative again, like what Don said in his pitch.

          (That said, I also wonder if his marriage will survive him telling Nan that they have to move back after only six months. Maybe it’s Weiner’s way of freeing him up for Peggy without the stain of specifically leaving his wife for her. I’ll admit that I do want to see them back together because they were so great in S6. Then again, there’s already so many divorces underway at SC&P. Hmm.)

          • Chris

            I agree 100% and I said the same thing below somewhere. I have a dozen theories about Ted’s depression but it’s all theory because we got no definite explanation. Not a word of subtext even. Did it ever happen to him before? What specifically triggered it? It’s worse than last years Avon glitch. It’s a big issue to leave unexplained for an entire year.

            • UsedtobeEP

              It’s the same as Joan’s anger. Not enough evidence to know what’s going on.

            • Alanna

              Yup. I suppose this could be a pattern in Ted’s life, but I suspect this is a sudden, extreme reaction for him. When he found out that Gleason was dying, their established dynamic appeared to be of Ted as the head-in-the-clouds optimist who would go big instead of going home, and Gleason grounded him. (How many cliches can I pack into one sentence? Heh.) As I said before, that’s why this depression is so surprising and saddening for me. The fact that the McCann buyout directly hinged upon Ted Chaough’s active participation also shows that he has been very successful in the past, and his introduction in S4 suggested that many people in the industry perceive him as Don’s equal or at least in the same ballpark. In “Waterloo”, Don was very smart to reestablish that connection between them and appeal to that side of Ted. For his sake, I really hope it works.

              But yes, the show definitely screwed up by not giving it more context, just like the Avon pitch that you referenced. Maybe they assumed that we were figuring it out for ourselves and that they couldn’t spend more screentime because he’s back to being a minor character (after having been essential to S6.) Oh, well. And hey, if the depression was really just because of his bad breakup with Peggy, I guessI should give Weiner props for flipping the gender stereotypes. Nah, on second thought, no props.

              (Sorry to go on so long! I just really like Ted and find him far more interesting than the show has found him this season!)

            • T C

              He may still be mourning Gleason (the G of CGC) and creative did not work in the same way with Don. We know nothing of how his marriage is faring. He’s lacking partnerships in the human sense thus his spark is gone.

            • greenwich_matron

              I completely agree. He went from lovelorn yet determined to too depressed to function, and then to maniacal without any explanation. I realize that this is a short season, but the buyout scenario could have worked if the writers just kept him very glum.

            • Juvenile Sinephile

              I think Gleason dying probably led to him further clutching to Peggy as both a lover and a collaborator. Then he lost both and then went to LA not for reinvention, but punishment.

        • Nancy Aronson

          THANK YOU.

        • Nancy Aronson

          I don’t agree. Ted isn’t a Dick. As it were. He isn’t about to abandon his family and run away with a Jewish department store heiress. He’s in fact miserable from trying to be a good Catholic husband and (guessing here) determined not to be his no-good alcoholic dad. Ted isn’t torturing his wife by screwing with her mind and running away to California (without her and without telling her). No. Not a Dick Whitman. Not one Whit. Again, as it were.
          Ted’s breakdown is deep, but not a This Never Happened.
          God, I hope he doesn’t go to therapy. Unfortunately a lot of the therapy that was available at the time was pretty cray cray.
          My guess is that he’s on a journey of madness that’s intrinsic to the growth of a true creative. Being a businessman and an artist aren’t always hand and glove, after all. Just as traditional family was undergoing considerable change under the stress of huge cultural and personal change. The center cannot hold. (Yeats, anyone?)
          Don’s attitude toward Ted may have been one of enlightened self-interest as well as comradery. Don’s primary motivation may have been to help his first love, Roger Sterling, who keeps him grounded in their family obligations: SC&P and its employees. The ersatz-yet-true business family circle needs their two Dads to survive the likes of reductionist thinkers like the Cutlers of the Ad industry who think “monkeys” can bring the brilliance and magic that Don and his ilk bestow.

        • Juvenile Sinephile

          It’s gonna be fun when he has to share creative meetings with Don AND Peggy again.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if he had an entire Don Draper Season 6 moment off-screen. Remember when he initially mention his father when talking about Don and alcohol but then abruptly stopped to say another word? I have a feeling those issues and even his past behavior are related to that issue of perhaps being raised by an alcoholic.

          But I do love how Ted’s ultimate pay-off, after doing nothing on-screen, is that perhaps him and Don are kindred spirits and the fact McCann wants them for something they are almost no longer is fascinating.

      • UsedtobeEP

        When Cutler voted in, I burst out laughing. That was a brilliantly spoken line.

        • Hilda Elizabeth Westervelt

          Harry Hamlin, who knew? I think Jim Cutler’s character is brilliant.

          • Scimommy

            The only other show I know Harry Hamlin from is Veronica Mars, and he was fantastic on it. From his rugged good looks, I had been sort of assuming that he was not much of an actor (I’m prejudiced that way), but I was wrong.

            • Eric Stott

              In his earlier stuff (L.A. LAW etc.) He was adequate but let his looks do a lot of the work. He’s gotten SO much better!

            • Scimommy

              Interesting!

            • Chris

              LA Law was a big turning point for him. Before that he was known as Ursula Andress’s younger boyfriend and for movies like Clash Of The Titans and Summer Lovers, neither of which were critically well regarded. LA Law established him as a “real” actor along with “Laurie Patridge” Susan Dey. I can’t tell you all who didn’t live through it what a comeback it was, particularly for her. After that he seemed to be known a lot for being married to Lisa Rinna and her plastic surgery. This seems like the second renaissance of his career.

            • Munchkn

              Harry was also in Making Love in 1982, which was one of the first mainstream films to portray homosexuality sympathetically. The Celluloid Closet has a short clip of this. The Boys in the Band came out years earlier, but I don’t know how mainstream it was and it could be argued that some of the characters were not entirely sympathetic. Michael is pretty vicious and Emory is very stereotypical. I do love it though.

            • Chris

              I remember that! It was very controversial at the time as most actors would not play the part of a gay man for fear of being typecast or worse. I give him a lot of credit for playing that role. It’s hard for younger people now to understand what a big deal that was then.

            • Munchkn

              Making Love also came out just about the time that the public started to freak out about AIDS. Maybe the fear was only felt in the big cities, but it was there. What a dark time that was!

            • Travelgrrl

              He used to be kind of a wooden Ken doll. Now he’s great!

            • EveEve

              Check him out in Shameless where he had/has a recurring role as a closeted gay (married) physician.

          • futurenicole

            I know! Whoever cast him was a genius, and probably had to fight for it.

      • Juvenile Sinephile

        “AND THE CLIENTS WANT TO LIVE TOO, TED!!!!!”- Pete was in top form tonight.

        “Did Harry tell you about my dream?!?!?” and “We’re all out of liquor!!!” are my favorites from Peggy.

        But Meredith’s “I am your strength” and prepared monologue she gave Don is still too perfect. I am cackling just thinking about everything in that scene, particularly Don nonchalantly handing over a tissue while looking at the paper. She’s been angling to be his mistress and just you wait when she finds out he and Megan are no longer together.

        • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

          Personally, I think Meredith and Bob Benson would make a perfect couple. :)

        • kapalabhati

          Delivered with the same venom as, “Not great, Bob!”

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QFW22QV426LUOEPGASPZJWJMDE MishaFoomin

        I have to add to your list Harry’s last scene in the episode. I laughed so hard at Roger brushing him off like that and feel so so bad for Harry, but not really.

    • warontara

      You guys are simply brilliant. Augh! I love these recaps!!

      I don’t have much to add at the moment, it is 3 AM and I’m not as eloquent as you. But! I think my favorite throwaway moments were:

      Betty- Where’s Gend?
      Sally- I don’t know.
      (Cracked me up because NONE OF US KNOW!)

      and Ken laughing at Harry getting shut out of the partners meeting.

      • Lady Bug

        He got shut out of two partners meeting. It really was Harry’s no good, very bad day.

        • Chris

          Harry is the new Bert Peterson.

          • MavisJarvis

            !

        • Phaedra

          It is so ironic (and tragic, and comic) that Harry was waiting to sign his partner contract because he was holding out for more money…yet if he had been at that partner’s meeting, he would have made millions. Harry Crane, man.

          • Lady Bug

            On the plus side (for Harry at least) he’ll have to pay a lot less to Jennifer in alimony now.

          • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

            I predict we’re going to see some really dark side of Harry next season.

        • Molly

          I loved the smile on Ken’s face when Joan said Harry wasn’t a partner yet.

      • P M

        I think Ken was essentially thinking ‘Harry, when will you ever learn?’

      • aimeslee

        Darnit, I missed that. Harry creeps me out.

      • charlotte

        “Will Gene ever talk? Find out next year on AMC’s Mad Men!”

        • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

          It would be nice if next season Gene told Betty to lighten up. How cool would it be if the it was the baby in the family who didn’t take any of Betty’s bullshit?

      • GayhawkAZ

        Gene is the Chuck Cunningham of Mad Men.

        • Travelgrrl

          Or the Boo Radley.

        • Juvenile Sinephile

          Underrated funny moment: Betty asks Bobby where his brother is and he just casually shrugs.

    • OnyxSkye

      A beautiful writeup for a beautiful episode. Cooper’s death was hinted at all season but I still wasn’t ready. I’m going to pretend the song and dance weren’t a hallucination but Bert pulling a practical joke and only letting Don in on it.
      The final moments were indeed a fitting (hopefully not) final hurrah for Robert Morse. I saw his younger self so clearly in that final closeup.
      I think the only dissatisfaction I have is that Cutler deserved to have his tush handed to him and it didn’t happen. Maybe one day.

      • P M

        How was it hinted at?

        • Janice Bartels

          Well he did start talking about Napoleon, and you know what that means! ;-)

        • MartyBellerMask

          I don’t know that it was hinted at, but I certainly was not surprised.
          His odd behavior all season reminded me of how my grandmother was before her stroke.

        • OnyxSkye

          I’m probably not going to explain this well, and perhaps “hinted at” was poor word choice but after every one-on-one conversation Cooper had in these episodes I’d think “these are the lines of a character who will be dead soon.” Not in any psychic way but rather in the script writers tend to telegraph these things even when they don’t intend to way.
          Granted, I never thought Weiner would let Bert survive the series anyway and it’s easier to do it now than in the last batch of episodes so I may have been seeing things that weren’t there.

        • Travelgrrl

          I honestly thought he was going to have a heart attack in the first scene, with the vacuum! But later when Roger got the phone call, I thought: Marigold.

          • AnneElliot

            I thought so too — I was worried she was going to overdose.

          • Chris

            My first thought was her too.

        • Juvenile Sinephile

          I think the way the camera lingered on him slowly uttering, ‘Bravo’. It felt last words. Plus, the moon/astronaut connection he shares with his dearly departed friend, Ida Blankenship.

      • aimeslee

        I agree (except I also think Hamlin deserves an Emmy nod for his superb Machiavellian creepiness). Here’s what I wrote on my Facebook:

        “Well, it all wrapped up in a beautiful promising package tonite with a big green money bow on Mad Men’s half–season finale, but not before taking us on the roller coaster ride of our lives. Wow, so much to ponder and guess at…for an entire fricking year (pout!). However, the final scene was a thing of pure pure beauty, people. The ghost of Bert doing a Broadway song and dance number in a “vision” (important episode word) seen only by Don.

        Now, for those who know the actor who plays Burt, then you know how perfectly symbolic it was! For those who don’t, Robert Morse was for all intents and purposes, the actor who brought the modern business exec to Broadway, back in the early 1960’s, in How to Succeed in Business (Without Really Trying). I’m betting that finale number was in his contract – at any rate, I’d love to hear the story behind it. What awesome “homage” casting! Tarantino must be green with envy. Okay, sorry, I know I’m down in the drama weeds, but stuff like this rarely comes around and what did Ferris Bueller advise? Just trying to follow his wise words and notice the good stuff, LOL.”

        • MartyBellerMask

          Hamlin got an Emmy nomination last year for Guest Actor. I think keeping him credited as a guest star is strategic.
          And he is brilliant. :)

          • aimeslee

            Yes and yes. And I bet he will not win again, what with who he’ll be up against. Just want him to get another nod. After all, he’s had every inch on his face botoxed out, but at least he’s resisted having his lips plumped up, LOLOL (can’t touch those, Lisa Rinna! LOL).

      • Capt. Renault

        The unexpected song-and-dance was straight out of Pennies From Heaven or The Singing Detective. It’s only fitting for people in the business of selling dreams.

      • Anne

        And he sounded wonderful! :)

      • Hilda Elizabeth Westervelt

        For some reason, I knew Bert was going to die in this episode. It seemed like the most effective catalyst for the change that had to happen at the agency. I loved his send off. So unexpected, and yet completely appropriate somehow.

        • Froide

          Yeah, when he was watching the lunar landing I knew he’d die in this episode; it was too much of a callback to Ida Blankenship (“she was an astronaut”) for that not to happen.

          • MartyBellerMask

            Exactly.

          • Alloy Jane

            Yeah, I didn’t remember that Hellcat Ida until Roger took his placard off the door and I was like, “Oh damn, I shoulda known he was going up in that spaceship like Mrs. Blankenship.”

          • Nancy Aronson

            I didn’t have a clue. Elegant observation. I don’t really get Bert’s character. I’d like to read the scripts to get a better handle on his lines. So inscrutable. Such rapid delivery. He seems like a shnook, then a wise man. Then with the Ayn Rand (ew). And yet the perfect foil to spur Roger on to lead. Go figure.

        • http://www.tragicsandwich.com/ Tragic Sandwich

          Last week I told Mr. Sandwich I was surprised that Bert was still alive.

        • Juvenile Sinephile

          It was a possibility that crossed my mind, mainly because of the potential fall-out in all hell breaking loose feeling like a perfect half-way mark for the season- yeah, I am not treating these 14 episodes as two separate things. Which made Roger rising to the occasion with a plan a wonderful surprise.

          • Nancy Aronson

            The father must die for the son to ascend.

    • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

      This is wonderful. Thank you so much.

      Also, how great was it that Lou’s only scene was a brief tirade about how irrelevant he is, ending in Cutler flicking a finger at him as he says, “Get back to work.”

      Don stepping aside to let Peggy take center stage was the most endearing thing (for viewers) that he could have done, far more than going all macho on us again. And he did use his power of persuasion with Ted.

      • TheBrett

        I would have loved to have Roger or Don get back at Lou, but I’ll settle for Cutler very firmly reminding him that he’s nothing more than a “hired hand”, brought on because he’s adequate and non-threatening (they’ll never make him a partner).

        • Lady Bug

          You won’t have Lou and Scout’s honor to kick around anymore! ;)

          • decormaven

            Remember, he’s just a hired hand! I hooted at that line.

            • L’Anne

              Lou and his Sweaters of Mediocrity can’t go away fast enough.

            • charlotte

              Perfect band name!

            • UsedtobeEP

              I need to find a way to use “Sweaters of Mediocrity.”

        • P M

          Yes, well, it was said with Cutler’s aristocratic down-his-nose sneer, so there is that.

        • MarinaCat

          I was thinking about how satisfying it would be to watch Don reclaim his place from Lou, but would it be appropriate? The worst crime Lou committed was allowing himself to be courted by SC&P, accepting the position and fulfilling his role in the mediocre way that was most certainly his reputation. They knew what they were getting when they hired Lou and he delivered it. Lou didn’t put a gun to anybody’s head. Certainly Lou hasn’t made an friends but I don’t know that I’d feel good about him getting a shabby treatment as his ending at SC&P.

          • Chris

            I’d feel great about it. Lou was horrible- he deliberately didn’t submit any work of Peggy’s for the Clios because his name wasn’t attached to it. He submitted one thing of Ginsberg’s because it was done after he arrived. He choked creative, was horrible to Peggy and did nothing but scheme while he was there. He wasn’t just mediocre he was actively terrible. He didn’t mind snapping a job up and gloating at Don’s misfortune. I may be being cold but I have zero sympathy for him.

            • MarinaCat

              He didn’t do anything that most other characters hadn’t done before, except those characters had the time and context in which to develop and reflect on their bad behavior. Lou only had 7 episodes and admittedly, was deliberately written to be hated by the audience. And we do!

              Don promoted Peggy just to piss off Pete, slurred and burped his way through a pitch meeting, chose to have an epiphany at an important meeting, deliberately sabotaged Ginsberg’s work and he humiliated Peggy. Joan deceptively took Avon on as her own, Roger lied about Lucky Strike, Pete… well he’s just Pete. And we still love these characters because we know every side to them. I don’t have sympathy for Lou either and I’m happy to see him go. But within the context of SC&P, he was not acting outside the boundaries of what the show and the audience are willing to accept, nor as the new Creative Director in the shitty position of taking over that department. Believe me, I’d love to see him ushered out by the back of his shirt collar.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Lou’s actions don’t feel equivalent to those of the other actors. From the moment we meet Lou, when he is getting off the up elevator and Don is on his way down, this is not a man with kindness in his eyes. Not ONCE do we see him do anything that isn’t motivated from self-interest. It’s not that we haven’t see dick moves from the characters we have known longer. We haven’t seen anything but self-interest from Lou. We have only seen a petty, vindictive, soul-crushing tyrant. Good actor.

          • TheBrett

            I don’t think he’ll get shabby treatment aside from that put-down. He’s under contract for about two years, as he told Cutler when Don showed up in the office, so he’ll stick around unless they pay him to leave.

            • T C

              He got the contract work via Duck after he was put to pasture by McCann. He’s not on the Don/Roger team, we have no idea whether he will work well with Ted, thus he adds little value at this point and may well be paid to move along. Can’t have three heads of Creative regardless of who is in charge.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Still, if a career ender, pretty scary, regardless of the money. No office to go to, and all that.

          • suzq

            Why would he want to stay at this point? They lost the cigarette account and he’s been working a cigarette portfolio his entire career. Staying would break his streak.

        • Hilda Elizabeth Westervelt

          That was a very satisfying scene.

      • TheDivineMissAnn

        Spot on! Don did use his power of persuasion…and closed the deal. Don home runs another sales pitch, this time to a partner, a reluctant one at that. Like him or not, Don is a genius.

        • UsedtobeEP

          But the difference was, it wasn’t just dog and pony. Don was honest about a low point in his life, and sealed the deal with that. How different from his last bout of honesty during a pitch: Hershey. Finally, honesty pays off for Don. He will get love for it from everyone else, being the guy who talked Ted into staying.

          • Nancy Aronson

            “I shall be both dog and pony.”
            — Roger Sterling

          • NeenaJ

            I agree that it came from an honest place of Don/Dick having been through the despair that Ted is dealing with. However, we got to see a quintessential Don Draper pitch in the process.

    • PastryGoddess

      I am so glad I’m not the only one who stayed up until TLo put their recap up.

      • siriuslover

        The late night recaps are the one true benefit for the west coasters who can’t follow along with the tweets in real time! It’s only 12:30 here.

        • P M

          Well lucky you :P. It’s 4 AM EST and I only see the recaps now and again early because I work nights.

        • Vegas Girl

          If you ever considered Direct TV – they air it on east coast time even if you’re a west coaster. Not why I got it, but was certainly an added benefit.

          • siriuslover

            We have, but we didn’t get it. In fact, we’re actually contemplating getting rid of cable entirely (budget, you know).

          • sisterb67

            Comcast does that too here in CA – my landlords recently switched over all the cable from ATT Uverse (which aired MM at 10) to Xfinity, and now it’s on at 7PM. Which totally freaks me out, as an East Coast transplant, so I DVR the episodes and don’t watch until 10 because somehow watching Don Draper Dinner Theater *during* my dinner seems wrong.

            • T C

              I am in Comcast (Xfinity) monopoly zone with no UVerse due to local politics about ugly grey sidewalk cabinets and no desire to do satellites. I get AMC on western time zone feed and some other channels on eastern (universal) feed. Makes no sense unless I am in one of the spots Comcast plans to dump if their merger plans go through.

    • TheBrett

      It was wonderful to see Roger in fine form, Don stepping aside and letting his protege have her time now . . . but it still feels temporary in its way, doesn’t it? Roger may have gotten on top of Cutler in their perennial power struggles for good, but Cutler’s way of doing business – his vision for the future of the firm – is still going to win out as far as we know. That was represented in Harry Crane, who while he might have been literally and symbolically kept out of the partnership meetings this time, is going to get inside that room and bring with him the future of computer targeting and data crunching.

      And it’s there in other forms. The Apollo Moon Landing was a transcendent moment, something Peggy uses as a transition to a new age, but it wasn’t the beginning of a new Space Age. Instead, interest wore down with the exception of Apollo 13, and it’s been more than 40 years since people have gone more than a few hundred miles up. But most of all was the sale to McCann, the embodiment of everything Don hated about advertising. I got a sense of “finality” about that sale, that this is the end of SC&P’s independent future. They’re going to become a cog in the McCann machine regardless of Roger’s kinghood, just as McCann itself is going to become just another company in the possession of the giant holding company IPG.

      Side-note, but that Meredith thing makes me remember a comment that Matt Weiner made on the commentary track for Season 4, Episode 2. He said that all of Don’s secretaries went through a “crush” phase that lasted about a month, before it wore off and things settled back in for normal. Poor Meredith, completely misreading the timing and the mood in her usual clumsy way (especially since I got the impression it was something she’d been trying to build towards for weeks).

      • P M

        The costuming was very interesting, with three seperate and distinct groups. There’s going to be further fallout from this, to be sure.

        • Kit_W

          There was a definite connection between what Julio was wearing when he showed up and Peggy’s apt. and cried on her shoulder about having to move, and what Peggy wore when she pitched to Burger Chef. Same colors, same pattern, and if Peggy’s dress had short sleeves it would almost be the same design.

          • P M

            I was talking about the partners’ meeting; but I’ll keep an eye out for that. I watch on a dimmed computer monitor (the only way I can watch MM in time for recaps and Mad Style, so I miss half the details. We should have a MM DVD recap and re-hash!

          • Chris

            It was exactly the same colors and stripes. It was as if Peggy was wearing a dress made out of Julio’s shirt. And not only was it one of, if not the most, flattering things she has ever worn, Peggy is back in blue and green. Those are the colors she wore when she was on the top of her game with Koss, Ocean Spray and later doing what she considered her best work with St. Joseph’s. It was also a fantastic contrast to that hideous, washed out robe she wore in her “private” life. Peggy never looks more beautiful or together than when she is excelling at work. It’s the one part of her life she has figured out.

            • TheDivineMissAnn

              I loved the beginning of that scene, where she holds up 2 dresses and asks Julio which one would be better to wear. Julio as a sounding board for his surrogate Mom.

            • charlotte

              Peggy went all Mad Style on Julio, pointing out that one dress resembles men’s clothing.

            • jtabz

              Yes! I loved that playful peek at the puppet strings of Janie Bryant’s creative process …

            • Scimommy

              I noticed that too!

            • Hilda Elizabeth Westervelt

              I know, and she said he couldn’t come in because “I’m working.” I thought that whole scene was so sweet and poignant.

            • Hilda Elizabeth Westervelt

              She looked amazing in that dress. So glad she chose that one over the other options she showed Julio.

          • Lisa_Co

            I thought it was very interesting (kind of tragic) that Peggy was asking a 10 year old boy what to wear to an important business meeting.

            • P M

              It struck me that she’d do the same if she’d been a single mother.

        • Chris

          I noticed Peggy had on the same orange striped dress with the buttons for the announcement about Bert Cooper’s death as she did when Frank Gleason had died. I thought it was a nice callback.

          • P M

            I meant the meeting in particular, but I’ll have to look for that.

            • Chris

              I thought it was interesting Roger was the only one in black – his mourning color. Don was in navy blue when I think of grey being his iconic color, but it did link him to Joan (for once) and Pete. Ted was the odd man out in every way in his style and his color. For some reason seeing him in his boots that used to seem so “groovy’ and hip just seemed sad there.

          • P M

            Also, did you notice how Julio ‘tied in’ with the apartment in his orange and brown in his first outfit?

      • aimeslee

        Yes, except my thoughts reading your post, TheBrett – everything’s always temporary in advertising. Reading Mary Wells Lawrence’s “A Big Life in Advertising” brought that home to me. However, if I know partnership agreements and buyouts, this deal with McCann would basically negate the breach language Cutler used over Don, because the contracts that determine that kind of behavior will each be signed with McCann. This is why Roger figured he could neautralize Cutler’s power over Don. That’s the employment contracts. The partnership contracts pertain to partner share, equity and buyout provisions of each partner’s investment in Sterling Cooper. McCann will have one as 51% owner. What Cutler had over Don was an employment provision, which will now be null and void with the new McCann deal. I’m not a rocket scientist or play one on tv, but I did do tax accounting for 30 years. That’s my best guess, anyway.

        • decormaven

          Good call. Thanks.

        • Polka_Dotty

          I can feel the noose tightening around Don’s neck already – how will he function as a cog in McCann’s wheel? He couldn’t keep to the stipulations that the partners laid out for him – going off-script – will his new bosses tolerate his unconventional behaviour? We’ve only known new and improved Don for a few months – is this a permanent change?

          • Chris

            I disagree a bit with everyone’s more dismal assessment of Don and his situation. I saw him for the first time using his powerful situation to help others, and not just Peggy. The thing that seemed to change Don’s mind about the deal was Roger saying how it was going to save the jobs of all those people who work there. Don is still a big name in that business and in demand with top agencies. If he has to work for one he could pretty much have his pick. He gave up his autonomy to help the other people. Probably not people like Peggy and Pete who could presumably grab jobs in other places but all the many people they don’t focus on in the show. I also thought he genuinely cared about Ted and saw himself in his situation. So many times Don considered running away from his life and problems either with a mistress or to California with Megan but Ted is the proof that it doesn’t work. Ted was always presented as a bizarro world version of Don and despite Don needing Ted’s vote I genuinely believed Don was scared of what would happen to Ted without the work that had always kept him together and that he wanted Ted to rediscover his love of creative the way Don did. Don is trying to help Ted learn from Don’s mistakes.

            • DeniseSchipani

              I agree about Ted. At first, watching Don try to convince Ted that he needed to come back and work, the pure work that they both love, I was thinking it was too pat on the part of the writers. Ted goes from practically suicidal to “sure, I’m in!” with one quick pep talk? but the thing is, he was back in NY, back at the agency, and Don’s words were exactly what he was missing and needed to hear. For most of this season with him in CA, all we saw was him behind his desk, and often, I noticed, with a glass of orange juice. He was a half a man (you only saw his top half behind the desk) and the juice was a discordant note about his ill fit with California. He is a less fucked up version of Don in that they just want to do the work, and Don holding out that hope that he could go back to the part of the ad biz that he thrived on pulled him right back. And I’m sure the promise of a giant mcCann payoff didn’t hurt!

            • Jaialaibean

              The orange juice was even more depressing in that last California office scene, in which Ted — a man who normally doesn’t drink much — was downing a screwdriver while slumping in a chair in front of the daytime soaps.

            • Chris

              It’s funny because Ted seemed to define himself by Don for a long time. He was his rival and adversary yet Ted also seemed to have a man crush on him too. Even Cutler (who sounded downright jealous) mentions to Don how they all were obsessed (my word) with him and his mystique for years before they merged. When Ted realized after the merger Don wasn’t the ideal he thought he was and didn’t want to play nice with him he was crushed. I wonder how much having a back on top of his game Don holding out an olive branch and encouraging him is as energizing to Ted as the idea of work. As others pointed out Ted needed other people to feel his full creative drive. Before it was Frank Gleason and later Peggy and the younger enthusiasm of her and Pete. Hopefully being back in tune with the pulse there at SC will revitalize Ted.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Does Ted have any awareness of Cutler’s true nature? Is he a true leader because he sticks by his team? Was Bert when he treated Don like crap? This Eastern/Randian stuff be confusing.

            • Chris

              I have gone back and forth about that myself. I think he surely must know on some level but then again Ted is almost naive in some ways. He thought Don and he would be instant besties and the new merged agency would be Utopia. Maybe in CGC because Gleason and Ted seemed the closest friends and they controlled 2/3 (presumably) they didn’t have to worry about keeping Cutler in check. Maybe Ted really didn’t know what Cutler was capable of, after all he was the guy who thought they could defeat cancer with Frank Gleason.

            • Nancy Aronson

              If Don reverts to dick with Ted it will be disappointing in the extreme. I will have palpitations. 7 Seasons of reversals is all I can take.

            • Nancy Aronson

              About the half a man: super well-spotted.

              From my perspective, while the money doesn’t hurt, it’s almost irrelevant to Ted. He is in need of a life raft. A witness! A life raft in the form of a witness!
              Like Ted, Don has been struggling with the abyss. While they’ve been approaching the abyss from different directions, this struggle speaks to a deep similarity between them. They also share a creative experience of the world, a warrior sensibility, the ability to inspire a team, and to connect profoundly to one Peggy Olson.

              Dude’s been hanging out with a wife he respects after having torn himself away from the woman he loves. Living in a land overloaded with orange juice and sharing an office a deux with Pete Campbell. No wonder he’s suicidal.

              In Roger’s office, at the surprise merger meeting, Don functions as a mirror for all the parts of Ted that have been lost to him since his partner died and he left his true love and moved to LA-la. Ted has tried to do the right thing by his family and it almost destroyed him. He needed a peer (no longer actively alcoholic who has gained some awareness of the needs of others) to tell him: the answer is not nothing. Nothing is just as bad as the wrong thing. Advertising is not the wrong thing. It’s not the work that’s the problem. And don’t put yourself in the position where you don’t have the work, because I’ve just been there. And . . . believe me. You don’t want that.

            • P M

              He wasn’t ‘sure I’m in’ though. He was like, ‘um, I don’t know’ and Roger said ‘You’re in’.

            • Chris

              Yeah, he was peer pressured into it quite a bit. (I think he was half afraid, sitting so near Joan and Pete not to agree). I think Don’s promise of therapy through work gave him a tiny spark of hope.

            • Nancy Aronson

              I *loved* how Roger read wavering Does that mean I can be in New York? Ted like a book. LOVE that about no-nonsense, brilliant at reading people Roger.

            • testingwithfire

              Agreed. When Don says to Ted: “You need to work,” I think it resonated with a lot of viewers, not just those characters! Don will certainly benefit from Ted’s remaining in the fold, but Ted will also benefit from Don sharing his experience.

            • jtabz

              Just noticed how Don’s words to Ted echo Freddy’s saving words to Don: “Do the work.”

            • Alloy Jane

              Yes, I saw it as Don’s Freddy moment. Speaking as someone who has “been there done that” he’s trying to prevent Ted, whose brokenness he is semi-responsible for, from totally going off the deep end.

            • Hilda Elizabeth Westervelt

              I agree. I think Don is going to be ok now. He has Peggy back on his side, and those two are a formidable team. He still has a dismal personal life, but he always did, really. He is much better when he is working hard. And at least all his demons (or most of them, anyway) are out in the open. He has hit rock bottom, and is on his way back to the land of the living.

            • Glammie

              Even that’s better than it was, though–the marriage ending isn’t incendiary and he’s keeping connected to his kids. Oh, and he actually seems to be friends with Freddy and Roger.

            • Nancy Aronson

              i first read “mistakes” as “mistresses”

            • SylviaFowler

              @chris it’s not the first time that Don has used his power to help others, but I agree with the rest of your assessment of the most current examples of it. Don’s always been an underdog sympathizer (empathizer).

            • Chris

              Yes, when it suits him. Not with Sal unfortunately. And this is the first time we have seen him really give up something for another’s benefit when it comes to work. He couldn’t even acknowledge what Peggy contributed before or that Ginsberg’s snowball idea was better and now he is sitting back and enjoying Peggy hit a home run and willing to commit himself to five years with McCann because others benefit too.

            • SylviaFowler

              That’s not true. He took the fall for Lane when Lane embezzled from the company. He was a friend many times to Joan when she needed one. He always treated Carla with great respect, unlike her other boss. He was extremely gracious to Midge and her boyfriend. With Sal, with whom he had no personal problem, he had no other course of action than to fire him because of the state of the business. But the fact that we have since learned that Don was sexually assaulted as a kid should totally explain his defensive reaction to Sal’s situation. Anyone who blames him for that has limited-to-no empathy themselves for what both Don and Sal were made to suffer. I disagree that Ginsburg’s snowball idea was better. And if it was at all true that he wouldn’t acknowledge any of Peggy’s contributions, then she wouldn’t have this job in the first place. Don’s acknowledgment of her abilities is literally the only reason she got and has stayed where she is. She should be grateful that it was Don, someone who did see and respect her talent, who was her first boss. Peggy and her fans can pout about it all they want, but as we have now seen, she could have easily ended up under someone who would take advantage of her (Ted) or a tyrant of mediocrity (Lou). She got lucky that Don took her under his wing, mentored her and toughened her up for the bosses she would have after him. He didn’t HAVE to do any of that, but he did.

            • Chris

              Well I disagree Ted took advantage of her in business. He really did help her hone a lot of skills and show her a different way of managing. He is weak but I don’t think he set out to take advantage of her. He’s punishing himself more than anyone. He is still recommending Peggy for things and treating her well professionally. It didn’t alter his professional opinion of her which was always high. Freddy was actually the one who discovered Peggy and gave her her first break in creative. Don promoted her to spite Pete (but she was also talented). Don has always been generous with money that was never in dispute. This is the first time he was willing to take a step back in his business life to put someone else first. Money never meant the same to Don as the work. He gave Midge his whole bonus check (thousands) apart from the art he bought from her later on. Don is a brilliant creative mind, but he in Peggy’s own words often kept her around to abuse when he failed. Peggy unfortunately picked up this habit as Don teased her in the previous episode about “abusing the people whose help I need”. Don didn’t keep employing Peggy out of kindness, but because she was excellent at what she did. If not he would have left her behind with Paul Kinsey when they broke off. Peggy was undervalued and underpaid at SCDP-when she went on the open market her first interviewer scooped her up, promoted her and gave her more money than she asked for. She generated the kernel of the idea for don’s only Clio winning commercial. Peggy was no charity project.

            • Glammie

              I think he also felt some responsibility for unmanning Ted in the St. Joseph’s meeting. They’d been duking it out and Don just kind of dismantled Ted at that point. I think Ted is Don’s chance to do-over his big brother role.

            • Chris

              Yes Don is really trying to atone for his previous sins but as he found out it takes a lot of work to undo a wrong and there are lots of fences to mend.

          • Gatto Nero

            McCann stipulated that Don’s remaining with SC&P was essential to the deal — and Roger says that the agency will be functioning independently. I’m sure there will be further conflicts to resolve in the second half of the season, but this was the only way to save Don’s position. And not only is he safe now, he’s also crucial.
            Don has already had to grovel (doing a junior copywriter’s job) to keep afloat. I think that he’s grateful that Roger managed to keep the agency intact. He’ll be able to do the creative work he loves along with people he respects (Roger, Peggy, Pete).
            Don has already experienced the benefits of his new approach to work and to life. He’d have no reason to backslide, But I guess time will tell.

      • Guest

        When Roger called Don to tell him Bert had passed away and that he was going to lose Don too because they no longer had the votes, Don asked whether Bert’s sister was still alive. This was never answered or followed up on. Didn’t she used to have a financial/voting interest in the original Sterling-Cooper partnership? Perhaps that has changed with all of the reorganizations, but perhaps Don had a glimmer of a plan of his own? Is there any chance this could come up next season?

        • TheBrett

          My guess is that she didn’t have a stake in SCDP after they jumped from Sterling-Cooper in season 3.

          • LaLeidi

            But if she doesn’t have any interest in the agency, why did the writers insert that line?

            • TheBrett

              I thought it was to let her know that he had died.

            • Juvenile Sinephile

              Because her brother died and she has a right to know.

            • VirginiaK

              You may be right about the financial doings, but I remember being very aware in this exchange that unlike the partners, Don reacted to the news of Cooper’s death in an entirely human, mature way, recognizing Roger’s deep feeling and offering support and consolation, and also recognizing Burt’s existence as a person, expressed partly in Don’s recalling that He had had some family.

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

              Because it’s normal to ask about family members after someone dies.

            • AZU403

              I didn’t hear it that way. There was a note of desperation in his voice.

            • Shug

              Plus she is very likely a beneficiary of his estate, which presumably would include his shares.

            • LaLeidi

              I asked why the writers inserted that line, rather than why Don said it, because this is a tightly written show. They don’t include lines of dialogue that have no purpose.

              It may be, as VirginiaK suggests, that they are just trying to show that Don cares about other people as humans, as opposed to Cutler, who immediately began scheming. However, it does raise some questions in the viewers’ minds, which may or may not have been intentional. Were Burt’s sister’s shares in the agency bought out at some point? Are Burt’s heirs going to have a stake in the agency?

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

              No, but sometimes they include lines of dialogue because it’s a realistic way for a character to respond.

              Alice never had shares in this agency. She had shares in the old SC, which she sold to Putnam, Powell, and Lowe.

        • T C

          Don was suggesting Bert’s sister is a beneficiary to his estate, giving her his shares (and vote) in SC&P. This strategy became obsolete with the McCann 51% offer, which effectively neutralized Cutler’s vision.

          • MartyBellerMask

            Alice Cooper (heheh) will still inherit those shares though, right? He has no other kin. I guess they’ll have to buy her out. Well I guess they can afford to now.

            • Shug

              Depends on what is in his will – estate property doesn’t automatically pass to other kin if he had other designated beneficiaries. If he died intestate, which, no way would a businessman like Bert fail to have an estate plan, then she would get everything if she is indeed his only kin.

        • Travelgrrl

          I thought the exact same thing – that she inherits Bert’s shares / vote?

          Chekhov’s gun, and all that!

      • Nancy Aronson

        How do you know about the cog outcome? Will this be in the next 5 years? Curious. Certainly it’s the case today.

    • Mark Broesamle

      Mad Men and then these reviews make me so happy. Thank you Tom & Lorenzo for another great season of analysis!

      • SundayNights

        I completely agree! Who can I pay off to ensure this program and the TLo recaps never end!!

    • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

      Completely in agreement re Joan, and still totally and completely baffled as to why her character has been taken down this road.

      I don’t understand it – and I have to hope that eventually it will be explained to us.

      • GeoDiva

        Agree….this Joan is not the Joanie we love!

      • TheBrett

        The firm is basically Joan’s “life” and future – she’s not going anywhere else, as represented by her turning down Bob Benson. I could see her becoming increasingly wary of Don as his instability threatened the survival of the firm more and more in Season 6, and then not being too happy to see him come back and potentially shake stuff up even more. Especially with the price she paid to get where she is.

        • http://tootcomic.com/ Dick In A Bog

          This pretty much; The chevy / jaguire thing being part of it, but I think it’s mostly that for someone who never had much money, and was denied the life she wanted after all the stupid shit her ex husband entailed, I think the public offering, which if I recall correctly was much of her work, she took the scuttling and the loss of A MILLION DOLLARS (which is 10 million in today monies) deeply personal.

          I think it’s not satisfying as a viewer, because we like Joan and when Don and Joan are friendly in a scene together it’s very fun to watch, but i think it’s very natural. If someone cost me a million bucks you bet your ass I’d try and get them and their ego as far away from my livelihood as possible.

          Anyway, as a viewer, I hope the buyout mends their relationship somewhat; even if it wasn’t dons doing (which I think might go over about as well as dons “i’ll take care of you” to megan), hopefully fat stacks of cash will ease the sting of the public offering fallout.

          • bksalt

            Disagree, in that Joan can ALWAYS sell her shares if she likes. She’s a partner. That has a great deal of value, and it’s as permanent as anything can be in the world of corporate organization. Old Joan would understand this. She can take upwards of half a million dollars anytime she likes and move on as a very wealthy woman.

            She used to be able to see through vultures like Cutler, who do very little of actual substance but who know how to get people on their side (as he did with Joan moving upstairs).

            • http://armchairauthor.wordpress.com/ LesYeuxHiboux

              Would she? Joan has always been shrewd when it comes to other women, and how to get what she wants from men with her looks, but I don’t know that she’s shown too much savvy in the world of doing above-board business with men. She handled Mr. Hooker, and tried to handle Joey, through subterfuge. The prostitution fiasco comes to mind, all those voices in her ear. Sometimes Joan seems to just listen to the man who tells her how to make the most money (Lane, Cutler) even if it comes at a very high emotional/moral cost.

            • Nancy Aronson

              This feels right to me, LYH. Joan has been in over her head and been relying on errant instincts and attitude, rather than an even-handed appraisal, to make her way through a complex situation.

          • Nancy Aronson

            I don’t know if it’s as simple as Don cost her a million bucks. We all know that there were many variables. Also, with business on that level don’t opportunities such as these come and go? One must have the stomach to ride those ups and downs. It’s the nature of the game.

        • testingwithfire

          It occurred to me that Joan may have a personal ax to grind with Don. Roger, Joan, and Don are a bit of a love triangle. Roger loves Joan in his way… but he wouldn’t fall on a sword for her or try very hard to keep her from asking for a buyout if she wanted to leave. We saw that with the Jaguar situation. Roger’s Hail Mary pass in this episode is mostly about putting on the big boy pants in the wake of Bert’s death, but it is also to save Don, whom he loves… more than Joan and probably more than he ever did his own family.

          In Joan’s position, I would resent the hell out of Don not just for depriving me of a $1 MM opportunity with his antics, but because the guy I thought I loved cares more for Don’s wellbeing than he does for me. Rewatch Season 1. Joan is not a “nice girl” and she is more than capable of holding on to a grudge or going on the offensive in the case of a threat. I think her entire being is, in a way, threatened by Roger and Don’s relationship.

          • http://www.redriverhistorian.com texashistorian

            I agree. I never understood why some consider Joan a “nice person,” because she, like all of the other characters, has flaws – and some of those flaws are pretty awful. That’s what I love about this show. Each character is multidimensional. Usually, it’s just the main characters who are well-developed, or at least the male ones, but the women have just as many facets in Mad Men. Joan is a business woman who looks out for her own best interests, but takes her cues from the men who inhabit the world she now inhabits, too. Just like Peggy does – uncharted territory, like the man on the moon.

            • SylviaFowler

              I also agree that Joan has NEVER been a nice person, and I’ve never understood why fans thought she was/was likable. She was a Mean Girl right from the start; that hasn’t changed.

            • Nancy Aronson

              It’s not easy being beautiful. Or is that a 70s ad campaign?

          • Nancy Aronson

            It’s similar to the Peggy-Don-Ted triangle, which in many ways seems to be mostly about the 2 men. [All hail Eve Kosowsky Sedgewick!]
            They are of another era, after all.
            I don’t know if Joan is jealous as much as lonely. Hard for women who don’t have husbands to feel connected (as well as for a lot of those that do, for that matter).
            Joan doesn’t have that much of an impact on Roger’s day-to-day work life. Unlike Don, Roger doesn’t seem to seek out a Peggy; he and Joan have too much of a history for that. In special moments, such as post-heart attack and after Bert’s death, their intimacy shines. But that’s a different sort of connection. Roger doesn’t need Joan to feel professionally grounded and happy and connected.
            Did Joan come from a small town? Has she always been the desirable but exotic bird? So alone in her superior tower of fabulousness?
            & will Roger ever be able to confide in Benedict Joan again?
            Tune in . . .
            She seems to be one in a long string of women whom Roger has disappointed, but Joan is exceptional in her ability to maintain boundaries that have made a stable relationship possible between them.
            I don’t think Joan’s jealous of Roger and Don.
            The end.

      • Cheryl

        But Joan has pretty much only cared about what is good for Joan from the very beginning. She’s not a warm and compassionate individual, she is the Queen B. The thing that is not Joan like, is that she’s not being terribly smart here. Joan might not be a very nice or kind person, but she’s always been very savvy, and that’s what is off about her big snit.

        • siriuslover

          though her savviness was right on display when she says to Jim, “you shouldn’t have done that.”

          • aimeslee

            I so agree. But I half-thought she was telling Jim that he should not have tried to break Don like he did. Like she was talking about male ego being necessary, inevitable, in her view.

          • MartyBellerMask

            I’ve kind of been expecting Joan to hook up with Jim. Now I’m thinking not. Which is good.

            • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

              Ew. No way, ever.

          • EveEve

            I took that comment to mean that Cutler shouldn’t be making decisions without the other partners (herself) being consulted. The Joan writing in the last few episodes has been ….off. They wrote in the story-line about her publicly prostituting herself only so that going forward she would have a small (5%) slice of the partnership pie. I suppose that makes for more interesting dialogue than simply Joan as traffic manager and single mom looking for love. But it doesn’t ring true.

            • MilaXX

              I thought her comment was more about Cutler’s making his move too fast. I think she still wanted Don out, but knew that Cutler had handled it wrong.

            • gabbilevy

              It might be hindsight, but I recall thinking in the moment that Joan meant that Cutler’s move would backlash in a big way (which it absolutely did, with Roger and Don essentially pulling the rug out from under him, not only securing Don’s future with the company but diminishing Cutler’s authority). Joan knows these men well enough that I think she could see the reaction coming.

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              Yes, I thought she meant that the move Cutler made was a mistake, but not his overall plan.

            • Chris

              Yes, Roger and Bert probably would have gone against Cutler just on principle for signing their names even if they had been for whatever scheme he was pushing. He just made enemies with that maneuver because it made the others distrust him more.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Partnership is huge! And it completely changed her life.

            • EveEve

              ” it completely changed her life.”

              Except…not. Her life does not seem to have changed much at all. Still working in the same place, on the same accounts. Same apartment, and no love interests on the horizon. It doesn’t seem that she has grown the way Peggy has grown as she gained more professional responsibilities. She’s updated her wardrobe and hairstyle a bit, but not in a way that’s out of line with what women do as fashions change. Yes, she is now a 5% owner, but what has it really gotten her other than financial security and a vote? And being a single mom apparently is barely an afterthought for the writers. We saw her in one brief scene with her little boy. I’m not seeing a complete life change.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Many of the external changes you dismiss seem huge to me: partnership, millionaire to be, earned on her own (on her back or no), having a vote, having the responsibilities of parenthood.

              I agree that her perception of her own power seems insufficient to reflect what (I see as) these enormous changes: wardrobe upgrade (understandable, elegant), and the same apartment (similarly understandable*).

              You and I repeat ourselves, it seems, because we see things differently. It’s okay to disagree.

              *I can understand the mindset of a woman holding onto a small apartment in the belief that marriage equals large living space. A friend mine waited to buy serious real estate until her 50s for exactly this reason, and it was for this exact reason and inconsistent with real estate values, the market, and totally consistent with her unconscious beliefs (she realizes in retrospect).

        • P M

          I’ve said this elsewhere; I’m unsatisfied with the writing about Joan’s business savvy. Sometimes she’s shown as a genius, sometimes as a total novice.
          @siriuslover:disqus you’ve pointed out her savviness vis-a-vis people, but @disqus_n1aT4M55j9:disqus I always thought she had a good head for business or at least organizational details as well. Her ‘OMG that’s a million dollars!’ exclamation sounded……. I don’t know, a bit like a non-executive reaction??

          • Hilda Elizabeth Westervelt

            I found that outburst uncharacteristic as well.

            • jtabz

              Agreed — Although it did give Pete the opportunity to come back with his fabulously inappropriate, “And think — *I* have 20%!” ;)

            • Hilda Elizabeth Westervelt

              Good old Pete…can always be relied upon to say the most inappropriate thing possible. The comment about “sensitive horseflesh” made me laugh out loud.

            • MartyBellerMask

              How he can say those lines with a straight face… no idea. :)

          • Inspector_Gidget

            I have to agree on Joan. I think part of the schizoid writing with Joan is due to the way that they tanked here from the secretarial pool and suddenly made her a partner. She pretty much ceased to be a realistic character at that moment. Her whole indignation at losing money on a deal… Just ugh. Honey, you were ordering legal pads and getting coffee like a year ago. Don’t act like this is your life-long career going up in flames.

            • P M

              It’s just that I can’t understand how a person can put together a whole financial plan for an IPO, but not understand a few minutes lates how much her share of the partnership would be worth; can be apparently responsible for an account, but not understand what the implications of getting rid of Don as partner would be. It all sounds very disjointed and just odd.

            • I Hate Jake

              Yeah – I agree. The writing can seem disjointed in that aspect – and not just for Joan – for all of the partners. Is there a blog that deals with the legal ins and outs of partnerships and business in Mad Men? If so – I want to read it. I was so happy when Don told Meredith to get his attorney on the phone. I was thinking -FINALLY!!! Someone is getting some legal help for once.

            • joything

              I would SO read that blog. “Mad Biz” by a pair of MBA gay uncles. Or aunts, for that matter.

            • Teri B

              totally agree with this. Of all the characters, Joan has confused me from the beginning. It is like the writers can’t nail her down. After getting through the later seasons, I rewatched season one, and was stunned at how her character was mean, spiteful, and catty. I had forgotten. Now, in season 7, she is back to being unlikeable, only more extreme.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Makes sense to me. She has ace bookkeeping skills, but has not been trained to think big. Even if she’s putting the numbers in columns, it’s taking time for her to transition from a secretarial mindset. I mean: I have no idea. People build their own mind cages. Joan doesn’t seem like a mathematical gal — more like someone who keeps the numbers neat and clean. God, I sound so sexist. But I believe that’s how she was trained. Beautiful books.

            • P M

              I can see what you mean. Very meticulous, but no imagination? Sounds like a good candidate for an auditor.

            • Sobaika

              Sorry, I don’t agree with this at all. This money-hungry side is weird for Joan but she certainly wasn’t a secretary ordering legal pads a year ago. They’ve shown her steadily moving up over the years and she was considered senior staff before attaining a partnership.

            • Inspector_Gidget

              Okay, slight exaggeration I suppose. Senior staff, true. But almost never dealing with clients or showing any actual ad-biz specific training (except for that brief intern-type gig). And it’s a Godzilla step from managing the office to shareholding partner. “Working Girl” was a Cinderella story about someone with a degree who became a Junior Executive. Joan went from no education to shareholding millionairess-in-waiting. Over forty years ago, to boot. Still sounds more like a Doris Day comedy to me than reality.

            • Chris

              I get what you’re saying. The idea that someone would offer a woman 50k now to sleep with Herb is crazy enough let alone in 1960’s money. Pete had to bring millions in business with him to be allowed to buy in as partner in the beginning (he even had to reconcile with Trudy’s dad to do it) but Jaguar got Joan half what Pete got in shares and she didn’t risk a penny? It makes her entitled behavior even worse because she has far less invested than anyone else there.

            • SayWhaaatNow

              She risked her reputation and lost her dignity, which was quite a bit more of a loss than a “penny”.

            • Chris

              Joan’s reputation was such no one apart from Don challenged Pete about approaching her with the deal or doubted him when she said she was interested. That included her long time lover. Can you imagine them approaching Dawn or Peggy that way?

            • SayWhaaatNow

              I don’t know if that had anything to do with Joan’s reputation so much as it had to do with the way she looked. She held the keys to the deal. If Dawn or Peggy were in that position, I honestly think that all the partners would have acted in the exact same way that they did with Joan. It’s the side of the show that still leaves me sour.

            • Chris

              I have to disagree. Pete and the partners had to believe on some level Joan would be amenable to the deal. No one else even tried to talk to her about it but Don. If it were another woman there they would have said “no way you’re crazy”.

            • MartyBellerMask

              THIS.

          • GayhawkAZ

            I took it as her realization that she might yet regain that million-plus dollars she lost when Don scuttled the Jaguar deal.

          • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

            But was Pete’s reaction any more appropriate for an executive?

        • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

          I’m going to have to go back to the start and re-watch but this Joan is not the Joan I thought I knew at all. Maybe I was wrong about who she is – and that is possible because in real life I am always wrong about who people are. It just does not seem like the character I thought I knew.

          If it were only me feeling that way I’d be willing to say I’m wrong without going back to see, but I am not the only one who feels like this which makes me think either the writers have not been very clear about who she is in the past, or they are taking her somewhere completely out of character.

          • Chris

            Joan is just acting wildly entitled for a partner who got their shares for one night’s work and who didn’t have to put a dollar in. She owns half as much as Pete who risked a steady job and a lot of money at a time there were no guarantees that business would succeed. Pete even put his marriage on the line arguing about putting the house money into the business. Joan went from behind the counter at Bonwit Teller to an office manager position. I know she had worked a lot of years at SC and helped them move but when they started the new agency she had jettisoned her old job to be Mrs. Creepy and was unemployable outside of department store sales. There is no way she ever would have made partner doing what she did at any agency even if she were a man at that point. Look at Harry and how long he struggled for an offer. She needs to wake up and see the two guys she was glaring at are the reasons their agencies succeeded. Anyone can buy a computer, it the creative that gets the clients and makes the name.

            • Inspector_Gidget

              Yes, thank you. “Entitled” is the perfect word I was looking for. Personally, I miss the old Joan who broke a vase over her husband’s head and more or less screamed, “Get over your entitlement.” Now she’s pulling the same schtick.

            • E M

              Well to be fair, when they first started the company, Lane was important because “no one could do what he did” — he was as integral to starting the business as creative and accounts were. Joan in the end took over the very important role that Lane did of keeping the operations of the company going. I felt the way her had shot up to agree with the proposal will also have an element of “Don is now forgiven.”

            • Chris

              Well Lane was important in helping to start the agency but Pete made a comment in front of him not long before he died that his importance ended the day he fired them all. That was overstating it but he certainly wasn’t seen as integral later on and didn’t see himself as integral to the business which was why he was trying to land Jaguar. I think it’s unlikely they would have asked another financial person to become a partner if it weren’t for the circumstances. Harry is integral to the business and he’s been strung along for years. Even Joan wanted to transition to accounts because it’s important. The only partners at CGC were creative, artistic and accounts. The implication being you can just hire a money person, they don’t need ownership.

            • Alloy Jane

              According to the partners of SCDP except Roger, Joan was happily married to a doctor. They called her because they needed help, not because they were doing her a favor. We know different because we’re the audience, although we don’t know what sort of work Joan was doing after she called Roger for a connection. Plus, Joan’s workload was more or less Lane’s, the only difference being that Lane had made a monetary investment in the company. There’s even an episode where Lane has returned from being abroad where he tells Joan that she makes his presence irrelevant. She did more than just “help” SCDP move, she’s the only reason they succeeded in breaking away as quickly and efficiently as they did. Sure, her productivity is dependent on having something to be productive with, but a bunch of account men and creative guys absconding away with 20 years of work history over a weekend doesn’t happen without a powerhouse helming the ship. Up until she started acting like a partner and “account man,” Joan has been the shadow queen, running things behind the scenes and keeping things together. Creative may be the draw, but you only have to look at the VFX community to see how well it does when there’s no Joan to manage things.

              And Joan wasn’t unemployable. She chose retail because the commission paid better than secretary work. But that is not her failing.

            • Kit_W

              i agree with all of this here ^^^. In the first season all of them went to Joan for everything. It appeared, anyway, as if Joan ran the firm and the partners were merely account men drumming up sales and making some decisions regarding salaries. I think now the problem is that Joan knows if this were to all go to hell in a hand basket she’d have no chance of walking into any agency on Madison and becoming a partner or replacing an existing one. She has, what?, one account? Avon? And the last time we really saw her, she was practically taking some kind private remedial adult ed class with that guy at the university that she was asking all those questions to. Try as she might she – and women in general – are still not respected enough in big business. It’s not like she’s like Peggy, who can show a tangible body of work from secretary to copy girl to head of a creative. team should she need need to move on.
              Joan’s afraid she’s going to wind up hittin’ the bricks with nothing but a resume that says ‘Office manager for x amt of yrs., SCDP firm Partner; 3 yrs.’ accompanied by a letter of recommendation from her former partners.
              Poor Joanie, she doesn’t even have a degree in Archeology like Bets, so If one of those guys don’t take her with them when it’s all over for the firm then it’s back to the secretary pool, or Bonwit Teller, is what she really fears.

            • joything

              ^^^ This would be why she hasn’t moved to a better apartment. Stash it away for that rainy day.

            • P M

              But I think that’s more what it is: whereas Peggy took a chance and ran with it, Joan didn’t and couldn’t. It’s really hard to make a big break from that first impression. And boy did she work that image for almost…. 15 years? Until life taught her she could do more? It’s really hard for her at this stage. Imagine going to night school with a kid and the responsibilities she has at work (if she ever did entertain the idea). It would be one tough uphill slog.

            • Chris

              I didn’t say unemployable but the best job she could get was a retail job at Bonwit Teller implying she wasn’t getting offers for work doing anything close to what she did before. Pete met her working there so it’s very possible he blabbed to the whole office that’s what she was doing. She was involved in the move and new company because when the need arose Roger wanted to see her, knew she could handle it, wouldn’t squeal and that she was in want of work. I’m sure there was someone else in the whole of the company they could have taken that knew how the business worked if they had to. Lane put up quite a lot of money and his job to become a partner and it eventually helped cause his downfall. I thought Lane’s talk of Joan doing his job was almost dismissive because he was very down on himself. His point was he was not essential to the agency. The agency would not have worked, could not have worked without the other partners but they could have conceivably hired a money guy. I’m not saying Joan didn’t do a lot of good work but if Harry wasn’t offered a partnership until 1969 and only at Cutler’s urging it’s very unlikely anyone in Joan’s position, even a man would have.

            • greenwich_matron

              Joan was also involved in the move to the new company because she knew how to steal (and it was stealing) all of the client files.

            • missthing77

              I so agree with you! Well said!

            • Travelgrrl

              I hate Joanie too these days, but give her credit – she did far more than ‘one night’s work’ to get her partnership – they could never have swung the severance from the British company without Joan’s compliance and knowledge of where sensitive client materials were and how best to quickly access and move them. That happened fairly close in timeline prior to the Jaguar thing and her partnership. A deal that Lane suggested, no her.

            • Chris

              Joan’s behavior is really aggravating me and I don’t like what they did with her character at all, mainly because I think they are making her irrational but I don’t hate her. Pete was angrier than anyone with Don when the IPO was messed up but he is enough of an adult and a businessman to move on to bigger and better things like Chevy when they come along. You have to turn down one juice but you get another. My argument isn’t because I just don’t like Joan, it’s that I really believe even if she had been a man she never would have been offered a partnership, even at a buy in, for what she does. She did help them move and find what they needed and it certainly helped them at the time but I don’t think they couldn’t have done it without her if they had to. Would it have been as smooth? Certainly not. By the time of Lane’s suicide he mentions she could do what he does, but again if he didn’t have the power to fire the SC people would they have added a financial guy as a partner? Probably not. As I said, CGC didn’t have one. I don’t think agencies have to give partnerships to money guys because they weren’t considered essential the way accounts and creative guys were. Joan got a partnership worth over a million and a half dollars without putting in a penny. When I say she got it for one night’s work it’s not because I don’t know she did a lot of work for SCDP and SC over the years, it’s because she did a lot of work I firmly believe would never ever lead to a partnership regardless of her gender.

            • P M

              That to some extent doesn’t make sense either. Surely she of all people should have noticed how technology, cutbacks, etc are slowly eating away at the number of personnel in those kinds of low level secretarial jobs. Or am I speaking with the kind of assumption we go on today: that technology is now not just nibbling but devouring those jobs that were once considered tedious?

        • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

          If T&L are right and Mad Men is about how we don’t change – is Joan ever going to be happy without a husband?

          • MilaXX

            I think she is. Despite it being her goal early on Joan was happier as a single woman and now as a single parent than she ever was with her doctor husband.

          • E M

            Joan is about security and status. In the past that was only garnered by a husband. I think she’s pretty happy where she is. I think she’d only marry for love, and I suspect love would have to come in a package that doesn’t threaten her money or her role.

          • Janice Bartels

            For the record, I love your avatar. Your (?) baby is adorable and delighted, and it is a joyful picture. Thank you for sharing it with us.

            • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

              Thank you, of course. She’s five now. May I thank everyone who didn’t act on the very common knowledge that trolls are not to be fed At All, and thereby caused an extra 50 posts from that whatsitsnuts account ;)

            • P M

              That person is in need of a hobby :P

          • P M

            After *that* marriage, I think the rose coloured glasses / scales fell from her eyes.

        • aimeslee

          If I may offer two thoughts about our Joan:
          1. First of all, why does she have to be consistant? She got here by the skin of her teeth, and as Queen B of the office pool, yes, she was very savvy. She’s in rarified air now, though. One thing I can venture about her though, is, she learns her lessons and corrects course when she can. I find it difficult but necessary to remember that she is very vulnerable but tries like hell not to show it. I always remember how she almost botched getting Avon out of sheer panic and fear, and it helps me cut her some slack.
          2. I think remembering this as we watch the women on Madmen is important, because they really were doing all this for the very first time often without female role models or advice givers. This is why I think y’all are SO WRONG to blow Betty off as a needless character now, those of you who do. Her kind of woman was the traditional, average woman then. SO MANY of my friends’ moms were Betty Draper, just in smaller homes and cheaper clothes. And I knew some Joans, some Peggys. I hardly ever knew a Meagan, until almost the 80’s.
          3. SO MUCH talk here revolved about Joan’s damn apartment last week. I think Joanie is banking on moving on up with Mr. Right, and then leaving that apartment to her mom to rent or to rent for her, thereby not having to live with her anymore but still providing for her. Nothing more sinister than that. Why move to a better place when it is only eventually gonna be a place for your mother?

          • MartyBellerMask

            Respectfully…

            1. Who’s blowing off Betty? People certainly do, but you’d get a better dialog about it replying to someone that was actually doing that.
            2. We were discussing Joan’s decorating, because the point of the Mad Style blog, is to speculate about the STYLE, and what the art direction & costume choices might reveal about where the characters and storyline are headed.

            That is all.

            • aimeslee

              Yes, of course you are right, but trying to find the exact convos in this huge comment section is like the princess and the pea, and I’m just too lazy, I guess. Guilty as charged. xoxo

            • MartyBellerMask

              No prob. I understand and hope i didn’t come off as harsh. :)

            • aimeslee

              Not at all, Marty. Thanks for understanding. :)

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

            There was nothing “sinister” attributed to Joan in the discussion of her “damn” apartment last week.

            • aimeslee

              Ok, wrong word used, and sorry to “damn” it (it was a huge amount of comments to have to read and I got frustrated) BUT…that is all you can say about my idea why she’s keeping it? Geez!

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

              Was I obligated to grade your remark or something? At lease I didn’t refer to it as your “damn idea.”

              Geez yourself.

            • aimeslee

              Haha, good one – fair enough. :-)

        • Donna

          IMO she’s been consistent and believable. She paid a terrible price for that partnership but what made her pull the trigger on that? Lane’s conversation about the financial security of being a partner. In her youth Joan used men to feed her; you don’t dress like Joan does, or enter a room like Joan does, or approach a group of people (men *and* women) like Joan does unless you are very attuned to your effect on others, on how others are relating to you. She’s been gathering that kind of interpersonal information her whole life and using it to blow our fucking minds as Office Doyenne or in WERQing a wiggle dress.

          I think Joan’s behavior now comes down to a bone-deep need to financially take care of herself and her son. Snagging a man to do it hasn’t worked: Dr Horrible was a dick and Roger threw it all over for Jane but not for Joan. She’s done with that route. Roger offered to financially support the kiddo but Joan doesn’t want his money, she wants her own money and she wants a lot of it. This is how she will be successful in the same field as the men even though it’s tilted severely against her: she wants to be the most gorgeous, most desirable, most capable, richest and most independent woman she’s ever known… then she can fall in love with no strings attached because she won’t NEED him.

          Maybe she’s waiting to move out of that apartment until she has the money to do it RIGHT. She’ll need a million dollars for the apartment she deserves.

          • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

            Well said. Also, I think Joan’s treatment of Don is going to turn out to because of several factors, not just one. For example, like dealing with an annoying roommate. They do stuff that bugs you, but you don’t say anything and keep silent and they keep annoying you and still you stay silent, until one day they say “pass the salt” and you scream “GET OUT!!!”…not that I would know anything about that. :)
            Also, Joan isn’t just supporting her son, she’s supporting her Mom, too. Pressure at work, pressure at home — KABOOM!!!

        • Nancy Aronson

          Joan is about the rules. She is more Justice- than Compassion-oriented. Since pretty people win, she’s direct about taking advantage of her assets. Not a sentimental gal, exactly. She doesn’t seem at all like her mother. She’s the tough city girl who’s paid her dues to learn the ropes — cliche, cliche, cliche. And who feels the tragedy of Marilyn Monroe’s suicide deeply. The mystery that is Joan.

      • Chris

        I think they have done a hatchet job on Joan’s character this season. She was just vile in this episode. I could even sympathize more with Pete’s behavior in the partner’s meeting dealing with Ted. Pete has been dealing with Ted’s morose apathy for months and just had him almost try to kill clients. Joan just looked like pure evil glaring at Ted. She’s not even being smart about it. Cutler is her only ally and she is the smallest owner with the least friends right now. The old Joan was nothing if not people and situation savvy. I don’t like this character turn she has taken.

        • Azucena

          I am torn about this because I definitely see how people aren’t convinced her actions are in character. But I’m leaning towards acceptance of her behavior for two reasons.
          1. She is just learning how to deal with men in a direct manner– her old manipulative/ego stroking style is no longer effective and she seems to be struggling with an entirely new way of interacting with the people around her. Sometimes she plays it too cold and harsh, sometimes she seems to forget she can stick up for herself. She is still getting the hang of it.

          2. Being on the receiving end of Don’s unilateral decision making made her feel like Greg did. She felt powerless and thrown into chaos because of what she probably perceives as male ego. It was triggering for her.

          Her talk of losing money doesn’t add up beecause it’s probably not the real reason. But she knows that saying Don’s behavior reminds her of her rapist ex husband wouldn’t be a respected justification for her actions.

          • MartyBellerMask

            Hunh. Hadn’t thought of point #2. Interesting.

        • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

          What the hell is your definition of “vile”? We may not like 1) voting Don out and 2) undisguised financial motivation (and I would say a lot of people with that position are hypocrites, because I highly doubt they’d act differently if they had a multi-million dollar opportunity within reach), but how is that vile behavior?

          • Chris

            The way she was acting with Ted was vile. The poor guy almost took himself and a few others out in a plane a few days before and all but said working that contract might kill him and she had ZERO sympathy or concern. It was all about her getting her money. She was openly ugly and disdainful to him. Same with her looking Don in the face and saying she wanted to help Cutler cheat him out of the shares (worth millions) of a company he founded and invested in. All she cares about is herself and she will willfully screw people over to do it. That is very vile behavior. Say what you like about Don and Ted but they have contributed more reputation wise to their companies than anyone else there, let alone financially. They are not Joan’s pawns to play with to make her money.

            • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

              I think you’re confusing Joan’s line with Pete’s. All Joan said to Ted was “You’ve got to be kidding me,” which is not exactly an outlandish statement when a man is turning down millions of dollars for himself and his partners. Pete is the one who called Ted both “pathetic” and “selfish” — and he’s the one who knew about Ted’s airplane stunt (which is all Pete viewed it as, anyway). We had no indication that Joan knew about what Ted did.

              Don has a history of acting irresponsibly with the company. What Joan said about that “costing her money” is a true statement. Yes, his reputation has also contributed to the company’s value, but Joan’s not in creative and doesn’t have that perspective — she only sees how his impetuous, authoritative moves have lost major clients and generally created a lot of instability. You and other viewers can disagree with how certain moves and past relationship history is weighted, but clearly in her book, it doesn’t. She has a right to make that call.

            • Chris

              Pete told Cutler and Don about Ted’s behavior. It was a huge deal. There’s no reason to think Joan doesn’t know about it especially with Pete’s big mouth and how she seems to be in cahoots with Cutler (she is the only other partner who saw the letter he signed with all of their names). I agree, Pete was awful (he very often is) but he has had months of built up frustration in exile with Ted not backing him, not getting involved, telling him to just cash the checks because you just die anyway etc. Cutler refused to do anything to Ted despite his stunt in the plane. Pete’s outburst was the culmination of all that, on top of being a person who is not always great with social cues. Joan was always great at reading people and a situation. Anyone in that room had to see Ted was a cry for help. Roger and Don were more desperate in a sense for the deal than anyone but they weren’t berating Ted. Joan knows very well where every penny comes from and exactly what value Don added and adds to the company. Joan can make any call she (and the writers) like and I, and any other viewer can say it’s nasty and irrational if we choose.

            • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

              Good to know that Pete gets all the contextual excuses for his behavior, while Joan doesn’t get any. You say Joan’s “always great at reading people and a situation” — to a point. She’s never been shown to be the compassionate and caring type toward coworkers. She only works deftly to avoid office meltdowns (like what happened when they fired Burt Peterson without telling her). I think you’re expecting maternal behavior from her when there is no precedent for it, when no one else in the room showed any. And really, when you say that Roger and Don were more desperate but didn’t berate Ted — neither did she. Or does “You’ve got to be kidding me” count as berating, in your book?

            • Chris

              We clearly disagree about her behavior. I find she’s been one note all season- just burning anger and she directed some of it at Ted in this episode when he looked just stunned and defeated. I don’t expect Joan to be maternal, she never has been portrayed that way but she was always at least political and savvy. It wasn’t just what she said it was the open disgust and hatred on her face. Pete isn’t excused but he has been tussling with Ted for months, this was one more battle in a series of them. And everyone knows Pete is horrible. He’s horrible a lot. It doesn’t make Joan’s behavior any more likeable. As TLO pointed out, not one other person from SCDP, partner or otherwise didn’t recognize Don’s value. When push came to shove even Bert didn’t want Don to go. Only Joan did. That’s very telling of her lack of good business judgement here. Say what you like about Don, I don’t ever remember him trying to cheat someone out of money. Even after Lane embezzled money Don covered the cash and offered him a dignified exit. Joan wants to publicly humiliate Don and steal millions of his money from the agency he envisioned and built. I think it’s vile.

      • Juvenile Sinephile

        Am I the only person who is sympathetic re: her bitterness at Don? I think we forget the sequence of events from the proposed IPO that could never go because of firing Jaguar to now (within the show) were just a little more than a year apart. It may seem longer for us because of when the shows are placed in our TV calendar, but within the show it is a lot closer in dates. Joan probably knows the damage caused by Don’s incident a little more behind the scenes because she knows the books. When a major potential client like Hershey sees that from a pretty well-known creative director, word spreads and fires have to be put out. It wasn’t just going public couldn’t happen because of Don but she believes he is too damaging of an asset because he has gone off on his id with some pretty awful consequences that have likely effected the whole agency. Then you add his pride vs. the white horse gesture he insisted was for her, and I think she finds him to be a hypocrite because she knows enough of his personal life to feel his judgment.

        • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

          But isn’t it right that this new deal means she is going to earn more money than she would have with the IPO?

          Sometimes things happen for a reason that you don’t see at the time.

          So if all her anger at Don has been about the IPO and the money, then surely next season we will see her become grateful and thankful to him for this better opportunity that he is a big part of, signing a 5 year contract so it can happen.. right?

          • Juvenile Sinephile

            Well, we didn’t see them interact after this new deal vs. all that time since the original plan. From her perspective, the merger made her even smaller in influence and caused the office more headaches from Don and Ted related issues. Until Roger’s plan she only got a new office out of this merger, and that was due to Jim Cutler trying to make various power-plays.

            Why should she be thankful and grateful to him? He was part of the catch of that deal. Frankly, she just does not want him or Chaough to implode to make McCann think twice. That is what I imagine her process to be. She is probably more grateful that Roger did this. Cutler was just the enemy of her enemy, but as Bert Cooper said, ‘He is not on my team’. Roger is the one who won her trust back more than anyone.

        • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

          YES — I agree with this all the way, and it’s exactly what MW said too in a recent interview with Vulture:

          “I guess they love Don so much and they love Don and Joan so much, but I always look at it and ask, “Are you friends with the person who lost your lottery ticket for $1 million?” It was a big deal in season six. She was there when they put him on leave, and she was quite firm about it. Don’s alcoholic disregard for her well-being — it was $1 million to go public, she slept with that guy so it would happen, and Don just impulsively merged the agencies, fired that guy, and cost her $1 million in 1968 money. If people can see it that way and wonder why Joan doesn’t want that guy in the firm, maybe it will help.

          The same thing with Peggy. He forced her to come back to the agency after she was on her own, he ruined her relationship with Ted, and he threw the agency into turmoil. She said he was a monster at the end of last season. These two seasons, 6 and 7A, take place eight weeks apart on the show. We’ve never done such a short period, and I think maybe it was hard for the audience to understand that, because it was nine months between them in real time.”

      • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

        I just saw an excerpt from Matt Weiner’s interview with Vulture, and I found it very insightful as he talked about how fans are upset over Joan’s dislike for Don now:

        “I guess they love Don so much and they love Don and Joan so much, but I always look at it and ask, “Are you friends with the person who lost your lottery ticket for $1 million?” It was a big deal in season six. She was there when they put him on leave, and she was quite firm about it. Don’s alcoholic disregard for her well-being — it was $1 million to go public, she slept with that guy so it would happen, and Don just impulsively merged the agencies, fired that guy, and cost her $1 million in 1968 money. If people can see it that way and wonder why Joan doesn’t want that guy in the firm, maybe it will help.

        “The same thing with Peggy. He forced her to come back to the agency after she was on her own, he ruined her relationship with Ted, and he threw the agency into turmoil. She said he was a monster at the end of last season. These two seasons, 6 and 7A, take place eight weeks apart on the show. We’ve never done such a short period, and I think maybe it was hard for the audience to understand that, because it was nine months between them in real time.”

    • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

      Also too, how gorgeous was that green chevron dress Peggy was wearing in the practice pitch? I think that is my most favourite outfit of hers ever. :)

      • Molly Hirschfeld

        And it completely matched Julio’s outfit.

      • P M

        I thought it was a stripe??

        • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

          I went back to double check – I’m talking about the dress in the practice pitch which was at the very start of the show, right after the Betty and Sally greeting the guests. It is a pattern which looks like it might be triangles. She is also wearing it when she arrives home to hot suspended ceiling man and Julio.

          In the real pitch she does wear stripes. :)

      • aesteve212

        I loved how she showed Julio two dress options and described them as if she was writing a Mad Style post! “this one is grey and masculine…”

        • SayWhaaatNow

          Now we know why her personal clothes suffer, it’s because she’s asking a ten year-old for advice.

          • P M

            Now, now, some children have very good taste! However, asking a ten-year-old boy for advice on women’s clothing (assuming he’s not into fashion, of course) may not be wise.

            • Chris

              She should have asked for advice on that robe. It was ghastly.

            • Eric Stott

              delightfully awful – Peggy has developed good instincts for work clothes but her personal wardrobe is pretty bad

            • Nancy Aronson

              loved. (the robe.) really.

          • NeenaJ

            I’m betting Peggy ups her boudoir clothes budget as she suits up for the hot handy man!

      • Alanna

        I also thought she looked stunning in the Burger Chef pitch. Perfect makeup, dress, hair, intense confidence, voice, everything.

        Then again, I have no eye for style, so I wouldn’t be surprised if, in Mad Style, TLo call it the worst she has ever looked!

        • mlurve

          Her makeup looked the best it ever has on the show, I thought.

        • Nancy Aronson

          Basking in the glow of the Don.

        • mixedupfiles

          She also looked really beautiful in the blue stripe, watching the moon landing in the hotel room.

        • http://armchairauthor.wordpress.com/ LesYeuxHiboux

          She was hitting on all cylinders in that pitch, in every aspect. She had fully come into her own.

        • AZU403

          For the first time she looked like a mature, confident *woman*. Of course, she IS a woman, being 31, or is it 30. But she just looked like she now totally has her stuff together.

    • Lady Bug

      1). I’m already on pins & needles waiting for Season 7.2 to start! April 2015 seems like an eternity now.

      2). Peggy broke my heart (the scene with Julio) and took my breath away (burger pitch). To plagiarize/paraphrase from a few well know quotes “you’ve come a long way baby, and you did it all your way.” Love the look of encouragement Don gave her before she began her pitch.

      3). Pete Campbell is a one-man GIF machine: “I’ve got 10%!” “Marriage is a racket” “Sensitive piece of horseflesh.” “The clients want to live!” I would absolutely kill for a Pete Campbell in the 1970s spin off. My favorite Pete moment though, the look he gives Peggy when she mentions that there is a ten year old boy who eats his meals in front of her T.V. Their son is around 10 years old. This might be just wishful thinking on my part, but I really hope that in Season 7.2 we get a scene with Pete & Peggy really talking to each other about the kid and the adoption.

      4). I don’t care what happens to SC&P, just as long as Meredith emerges unscathed! Her attempt at “comforting” Don was hilarious.

      5). I’m going to miss Bert Cooper and his singing-dancing-shoeless ghost.

      • siriuslover

        Peggy and Pete shared a few looks this episode, but then again, they’ve always had a secret kind of language convey just through their looks. And I loved the sense of being in Peggy’s head before the pitch, feeling almost as if we were underwater with the muffled sounds. But then clarity as the camera moves from her to Don and they share the “ready? absolutely!” looks.

        • Glammie

          I think we were meant to feel like she was in space with those sound effects–ready to make her landing.

          • decormaven

            FTW!

        • Anton

          That was a clear reference to “Mulholland Drive”. That is the sound world of the nightmares in it, and then there’s the way everyone was laughing. Just don’t ask me what it meant…

        • ybbed

          That was a fantastic scene.

      • Cheryl

        Omigosh, I went from hating Pete Campbell in Season 1, to adoring him. That said, I still think he’s an ass, but an endearing, hilarious ass.

        • Eric Stott

          I hope that he finds some sort of balance in his life by the end of the show.

        • Gatto Nero

          He is. And his loyalty to Don, after everything they’ve been through, is very endearing.

          • Nancy Aronson

            Just remembered pregnancy comment from Season One. In Waterloo, Don made a deliciously sexist comment to Peggy about Pete not having a say over who made the pitch because he’s pregnant. Because the account man is dependent on creative, he’s metaphorically needs them to marry him, as a description of creative holding the power?
            From Season One:
            Pete Campbell: A man like you I’d follow into combat blindfolded, and I wouldn’t be the first. Am I right, buddy?
            Don Draper: Let’s take it a little slower. I don’t want to wake up pregnant.

        • Chris

          Pete really has grown so much as a character. Unlike Joan he can take a resentment with someone like Bob and learn from his past mistakes. He appreciates Don because he knows what Don brings to the business. He is still selfish and petty but he’s a far better business person than a lot of people in those partners meetings. Pete doesn’t get enough credit for what he has contributed to that agency.

          • urbantravels

            Pete’s always been an incredibly savvy business person, right from the beginning – from long ago noticing that their television client was big in “the Negro market” and suggesting they target some advertising that way. And then getting shot down because nobody wanted to acknowledge or pay attention to the “Negro market.” Along with having good ideas and good stratregic thinking has gone continual whining and moaning that he’s underappreciated and undervalued; the irony being that’s he usually right at least to some degree – but he can’t sell his ideas a la Don Draper, with smooth confidence. He always *looks* like he’s trying too hard and that’s fatal. Lane Pryce in “The Grownups” tells him that Ken is getting promoted over him because while Pete is good at making clients feel their needs are being met, Ken is good at making them feel they don’t *have* any needs. Cue big Pete tantrum that sets him up for being willing to join the new breakaway firm in the very next episode.

            Although Pete at first seemed to be supremely happy in California, one or two episodes into Season 7.0 and we see him ranting and raving again about being unappreciated, being cut off/left out of things at the main office. (To Ted, who doesn’t hear a word of it, being wrapped up in his own misery.) Those technically disastrous conference calls just heightened Pete’s feeling that he’s getting a raw deal, as always.

            • Eric Stott

              Tom and Lorenzo have also pointed out that Pete dresses very well and is often quite stylish.

            • Chris

              I’ve said a lot that Pete and Harry are undervalued because they aren’t cool. People find them awkward and annoying so it hurts them business wise but they are both smart, forward thinking businessmen.

            • Nancy Aronson

              which he was

          • Nancy Aronson

            Hasn’t Joan grown in her ability to interact with Peggy?

            • Chris

              Well Joan needed Peggy before when she felt vulnerable and tried to win Avon her own way. Peggy saved her bacon and tried to help her and Joan was pretty witchy with her. Joan always felt superior to Peggy because she thought Peggy’s ambitions were silly and she was more conventionally attractive than her. It was only when they both felt down and out after Don got engaged to Megan they first really connected. Now that Joan is feeling her oats as a partner I don’t see her reaching out to Peggy. She breezed by her office and had a drink but that scene was all done in the old power dynamic of dominant Joan towering over smaller Peggy. It was the partner telling the employee they had graciously approved her raise.

            • Nancy Aronson

              That isn’t the way I interpreted the vibe between them. Both Peggy and Joan have been in a snit for most of the season. Their interchanges have seemed fairly professional and supportive, if distant while they both sort through their own dramas. To the best of my recollection.

            • Chris

              Because they are the two main female characters I’ve always wanted them to click more but they are just such different people I don’t think they will ever be close or real friends. I think they will be work cordial but they will never have the affection for each other that Peggy-Stan, Roger-Don or even Pete-Don have. There is a bond because they are the most successful women in that agency but it doesn’t transcend the office.

            • Nancy Aronson

              It sounds like we see the relationship similarly.

        • Nancy Aronson

          Loved his appalling hair in the final partners scene.

      • P M

        That was a mini tantrum from Pete.

        And I’m with you on Meredith – what would we do without her? :D

        • aimeslee

          LOL well, has Pete and Meredith occurred to anyone? They make as cute a couple as Pete and Bonnie.

          • Gatto Nero

            I think Pete needs someone a little more intellectually challenging — for the long term, anyway.

            • aimeslee

              You are right of course, but who in the heck is going to be able to force Pete to take what he needs over what he wants? “Marriage is a racket!” LOLOL

      • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

        “My favorite Pete moment though, the look he gives Peggy when she mentions that there is a ten year old boy who eats his meals in front of her T.V. Their son is around 10 years old.” – I wish I’d noticed that on my own!

        • Musicologie

          My husband and I were laughing at that. It was a total “WAT.” face.

        • urbantravels

          I know that’s been observed before – maybe it’s a little on-the-nose that Julio is the age of Peggy’s lost child, but the real payoff is when she mentions the 10-year-old “waiting for her at home” in the Burger Chef pitch. The most literal reading of that is that she’s talking about Julio but fudging the fact that he’s not her kid (and also glossing over that he’s about to move out of her life.) But since the most brilliant pitches on Mad Men (i.e. Carousel) are all about the heartbreak of irretrievable loss, I think she’s also talking about her actual kid — creating a fantasy world in which he’s the one waiting for her at home. Don’s famous line to Peggy about why she’s brilliant at advertising is “Something terrible happened…and nobody understands that but you. And that’s very valuable.”

        • Nancy Aronson

          I looked at that scene again and all that I saw was a kind of almost fatherly look at our horseflesh go look. No double take.

          • MadMenMurphy

            I agree…I think the look was more like, “She’s making stuff up now to sell the pitch.” I really don’t think Pete has given much thought to their kid at all. That’s just Pete.

      • L’Anne

        3– The way he said “the clients want to live” reminded me of Waiting for Guffman: “Corky, we want you to live!”

        And her successful supper pitch is a good bookend to her not-successful “Art of Supper” for Heinz.

      • E M

        MW has said the adoption will be treated “like it never happened” because that’s they way things were when you gave a child up in 1960. You simply never knew what happened, and it would be very out of character for them to start free-speaking about it now. They both are ‘of their time’ and while perhaps not forgotten under the surface, that’s where it will remain. Peggy often has glimpses into the fact that the child is on her mind under the surface (eg: “playgrounds”). Other than the one comment of “your decisions affect me” he has never been shown to have any kind of longing, curiosity, sadness, or even consciousness about the child. And remember how resistant he was to adopting a child himself, he didn’t want someone else’s reject, even though his very own son would have been in that same position. I agree they are forever bonded, but Pete is happy to throw Peggy under the bus to get what he thinks will be the best result. He was squirming through the first part of the Burger Chef pitch because her giving the pitch wasn’t his choice as the best solution.

        • aimeslee

          I noticed that squirm! Then, after his client he was joking up declared Peg’s title beautiful, Pete was ALL SMILES. smh….

        • T C

          He may have been squirming because there is no child for him to come home to; no wife or girlfriend either.

        • P M

          I thought he was having an internal fit, but then I re-watched and decided it was nervousness on his part. I mean, it is a big pitch, and a last-minute switch. It’s not a small decision.

      • DollyMadisonWI

        I don’t think we’re going to get another scene of Pete and Peggy talking about having a kid together other than the one we’ve already had where Peggy told Pete way back when. It’s not a part of who they are. Pete barely acknowledges Tammy so I don’t see him going down nostalgia lane about their son. And when it’s all said and done, Pete isn’t the deepest of people.

      • Nancy Aronson

        For the first time, I’m ready for a rest after the finale. I don’t think I can take one more last minute takeover. And I want to sit with the optimism for a while. I don’t want any more deaths or speculation about same.
        The last two episodes came close to sublime. You guys have helped me to more information per frame than I thought possible. I look forward to reviewing the previous seasons with the help of Tom and Lorenzo so that I don’t miss as much mad style. The wine needs time to breathe.

    • Lady Bug

      On another forum someone made this really beautiful observation: The families watching the moon landing were all unconventional families: Roger, Mona, their grandson and (former?) son-in-law, the blended Francis family & guests, Bert & his housekeeper, the SC&P burger family. Perfectly illustrated the point Peggy made last episode about the changing face of the American family.

      • Cheryl

        I didn’t quite catch, who the guests were at the Francis’ Frankenstein castle. Was the woman a sorority sister to Betty? I only watched one time and missed it.

        • Lady Bug

          I missed who the character was, but she was played by Kellie Martin. Thus adding another notch in the “former 90s teen stars that have appeared on Mad Men” ;)

          • P M

            OMG Life goes On?! She’s unrecognizable under that wig!

            • Lady Bug

              Actually, I did too! I just read it on another forum.

          • MartyBellerMask

            What? MAD MEN does it again! They nail the casting, every week. If that’s not an Emmy category, it should be.

          • Vtg Fashion Library

            OMG! I knew she looked familiar, but I was too lazy to look it up (lost my glasses yesterday and was watching with my sunglasses on LOL). I loved Kellie Martin on ER.

        • siriuslover

          My sense was that they went to college together. They mentioned college and Betty said something about teenage anthropology (which was her major, right?). But the visit kind of came out of left field, didn’t it? Is it just a set up to have Betty hook up with the college kid (yes, I’m being cynical here)?

          • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

            (I know you didn’t mean this but I’ll still post:) LOL, she majored in Teenage Anthropology. I think Glen Bishop would give her an F!

            • siriuslover

              haha, I thought about that after I wrote it, but was too intellectually lazy to fix it. And yes, Glen Bishop would definitely give her an F.

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              …as would Sally…and Bobby.

          • gingerella

            There was definitely a flash of something there with the traditionally handsome, athletic son, but that would just be a terrible move. I think that Betty has a strong fear of being ridiculous, and a 30-something woman with a teenager definitely falls into the ridiculous category in her eyes.

            • http://completeflake.com/ LaVonne Ellis

              Oh man, I hope she goes for it. ;)

            • SylviaFowler

              But she didn’t think being a 30 year old fooling around with the 9 year old neighbor boy was ridiculous?

            • gingerella

              I took a quick glance at your comment history to see if you were being facetious, but the ones I’ve seen seem like you are a straight shooter, so I’m going to assume you were serious, not sly, in your response. If I’m wrong, my apologies. Clearly Betty did not think she was fooling around with the 9-year-old neighbor boy, and she was so horrified that she slapped the child’s mother when she insinuated otherwise.

          • MartyBellerMask

            Glen is about that age by now, right?

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              “Mrs. Francis, you’re trying to seduce me…aren’t you?”

        • urbantravels

          She was a college friend, because she looks at Sally and exclaims “You look just like your mother freshman year!”

        • VirginiaK

          Your question reminds me of a script screwup I noticed way back in the series when Betty mentions a sorority – Betty went to Bryn Mawr and I am pretty sure the women’s colleges never had sororities.

          • Cheryl

            Oh interesting, I never knew that. Strange that in the world of Mad Men they missed it, because their research is usually impeccable.

      • MartyBellerMask

        I just loved Bert w/ the housekeeper. And I love the idea of Bert keeling over, happy, after the moon landing.

        • Chris

          I thought it was interesting that it was Bert telling Don the best things in life were free. Bert died alone with his housekeeper. He seemed to live at the office and the only family was his sister whom we never saw again. For all of Roger’s screw ups, he still has a relationship of sorts with Mona and his son in law and grandchild.

          • AnnaleighBelle

            But Bert seemed happy with his situation. I never sensed any ennui at all on his part.

          • Nancy Aronson

            also: Ayn Rand. No softie, she.

          • lunchcoma

            A bit late to the party, but I don’t think the fact that Bert was unmarried meant he didn’t have a full life. He always struck me as one of the few people in the office (the other would be Ken) who had interests beyond advertising, alcohol, drugs, and sex. He seemed like he was fulfilled but not consumed by his work and like whatever life he had outside of the office pursuing his hobbies made him happy.

        • sweetlilvoice

          Did anyone think his housekeeper was more than his housekeeper? As in his mistress? Just curious. I did like how they were sitting there like bookends, they looked very comfortable.

          • urbantravels

            I don’t think it was about sexytimes (remember Bert’s little “handicap”, plus his age) but there was definitely an old-married-couple vibe about them. Probably just many years of coexistence and depending on each other. And Bert’s racism in the office doesn’t contradict that at all. Plenty of white people have been racist as all get-out and yet also been personally close to people of other races, never seeing any contradiction, especially if the relationship is a subordinate one.

            • MartyBellerMask

              They were definitely comfortable together. Did you catch her knitting needles? Cute.

      • http://www.therewm.com/ Rachel W. Miller

        That was one of my favorite moments of the episode! It interpreted it as, Whoever you were with at that moment is your family.

    • http://recapscallion.blogspot.com/ Claire

      Am I the only one who was expecting it to turn out that Don was just having a stroke in that last scene?

      • aimeslee

        LOLOL, well, yes, Claire, maybe you were. It made me giggle, because Jon Hamm has really stretched his facial muscles this half-season with all sorts of new reactions (possibly hoping to get an Emmy win and not just a nod, haha). Those could also be described as facial contortions, twitches, etc. Also happens when you have a stroke, I guess. I’m giggling because he was trying to emote shock and disbelief, and because he has UNERplayed Don for so long in the face, we are reading it as a medical condition, LOL. Gotta love it

      • AnneElliot

        At first I thought Don was going to have some kind of breakdown, but now I just think it was some kind of an excuse for a last-minute musical number.

        • Azaelia Bearson

          It was actually an homage to Robert Morse’s Broadway days… I didn’t get it at first either.

    • P M

      Dear god, Uncles, you’ve posted so early! Thank you!

      Random thought-fragments:

      Don helped Peggy liftoff. It was like a father taking away training wheels, and the kid cycles triumphantly to freedom.

      Betty was…….. Betty. Dear lord, woman, can’t you be *not* bitchy even with your daughter?

      Aw, Sally kisses a nerd! :) For every nerd, regardless of gender or orientation, didn’t that make your sigh a little bit :) <3 (okay, fine, I'm projecting)

      Pete was trying so hard to wrangle his bitchface down in the first part of that meeting! :D

      Wow, Harry was really touched by the moon-landing. His face…… wow. And the kids 'It's happening!' 'Come on! Let's go let's go!'. This is the first time I could feel that excitement, that feeling of being overwhelmed by the enormity of that event. Kudos to the creators.

      Naturally Sally would be made to answer the phone. And the way Don greeted her – shivers (that's how my dad sometimes would greet me – the tone of voice).

      Peggy's face in that moment with Julio. I don't think she realized how much she cared for that kid. Like Don tells Ted, you don't realize what it means till it's gone.

      Speaking of which, that was a very interesting partner's meeting; and all about Bert, in that those were the things he talked about 'You never know where loyalty is born', and about the business ….. not necessarily the money to be made from it (am I wrong?). Oh Jim, you slimy snake. And how quickly Joan's hand shot up! Pete's reaction, rather the enthusiasm of the 3 mill, was a bit surprising. Oh Ted, you poor bastard. I don't think even he realized how much he missed his actual work. I hope.

      Roger killed me when he says 'Everybody goes. ….. And you know it'. Desperation mixed with that drive he likes to bury so deep mixed with sadness and fear. And for the first time, to me anyway, he sounds old, in that old man slight whine to the voice that comes with age way. It made me so sad.

      Sally's a lifeguard in that hair? LOL.

      And of course, Bert's ascent to the stars. Did anyone else think the lighting for Robert Morse's sendoff took us back to the earlier seasons? Happier days for him, perhaps?

      And
      Bert's appearance to Don was lovely – I nearly cried, and I think Don
      did too. And the young ladies looked delighted to be dancing with him.
      Of course he would be in his socks XD.

      'Love comes to everyone'. Let's keep up our hope for season 7.1, shall we, BKs?

      • Lady Bug

        Don was tearing up at the end when Bert was closing the door during the goodbye scene.

        • P M

          It made Don look so young. Actually, it may have been Dick crying for Bert. In which case, Don / Dick has a father who just told him he loves him (not to his face, but something’s better that nothing, I suppose).

      • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

        “Don helped Peggy liftoff.”
        My only daughter may be only five, but I think I can still authoritatively say that that was more sitting back and watching your daughter be a person, and hoping against hope that your fatherness had _something_ to do with it.

      • aimeslee

        Betty’s interactions with Sally illustrate the Generation Gap of the 60’s perfectly. It’s necessary. You will survive it. I did, the real thing, even. :-)

        • Susan Beaupre-Kish

          Sally is the age that I was in 1969 so all of her scenes really resonate with me. Especially with Betty (sorry, Mom!). But the poufy hair is so wrong.

          • Teresa

            Yes, the hair was wrong. I guess they were trying to tie her to Betty but you didn’t do the pouf look at that age in 1969.

            • Azaelia Bearson

              It’s basically the prelude to 80’s hair… which I now don’t doubt Sally will be rocking.

            • Eric Stott

              Only if Betty sent the maid with her to the salon with strict instructions.

          • TigerLaverada

            Yes, her hair would have been straight as a board and parted in the middle, or a bob with a shorter stacked back or perhaps extremely short a la Twiggy. Long and straight was the norm for teenage girls in that era. I know, I was one. :) Girls ironed their wavy hair on ironing boards to get it straight.

            • EveEve

              There were still plenty of poufs, flips and helmet heads, but straight hair was taking over, especially with curls at the bottom from those pink foam rubber clip curlers. Just google “1969 yearbook photos” for a hoot.

            • Nancy Aronson

              I remember my older sister ironing it on the ironing board. And the pink frosty lipstick. Ew.

          • EveEve

            Wrong especially since she was heading off to her summer lifeguard duties (which is, itself, improbable, given her young age, and the fact that she goes to boarding school during the school year). But whatever, by the time season 7.2 airs, summer will probably be over. It struck me as odd that the writers didn’t show the Draper kids spending a single weekend with their dad in the city the entire 7.1 season.

            • Glammie

              They only had seven hours of story. It limits what they can do. We got both a Sally and a Bobby storyline, so we know where they are. Don’s becoming a better parent. Betty . . . isn’t. Don needs to step it up with Bobby.

          • Tafadhali

            Her hairstyle definitely stood out to me — I thought she tried something new to impress jock boy, in the same way that she also wore lipstick to the pool. Like this was her idea of a glamorous and grown-up look, and, tellingly, it was kind of a “Betty” hairstyle.

            • http://armchairauthor.wordpress.com/ LesYeuxHiboux

              Sally’s no dummy, and she knows that if there’s one thing her mother is best at, it’s attracting the “alpha male” type.

          • aimeslee

            Haha – see? Generation Gap! I’m a 1956 birth year, so I am close to Sally as well, if she’s around 15-16, I was 13. But, hey, Twiggy didn’t have the pouf but Jean Shrimpton and every Hollywood actress with long hair sure did. Remember rat teasing the top? I hated to have my hair teased. It would break off so easily and was hell to comb out later.

            • Susan Beaupre-Kish

              Nope sorry, got to respond to this one. Jean Shrimpton was at the height of her fame in 1965-66. By 1969 it was all about Twiggy and the hippies and straight hair. Sally is 14 years old here, exactly the age I was at the time. According to Wikipedia, the character of Sally was born in April, 1954. I was born in December, 1954. I can’t imagine that we hicks in Massachusetts were more hip than the girls in New York!

            • aimeslee

              Oh I well remember wrapping my hair with bobbie pins and rolling it with orange juice cans to get that straight look (not very successfully, lots of crimps, lol). I must have been more in the sticks than you, in the Houston Texas area. Shrimpton’s look was still copied, particulary among the Bonnie Bell cosmetics wearers. I do take your point, though, since Sally wasn’t in the sticks. Guess that is why the poofy did not look so weird to me.

          • NeenaJ

            I thought she wanted to make herself look older, to impress the athlete. Therefore, we get Betty Junior. Glad it didn’t last, though.

        • Chris

          I loved that Sally became herself and not the bitter imitation Betty she was being for so long by the end of the episode. Sally always liked the sensitive nerd types. I was so happy she didn’t go after the jock. (And very relieved Betty didn’t either).

          • Azaelia Bearson

            And I think deep down, that’s really who Sally is. Maybe not nerdy, but I remember her having pretty deep thoughts at nine or ten, she was in the Model UN, and she was never that impressed with her boarding school friends – I think that whole thing was her trying to be more like a superficial Betty type, and resenting her mother for it.

            • Chris

              Yes the smoking she probably doesn’t even like and it’s the reason they hair looked so off on her. It’s not Sally’s hair it’s Betty’s. That call from Don made her step back and throw off the facade she put up. It made her question what she wanted to sound like and who she really wanted to be. Sally isn’t Don or Betty, she’s better than both of them.

            • P M

              She doesn’t really look like she does enjoy the smoking at all :(

            • Chris

              All I could think of was Betty telling Sally all those years ago “You don’t kiss boys, boys kiss you”. Clearly Sally Draper is having none of that, she will do the choosing! Quite unlike her unhappy Mom, Sally will be in charge of her life and happiness.

          • aimeslee

            Oh my, Chris. I’m now visualizing what would have happened had they both gone for the same guy. EEEWWWWW! hehehe

          • missthing77

            Does anyone think Sally just went for the nerd brother because she was too shy to go for the jock brother ? Thats what i thought. I didn’t see any desire from her for the nerd brother before the kiss. , the way I saw her desire for the jock brother.

        • Inspector_Gidget

          Sally has always been awesome. Now that I think of it, what better revenge on Don and Betty than to be a good person in spite of her upbringing?

    • Man Dala

      This episode was incredibly satisfying to long-time fans (like myself). There’s nothing I would change, simply perfect.
      Now, with Ginsberg, Megan (supposedly) and Bert (definitely) gone (and probably also Jim, if he turns out to be of no use in the new set-up), I hope the writers will clean up the house a bit and use the final seven instalments of the show to focus on the main characters (including Betty).
      Also with all the money they will get from this deal they can pay Lou off his 2-year contract so that we don’t have to see his ugly cardigans any longer.

      • P M

        Aw, I want Bert to come back as a ghost!

        • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

          Done.

      • Glammie

        I think Jim will be around. He did vote for the deal and it seems to involve five-year contracts. Plus, Harry Hamlin has a pretty funny delivery.

        I think Lou’s toast though.

        • Man Dala

          You’re probably right. And yes, Harry Hamlin has been great this season, and Jim’s gradual take-over of control has been very well written, it was quite imperceptible (the same way they introduced Peggy’s pregnancy in season 1).

          • Jessica Goldstein

            But Pete called it, right? The minute the agency name was changed to “Sterling Cooper and Partners” leaving Draper off the list. The funniest part about Pete’s character for me is that he’s so hysterical and unlikeable, yet when it comes to business is nearly always right.

            • Eric Stott

              That’s the thing- Pete is highly competent and there have been times when he has been the only person in the office who is sober and doing his job. He gets little recognition for this.

      • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

        I guess this is what Matt meant about needing to focus on the main characters in the last season; therefore, goodbye Ginsberg, Megan, Trudy, Bob, Lou.

        • Man Dala

          I think we’ll see Bob again (more so now that The Crazy Ones has been cancelled). As for the rest, I agree, it’s a shame because I love Trudy, but it was clear in her last (brief) appearance that it was the end of the road for her as a character.

          • aimeslee

            I don’t think we’ll see Bob to the extent we saw him last week. Maybe a tie-up scene or two with Buick/Chevy. Not unless they BEGIN next time with those riots and only maybe, cuz I was thinking they were before the moon shot.

            • Man Dala

              You’re probably right, we’re not getting much character development from actors billed as regulars in the cast (Ken, Stan, Henry), less so from actors in recurring roles.

            • aimeslee

              Well, if Matt tells us the focus is on the main characters, they’ll only use the supporting cast when it furthers the plot. These next 7 are gonna fly by, I’m tellingya. I’m sure we’ll all be impressed at how they handle them. :-) I was glad to read someone else found this finale episode to be incredibly satisfying. I really liked how it didn’t end up like the average cliff-hanger in chaos and turmoil. Instead, we got a real roller coaster ride and a Seinfeldian loose-ends tie-up, that still managed to leave us craving more. What could be better?

          • MartyBellerMask

            Yeah, but they are too far along in filming for that to make a difference. Same with Alison Brie & Community.
            Meanwhile, Ben Feldman has a new fall series so he’s probably busy with that.

          • Glammie

            Not necessarily with Trudy. Vincent Kartheiser said that since Alison Brie’s in demand that the writers always tie up her character by season end. They love working with her though, so if Brie’s available–and she probably is with Community’s cancellation, it’s quite possible we’ll see Trudy. Pete seems to be back in New York and his personal life is unsettled, so I think we’ll see Trudy.

            • Man Dala

              Good point.

        • Eric Stott

          I’d like to see Freddy Rumsen back in the office.

          • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

            I love Freddy.

      • Gatto Nero

        The one satisfying line from Cutler was his dismissive, “We don’t owe you anything! You’re hired help!” to Lou.

        • Anne

          I liked “It’s a lot of money!” Perfect way to end that scene.

      • Teresa

        Question….at the end when Don said he had to get back to work, he leaned against a desk ( after the song with Bert). Wasn’t he standing in front of his old office?

        • decormaven

          Yes.

          • Chris

            And Bert danced into Ted’s office which was Roger’s old one. I don’t know if that’s significant or just convenient for the choreography. I hope Lou is out on his behind. I loved seeing Cutler and him turn on each other, it was inevitable.

        • PastryGoddess

          Yes,

          I think he was on his way to fire Lou. But then, wouldn’t Lou have been upstairs

      • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

        McCann listed Cutler as part of the essential Chevy team that must be part of the deal.

        • Man Dala

          You’re right, I’ve just re-watched to confirm. However Roger listed Jim as “non-essential” (but maybe he was just bluffing).

    • katiessh

      I am a massive joan advocate, but I am so sick of her ‘hatred for don’ storyline. It barely makes sense anymore, and now that she’s basically the only hold-out (save jim) it just comes off as even pettier.

      • http://tootcomic.com/ Dick In A Bog

        Welll it doesn’t really matter anymore all said, and frankly if ted stops moping about I think cutler wont be such a thorn to don anymore either.

        My main problem with the plot is that it’s not been examined any deeper than her going “FUCKING DON!” in tonights ep. I think it’s a legitimate beef but it’s just been so surface level this season. Hopefully the buyout means that things between her and don wont be so contentious.

        As interesting as it was I’m glad the “force don out” angle has come to a head and it probably finished.

      • Frankie Carter

        I agree. I don’t mind the fact that she’s angry with Don– in fact, conflict makes for good TV– but there seems to be no viable motivation. I speculated that perhaps something happened between them that we didn’t see and was to be revealed in a Big Moment, but Don seems as bewildered as we are. It’s pretty out of character for Joan, I think. She’s passive-aggressive, but she usually isn’t irrational.

        Then again, Don did mention that Joan is the “only one in the agency he shouldn’t cross.” I don’t mind that she hates him. I just need a reason that doesn’t make the character look like a complete asshat, when there’s been no indication of that tendency in past seasons. It seems to be a personal vendetta, not just a professional one.

        • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

          Don made her screwing the Jaguar douche meaningless; Don cost her a million dollars; Don drunkfucked one secretary out of the office and Joan had to clean that up; Don’s never championed Joan and, worst of all, never made a pass at her until the one night in the bar after much drinking. And what’s there to like about Don?

          • MarinaCat

            I thought that afternoon in the bar with Joan after the Jaguar dealership was quite the opposite, that Don was relating to Joan as a friend, similar in the manner in which he relates to Peggy. I don’t recall Don making any romantic or sexual advances toward Joan. Unless you’re referring to another scene and I’m not remembering it.

            • Gatto Nero

              Don never made a pass at Joan. She even jokingly complained about it. Don replied that she had always scared the shit out of him.

        • Kathy G

          I’ve always thought that Joan is a mercenary. She is going to go where she thinks her bread is buttered and will try to maintain an environment that will benefit her and neutralize any perceived threats. Her bosspants type moves have not always benefited her and I think is her downfall. For example– firing Jane totally backfired as Jane then appealed to Roger with the vulnerability Joan was not willing to show him and he married her (notice the similarity in the names). I think she is kind of addicted to that Queen B bitchy power behavior, it’s about time she outgrows it.

          • TigerLaverada

            That’s how I’ve seen her, too — mercenary and looking out for #1. I don’t mean that judgmentally, BTW. She was born too soon, and being taken seriously is difficult for good looking women today, much less 45 years ago.However, I don’t think she’s going to grow beyond her Queen B stance, rather I think she’s moving into it permanently. Her original notion of how her life would be successful fell apart, and upon launching a career (rather than just having a job) she’s been disappointed and often stymied/dismissed by the males she works with, so she’s grown a tougher hide and an outlook to match. Having a child made it all about security and money for her, and I think she’s always been written as a fairly material girl anyway.

            • Glammie

              I don’t think she’s hopeless–given her rejection of Bob Benson’s offer and *why* she rejected it. To go all MadStyle, it’s Betty, not Joan who’s looking more and more frozen (hairsprayed) in time. She’s also about to be rich–so she never has to worry about financial security. So, now what?

            • Alloy Jane

              Joan doesn’t have to worry about financial security, but the money is just part of what drives her. Joan enjoys money, status, and power, and those things only beget themselves. She’s not going to give up status and power to sit on a fat wad of cash. Not when she can make that wad even bigger while being hot shit.

      • Glammie

        It only kind of makes sense for me if it’s about Joan’s overriding concern for financial security and then some. She was the daughter of a single mom and she seemed quite willing to marry for status and station. Also, she’s always been willing to fire people for petty reasons. (Scarlett and the lunch lie)

        I thought she was having second thoughts about her stance when Roger confronted her about how Cutler would get rid of everyone and his vision for the agency, though mostly she seemed excited about the money when she voted.

        But, all in all, it’s not well done. Maybe they’ll write some sort of Don/Joan resolution next year. It’s needed.

        • katiessh

          But the thing is, it doesn’t seem like she’s been particularly strapped for cash, so her actions just seem way over the top.

          • Glammie

            Yeah, I agree. It only sort of works for a number of reasons. Why is she still so mad at Don when he’s been behaving himself? And he created the agency worth so much in the first place AND she didn’t even inform him about going public in the first place? (How would you even do that without letting a major shareholder know?) It’s clumsy plot-maneuvering.

            • decormaven

              Maybe it’s a transference of anger from her failed relationship with Greg, the complexities of raising her child with her mom (and Roger lurking in the background), and Don’s blowing of the IPO. I don’t particularly care for that explanation, because I have seen Joan’s character as stronger than that, but maybe she’s just parking all her anger on Don. Perhaps that nice cool chunk of cash with the M/E deal will lessen the flame.

            • Glammie

              It’s frustrating because we’re not getting a clear picture on it. Though SC&P has always been more the means to an end for Joan that the end itself as it is for Don and Roger. The one exception being when Joan came back to work post-pregnancy–she missed working to the point of tears.

              Oh well, lots to work on there next half-season.

            • decormaven

              I agree- there will be some sort of resolution or a better understanding of the underlying factors.

            • Scarlet39

              Maybe because deep down, it bothers Joan that Don was the only one who actually tod her that she didn’t have to sleep with the Jaguar guy. Seeing him every day is holding a mirror up to her face about the ugly reality of what she did to get where she is.

            • ybbed

              I think that is a big part of it. It is so easy to hate the person that shows to us to ourselves, all the ugly truths about ourselves that we try to hide from others. What sets Don apart from all the others at the firm? The fact that he actively tried to prevent the jaguar exchange, so in her eyes, she has disappointed him the most.

            • Glammie

              That’s a possibility–Don, in a sense, told her to value her personal integrity more than she did.

              Yeah, there really needs to be some Joan episodes next season to work this all out.

            • Alloy Jane

              I would really like to see Joan be honest with Don over her beef with him. I doubt they’ll show it, but I still think seeing this would be helpful for the viewership since some folks feel this is totally out of character and some folks feel like this is perfectly in character.

          • teensmom99

            People love the idea of lots of money evening they’re not cash strapped. & I think there are 2 sides to Joan:the one who would sell herself for money or a fur coat & the one who hasn’t given up on love.

            • katiessh

              It’s not that it’s weird she wants more money, it’s weird how much she hates don. She acts like he robbed her of massive amounts of money or something, which even if he did, as TLo pointed out, wasn’t his fault.

            • Kathy G

              In the end they were all willing to sell themselves for the big paycheck except the creatives — Don to keep his job and the only relationships that have seemed to last for him. I think Ted was the only one who didn’t care about the money. Joanie is fooling herself if she thinks she is any different from the girl that that jumped in bed for Jaguar. She might be a pragmatist — but she has no loyalty. Harry cracks me up because it was his greed that kept him from the deal (not wanting to give his wife a big settlement).

            • not_Bridget

              Why should Joan care about the folks who keep reminding her of “that girl that jumped in bed for Jaguar”? She looked a bit sick when Roger described Cutler’s vision–as Cutler plotted over Bert’s cooling corpse.

              If Joan had ever been 100% mercenary, she wouldn’t have stuck with Roger so long. She could have convinced some rich creep to marry her–but she loved Roger. (She also lived life in the city, for all her talk about a nice house in the ‘burbs.) Remember the night of Roger’s heart attack, when Bert counseled her to stop wasting her youth? I bet she did…

              With her financial situation more secure, perhaps Joan can figure out what she really WANTS….

            • teensmom99

              I was responding to your comment about how she’s not cash strapped. But I also think we saw last night that greed is a big motivator for her (as much as for Pete & Jim Cutler).

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

              “It’s not that it’s weird she wants more money, it’s weird how much she hates don.”

              That pretty much nails it. This would all be much more believable if Joan was all, “Sorry, Don. I’ve gotta watch out for myself now,” instead of the sneering and semi-nasty comments which feel like they’re coming out of left field.

            • Glammie

              Maybe it’s her way of emotionally justifying her bad behavior? It’s easier to mistreat someone if you convince yourself that he deserves it.

              But it comes off as incredibly short-sighted because ads are the agency’s product and no amount of numbers crunching is going to replace the product. It’s just strange for Joan (and Jim, frankly) not to get the value of that “horseflesh.”

        • avidreader

          I don’t know… I kinda thought Joan’s reaction to Don wasn’t that out of character. This season we have been shown how angry she was to always be dealing with everyone’s emotional and unprofessional behavior. When she moved Dawn, Shirley, Meredith, she just seemed done with dealing with things. And when she immediately tried to fire Scarlett last season? She just wants everyone to do their job and stop being a diva. I think she is tired of the men in her life acting like ass hats and being rewarded for it. I like the fact that we have a character most of us like going ” I am so sick of your bs ” to Don.

      • DeeLio

        When Don was on “leave” she received her own account and received an upgraded office. In her mind, maybe she’s correlating Don’s absence with her ascendence in the company. Also, she may fear Don’s future behavior could tank the company (i.e. she’s waiting for the next Hershey style meltdown). She saw herself thrive without him there. Her fear may be that with him there, he’ll bring her and/or the company down.

      • poodle66

        Avon was the account I was waiting for! I wanted them to show Joan busy with the creative approval of work, with Peggy being on it, of course. They wasted time with Ginsberg (a dull character for me debuting in the Season of Doom – 5) and the computer stuff. Why oh why weren’t we shown the HUGE account of Avon? That would have been so much fun, with all their great skin care products, classics and Americana kitsch. I still shop with them and was waiting to see that account featured for Joan, to make up for you know, not mentioning that she got it last season!

        • katiessh

          Yeah, I also wish this season had focused more on her succeeding in business instead of this odd vendetta she has.

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnaUJVQyqKM&index=5&list=PLHpVET0uoh5bNAuk5SZckKWq5JiERnwHY 8 year old gospel saxophonist

      beautiful

    • Baba Yaga

      Such a beautiful, strangely optimistic episode for Mad Men. Love that Bert’s final sendoff was in an episode about the moon landing — remember what he said of Ida Blankenship all those years ago? “She was an astronaut.” Full circle.

      Everyone was amazing, but John Slattery was just incredible. ‘None of your beeswax!’ And the line about Napoleon. How he can go between sad and hilarious is just remarkable. I really hope Slattery, Moss or Hamm get some love from the Emmys this year. They were all on fire.

      • http://inanimateblog.com/ NoNeinNyet

        Well, Hamm won’t win. That award is most likely McConnaugey’s and if not him then Cranston. But I definitely would cheer if Moss or Slaterly won. It’s absurd that Mad Men has won no acting Emmys.

        • Janice Bartels

          Moss might be in good position, and she was great this year. There are so many strong male performances this year that are deserving. I’d throw James Spader in your mix too. Blacklist is a bit silly, but he owns every single scene of it.

          • aimeslee

            Hamlin has been better at Machiavelli than Machiavelli! He def. deserves a nod at least. He is so creepy and evil.

            • Jessica Goldstein

              I feel completely torn about Hamlin. Part of me wants Cutler to go because I can’t stand the character. The other part of me is hoping he’ll stay because Hamlin is so good in the role.

        • MilaXX

          The Wire never got any either.

          • http://inanimateblog.com/ NoNeinNyet

            The Wire was completely snubbed and only got two nominations ever and no wins which is even more absurd than Mad Men not winning any for acting. At least the Emmy voters actually acknowledge the existance of Mad Men.

          • EveEve

            Or Shameless, and Hamlin had a role in that too. Not to mention William H. Macy, Joan Cusack an Emmy Rossum. I’ve never thought that too much of the acting in Mad Men was up to Emmy levels.

            • MilaXX

              I think there have been episodes that were Emmy worthy. The Suitcase being one of them.

        • Alanna

          I would absolutely love for everyone on this show to win an acting Emmy, and they all certainly deserve it — especially Moss and Kartheiser. Unfortunately, theirs aren’t the types of roles that win. They don’t have big showy speeches or wild mood swings or heart-stopping dramatic moments, like Danes or Cranston (and I say this as someone who loves Homeland and Breaking Bad.) They just consistently do amazing work each week, in roles that are quieter and less attention-getting from Emmy voters. And that’s one of the great sadnesses of how the Emmys work.

      • Rottenwood

        I suspect Mad Men will have a Farewell Emmy Tour next year, where they finally give Hamm and Moss their trophies. They’re probably screwed this time, though.

        In all honesty, Tatiana Maslany deserves it for her work on Orphan Black, but since it’s a modestly-rated show on a low-tier network in the dreaded science fiction genre, she has no prayer at all. They’ll give hers to Danes or Wright because they used to make Hollywood films, and are therefore a superior race of people.

        • Janice Bartels

          Tatiana Maslany is amazing, but that show is science fiction and the genre gets overlooked for acting awards.

        • MilaXX

          Some shows just get overlooked. I *still* have a grudge at the way The Wire was ignored throughout it’s entire run. I’m not holding my breath for Mad Men or Orphan Black.

    • Glammie

      I grew up watching “How to Succeed in Business”–it used to be shown a lot on TV–and it was so touching to see Robert Morse have a musical send-off. I remember reading that he loved coming to work. I sometimes wonder if MM kept him on longer than originally intended because Weiner liked having Morse.

      And it was wildly out of character for the show, but just an imagined moment, I suppose.

      Some fine acting by Elisabeth Moss here–she does know her own son would be Julio’s age. It was just a bit heartbreaking to see.

      • FibonacciSequins

        Weiner definitely liked having Morse around. He told him to keep coming to the set even after his character died! From Morse’s Q&A published on AMC’s site last night:

        “Q: What’s it been like keeping Cooper’s death a secret?

        A: For the past seven years, I haven’t been able to come home to my family and say anything about the show, because I’m not allowed and because they do not want to know! They want to see it every Sunday night. So think of this, my wife is going to be watching it this coming Sunday night with no idea and she’s going to see me pass away and she’s going to wonder what I’ve been doing for the last few weeks since we filmed it! Actually, I’ve been going down to visit the set because Matt said, “Please do. You’re going to get a script every week. You’re going to keep coming to the readings.””

        • Lady Bug

          Aww that’s really sweet

        • Glammie

          Ah, that’s sweet. Hope there’s another Bert ghost appearance then. He can tapdance with Ken Cosgrove while Joan plays the accordion.

    • Hilda Elizabeth Westervelt

      So thrilled to find this post up already! As always, you have outdone yourselves. I felt the same way about all of it. Still disappointed in Joan. I hope something snaps her out of this. She has become loyal to Jim since he gave her a new office. I suspect that that seemingly impromptu action of promoting Joan wasn’t as random as it seemed at the time. Taken aback, but so thrilled by the tribute to the passing of Bert Cooper. Gave it the sort of acid fueled send off that reminds us that this is 1969, man.

      • P M

        I think part of Joan may feel that Cutler was the first one to give her some recognition that she was after all a partner, in a large, visible way. He was the one who literally invited her upstairs (okay, Don also had an office on the bottom floor, but anyway).

        • Hilda Elizabeth Westervelt

          Exactly, Joan is being glamored by Jim Cutler. I suspect (hope) that she has an Epiphany next season and comes back into the fold.

          • breathlss79

            I think we’re glossing over the fact that the other partners did not treat her well, like an equal, like someone as smart as she is. Jim’s maneuver may not have come out of the goodness of his heart, but it has affected Joan’s life at the agency in a very positive way. I see why she’s doing his bidding.

            • Gatto Nero

              Cutler bought Joan’s loyalty with her full-time account management post and a nice new office.
              But now that she’s in the money, she may reassess her allegiances.

          • Glammie

            I think she was starting to have one when Roger pointed out that Cutler would pretty much take apart the agency. She didn’t look happy about it. And she didn’t vote with Jim.

          • Gatto Nero

            I think her epiphany came when she realized how much money she stands to gain from the deal with McCann. All better now.

            • EarthaKitten

              Joan’s body language as she walked to the all-employee gathering conveyed her reaction to all that money as much as her ridiculous outburst when she heard how much her share would net. While I do not have a problem with how Joan’s character has played out (i believe there has been a consistent storyline of Joan being petty and not really partner material), i am disappointed that her character was taken in that direction as her behavior makes women as a whole look silly.

      • Annie Berkowitz

        Shut your fücking mouth you slimy piece of shït, who asked you whôre ??? WHO FÜCKING ASKED YOU? YOU FÙCKING DOG! YOU ABSOLUTE FÜCKING PIECE OF SHÍT CÜNTING SLÜT! FÜCK YOUR CHILD WHÒRE, FÙCK YOUR FÙCKING CHILD IT CAN BURN IN FÙCKING HELL!!!!!!!

        • Eric Stott

          Enjoy your momentary rant – Tom and Lorenzo are going to block you.

          • Annie Berkowitz

            Those fàgs did last week and the week before as well.

          • Mme. Moriarty

            WTF is up with that comment?

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

          We have to admit, we’re thrilled this season has come to an end. This show attracts some major nutjobs to our site and they’re all exhausting.

    • P M

      Can I just say how much I miss Lane Pryce? It would have been immeasurably sweet to see him vs Jim Cutler in a boxing duel.

    • Glammie

      I’m not used to being so early in the comments, but a few more thoughts:

      Ted cutting the engine was deeply and weirdly hilarious. He’s a kid, looking for a grown-up to lead him around. He may look like Don’s equal, but that’s actually not the relationship he wants.

      I thought Mona had remarried, but no sign of it. Instead, it looks like Roger, Mona, SIL and grandson are pretty comfortable hanging out together. As a Roger/Mona shipper, this is promising.

      This seemed very much an episode about growing up–or being a grown up. Roger takes responsibility for his agency, for Don, for his grandchild. Don continues some kind of fatherly connection with his kids. He takes a sort of fatherly role with Megan–taking care of her even though the marriage is over and he gives up the pitch to make sure Peggy will be all right on her own, no matter what happens to him. (And, unlike Ted, he gave Peggy what she needed, not what she wanted.) Hell, he even took a fatherly role with Meredith (funniest MM kiss ever.)

      And, poor Pegs–she really has grown up now. She’s managing her own building, taking charge of pitches and facing her missing motherhood.

      And Bert Cooper, of course, was the father of the agency.

      • P M

        I wonder if it’s also about fathers touching off change in / handing off the future to their progeny. Gosh, does that mean Roger will finally grow up?

        btw, I wish lo would interview the actress who plays Meredith.

      • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

        Ted may be the worst-written character on the show.

        • Glammie

          Well, he makes sense as a character to me, but we see so little of him that he’s not filled out adequately. But Megan’s mostly gone right? Weiner and Co. can stop spending time on her, right? We can see more of the other characters.

          But who’s going to be left in California? Anyone?

          • not_Bridget

            Send Harry back to California….

          • MartyBellerMask

            Job one for McCann: close LA office. OR, send McCann folks there.

            • Lady Bug

              I agree. I want both Pete & Ted back at the New York office, post-haste!

            • Glammie

              I think both of them are going back. Ted, definitely, but I think Pete said last episode that who he was in New York is who he really was and he was sticking around NY for a while. Maybe Ken Cosgrove will go and sell a screenplay to Hollywood.

            • Lady Bug

              Wasn’t Paul Kinsey during his Hare Krishna days, also trying to get involved in screen writing? Maybe he’ll make another cameo.

          • Chris

            I just read your comment and realized you said pretty much everything I was saying above.

            • Glammie

              There are so many comments that conversations happen more than once, completely independently of one another. I’m on the West Coast, so I’m usually in the tail of the comments, not realizing what’s been said already.

        • Annie Berkowitz

          And your child is the ugliest child ever born.

        • EarthaKitten

          I am in total agreement with you.

        • Chris

          I think he is by far the most undefined character at this point. I was trying to figure out why he was depressed. Is he still in love with Peggy and pining for what they could have had? Is he depressed because he slept with her and considered leaving his family and he is having a crisis because he isn’t the man he thought he was? He is appalled by his behavior? Is he having a delayed reaction to Gleason’s death, the loss of (presumably) his best friend and the way the merger turned out? Is it Don’s speech to him about his relationship with Peggy? Is it that he idolized Don in a lot of ways they found out his rival and crush had feet of clay? Is he depressed at feeling cut off in CA? Are things worse at home with Nan and the kids? We just have no way of knowing because we have had no insight into him at all this season. I wish they could have allotted some of Megan’s time to giving us a hint about what is going on with him beyond him obviously being depressed.

      • http://www.ellenciompi.com/ NurseEllen

        I love this insight. Excellent!

      • T C

        Agree with all except I see Peggy more as accepting that she will have to create her own family and thus is taking on ownership of the building.

    • Tara Gray Burkholder

      Just an FYI, Neil Armstrong was anything but the square-jawed “Right Stuff” astronaut archetype. He was an engineer first & foremost. Much more like Sally’s nerd of the same name than the buff young football player.

      • Annie Berkowitz

        What’s the difference between Michael Jackson and Neil Armstrong?
        Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon; Michael Jackson Molested children.

      • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

        People make their heroes into whomever they want them to be — the type they admire most, believe ought to succeed in the world.

        ETA: Also everyone should google-image “Neil Armstrong 1969 pizza” to see a wonderful picture of him in a chef’s hat and apron, holding two trays of homemade pizza. What a man to swoon over.

    • CMSmith1848

      Last week, to no one in particular, I said, “Oh my, Bert is going to die.” I was reading through blogs and meanderings about Rodger’s bad news. Having his daughter die was honestly too obvious, and Bert has looked TERRIBLE this season. And I heartily agree; as off tone as it was for the series, it did the character justice and I love a good song!

      • Kit Jackson 1967

        Before this season started, I just knew that Roger or Bert was going to die.

      • Kathryn Sanderson

        When Roger got that phone call and said, “Oh, shit!” I thought that “Marigold” had died or OD’d or something. Boy, was I wrong!

    • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

      Bert Cooper – I enjoyed his send-off when I was watching it, but now, not. What an interesting character he was on the show. Yet, when he left, it was two seasons past due, and we wound up still not knowing who he was and what the hell he did in that goddamed office. I feel bad for Robert Morse, and for the show too.

      • Annie Berkowitz

        That’s a really ugly child in your picture!

        • P M

          wtf

          • Annie Berkowitz

            Sorry but it is! Look at it. It’s so horrible! It should have been aborted.

            • Glammie

              And yet you claim to have just lost a child. Sounds like troll time to me.

            • Annie Berkowitz

              You bïtch raising that. How dare you.

            • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

              I don’t know where you think you are, but these kinds of comments are entirely unwelcome here and will – I’m sure – soon be deleted.

            • Annie Berkowitz

              FÜCK you whöre and FÜCK all of you for abusing a grieving mother you heartless cünts

            • Eric Stott

              I doubt that you are a mother. I also doubt you are a woman.

            • Annie Berkowitz

              Not behaving as I should? Sèxist pig.

            • Glammie

              Sure, but it’s the only information you posted about yourself. Oh well, this will all be deleted. It’s a moderated board.

              Try to come up with a better persona next time.

            • P M

              I didn’t realize we got trolls here too :S

            • Glammie

              That’s the really amazing (well, one of the amazing things) about TLo. They really moderate deep in here. It’s really remarkable how hard they work.

            • Annie Berkowitz

              Hard work? Yeah that’s real hard. Cünt.

            • Annie Berkowitz

              Glammie….. And you come here to comment on tv shows you watch while stuffing your morbidly obese sack of shït of a body with ice cream on the couch? You aren’t glamorous slüt. You are a fat pig.

            • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

              It is best if we do not provide them any food.

              The down vote button is probably the best option as well as flagging the comments. :)

            • Glammie

              Forgot about the flagging. Thanks.

            • Annie Berkowitz

              If only you could forget about ice cream and chocolate

            • Annie Berkowitz

              Up-vote all of my comments

            • Daphnemcl

              Wow she is horrible. Not right in the head. Sad though.

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

            Ignore her.

      • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

        I do wish we’d seen more of Bert over the past 2 seasons. In particular these past few weeks it might have been worth spending more time on him and less on say the Stephenie storyline, or less Megan time. If I had been in the writing room and I knew a character was going to be killed off soon, I would have suggested spending a bit more time with that character, even if other characters lost out as a result. And god knows we could have done with less Megan.

    • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

      If 7.0 ends seemingly upbeat, I don’t think that that bodes well for the ending of 7.2

      • Annie Berkowitz

        Your child is so horrible, why did you not abort it? It’s not too late

      • Annie Berkowitz

        Your child is a piece of shït.

      • Annie Berkowitz

        That baby is your picture is so Fùcking horrible.

      • Annie Berkowitz

        That baby needs a steel cap boot stomp to the head.

      • Annie Berkowitz

        I’ve had better looking shïts than that baby.

      • Glammie

        Well, it wasn’t that upbeat. Bert died and the agency’s being sold to McCann. Don’s marriage is even more finished than it was at the beginning of the season. Peggy’s still lonely.

        Everybody will be richer, but they’re now going to be corporate cogs and tied into five-year contracts. There was the moon landing, so that was up, but that didn’t turn out to be a harbinger for the space age after all.

        • Annie Berkowitz

          You got a problem with me
          Slüt? Come fûcking try something that will be the last mistake you ever make in your miserable life. You keep your cûnt opinions to yourself whöre. I’ll put you in your fücking grave.

        • Anne

          But it still felt more upbeat to me than some episodes where nobody died and the agency was at its full powers.

          • Kathryn Sanderson

            I think it felt upbeat because of the totally unexpected musical number at the end. I mean, whoa!

        • Inspector_Gidget

          Yeah I didn’t take it as upbeat at all. If anything it exposed how shallow and crass all the partners have become. All of these supposedly epic rivalries dissolved by throwing enough money at the problem.No one is worried any longer about career fulfillment, oneupmanship, losing clients or prestige… because millions of dollars! And here’s Burt telling Don that the best things in life are free.

          • Chris

            Well only Joan, Pete and Cutler were about the money. Roger is a changed man and so is Don. They were doing it for the love of each other and the people who work there. Don is in love with creative again. Ted didn’t care about the money he only went along after Don convinced him he needed the work. For Don it’s all about career fulfillment and for Roger it’s stepping up to be the leader Bert said he wasn’t. Bert was a reminder to Don that the best things in life are free but Don had been realizing that for a while. His love for Peggy, Sally and his work are driving him now. He’s even trying to help Ted and he broke with Megan kindly when that’s what she wanted. The accounts people all wanted money and the creatives are getting a fresh chance. That seems hopeful to me.

            • Inspector_Gidget

              I hope you’re right. I’m not so sure Don is in love with creative again. He was basically backed into a corner and faced with losing his job and his wife– pretty much his life– all at once. So he agreed to sell to the very company they formed the agency to avoid in the first place. And he passed the big account to Peggy. who is now the hero of the day. It seems to me more like he’s looking to comfortably ride out his five years at McCann and then leave with his stake in the company intact, rather than allow himself to get canned.

    • Annie Berkowitz

      ‘The sound of one man laughing’s baby is an ugly piece of shït?’ Press ^

      • rei

        Stop it.

        • Annie Berkowitz

          Only If an agreement is reached over the late abortion of that baby.

        • Annie Berkowitz

          FÜCK are you? Asian? Shut your goök mouth.

        • Glammie

          Flag and down vote. It won’t be here long.

          • Eric Stott

            Might even get this troll banned from Disqus

            • Annie Berkowitz

              Doesn’t work. I access through Tor and am banned weekly. In five minutes I live again

            • http://www.pinterest.com/linlin Linlin

              Wow, you really don’t have anything else going on in your life, right? It must be so hard to know that other people have children, friends and family that love them because everybody hates you because your an asshole and not even a bright one. I hope they don’t block you because taking the only joy away from such a sad person would be a shame. The thing is, your comments are so over the top crazy and obvious trolling that nobody takes you seriously anyway. Try being a bit more subtle if you want to actually hurt people’s feelings instead of them just being torn if they should laugh about you or pity you.

            • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

              Everyone reading this please flag *each and every* offensive comment from this troll.

    • Annie Berkowitz

      ANNIE FÙCKING BERKOWITZ

    • Annie Berkowitz

      I bullied a fat mildly retarded girl at school so badly over the course of two years, I made her life a living hell, I taunted her daily and subjected her to relentless ridicule and also physical assaults on a daily basis, the last day of school in the 91 and I went to the girls toilets where I found the fat mental slob had hung herself and was struggling on a rope her head was turning purple but she was alive, I watched her for a minute and laughed out loud then I said “now it’s time to die fat FÜCK” and I hung all my weight on her legs and her neck broke. I raised the alarm and faked sorrow, I received an award in front of the school for raising the alarm. Three days later at her funeral me and my friends went drunk and abused the family and laughed out loud. I have since vandalised the grave on a regular basis with ‘FAT CÜNT DIE’ spray painted on her headstone. The reason I’m sharing this story is to illustrate just how much contempt I have for whöres like Glammie

    • Annie Berkowitz

      There was an old guy in my neighbourhood whom allegedly molested two boys, the town formed a posse went round to his at night and dragged him outside, he was doused in gasoline and set on fire as we all watched and cheered. No one was charged as local law enforcement called it ‘justified’. NOW MJ FAN TELL ME WHY ITS DIFFERENT FOR MJ? HE MOLESTED HUNDREDS OF BOYS AND HE IS HAILED A HERO BY YOU PIECES OF SHÎT! The old man in my neighbourhood fondled the boys genitals while he màsturbated, Michael had full sèx with all the boys this is a grave injustice I believe we should dig up Jackos corpse and parade it through the streets in a protest against child molestation because MJ is the poster child of child molestation and rape. On behalf of all of the victims of child mólestation and ràpe worldwide I condemn Michael JACKSON as a worthless piece of shït, may he burn in hèll for all of eternity and may he be fûcked in the àss by satan repeatedly just like he did to boys his entire adult life.

    • Annie Berkowitz

      This is my room. This is my fücking room.

    • Annie Berkowitz

      Jackson admitted on his death bed to nígger doctor Conrad Murray that he did infact rape those boys and he enjoyed it. He then asked The nïgger doctor to màsturbate him as he revelled in the memory

    • Annie Berkowitz

      Question: “Did Michael Jackson fondle/suck/molest/rape children?”
      Definitive Answer: “Yes he did.”
      Case closed

    • Big Bear

      When Bert said ‘Bravo’ I imagined he was actually applauding the phrase, not the event. He had finally heard a slogan that was so perfect he could die. And so he did.

      • Glammie

        I had the same thought–not about being ready to die, but about appreciating how good the slogan was.

        I’d like to think Bert is dancing somewhere in the afterlife with Ida Blankenship, Queen of Perversions.

        • P M

          They’re dancing the Charlston in Space!

        • Lady Bug

          Yup, Bert Cooper is now reunited with his Astronaut. :)

      • Mismarker

        Yes, he was applauding the turn of phrase! What a great one it is!

      • Kathryn Sanderson

        Except…Armstrong said it wrong, or the radio transmission garbled it. It was supposed to be, “That’s one small step for A man, one giant leap for mankind,” but the A got left out somehow. Still a great slogan.

        • sarijoul

          read somewhere in recent years that analysis of the recording corroborated armstrong’s version of the story (the radio transmission cut out during the “A”)

          • Kathryn Sanderson

            I think I read that, too. Did he make up that line himself, or did William Safire write it for him? (Safire was Nixon’s press secretary at the time. He wrote the inscription for the plaque that Armstrong and Aldrin left on the moon, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he scripted something for Armstrong to say. But I don’t want to take credit away from Armstrong if he deserves it.)

    • KngFish131

      I certainly agree with you about Joan….the writing doesn’t ring true for her here because it underestimates her intelligence. (I think that’s true now for Pete as well) Perhaps “next season” Joan will be ‘won over’ in a way not unlike Peggy by Don? I hope so!

      • Gatto Nero

        I think the money from the buyout will appease her.

      • E M

        Remember the scene where Joan was skewering Peggy in the elevator after firing the guy (forget his name) who did the dirty cartoon and was degrading Joan around the office, and then said “have a nice weekend” as if nothing else had been said? Joan and turn it on and off on a dime. She always has. Now that Don is key to her getting nearly $10M in today’s money, she’ll be all ooze and charm again.

        • KngFish131

          I thought Joan was angry at Peggy for being as insensitive as the men in the office about that cartoon….as if Joan had no way to deal with the problem and needed Peggy to solve it for her.

        • MartyBellerMask

          Joey Baird.

    • fnarf

      What was most fun about Bert’s little song’n’dance at the end was how it called back to the very beginning of Robert Morse’s career, singing and dancing his way through “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, one of the main visual and thematic (but not tonal) inspirations for “Mad Men” in the first place. Thanks, Bert. Thanks, Robert.

    • Annie Berkowitz

      Tom and Lorenzo emailed me and fully support all my comments. They agree about the sound of one man laughing’s baby being an ugly piece of shït.

      • Laylalola

        What the fuck ?

        • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

          It is called a troll, ignore it. :)

      • http://www.pinterest.com/linlin Linlin

        Thank you so much for giving me a big laugh. Continue with your comments, they are so ridiculous that instead of offensive they just end up being wildly entertaining.

    • Frank_821

      Agree with everyone about Joan. The execution is clumsy. If this was a proper full season they may have developed it better. Then agin maybe not

      The stupid part is she’s mad at Don but she’s not completely blinded by it. She did not have a hand in Cutler’s manuever but she didn’t stop it. I took her voting for Don’s ouster merely a show of spite towards Don. She knew he wouldn’t kicked out but she wanted to send a clear message she was pissed at him. It was clear she thought Cutler was foolish and shortsighted in his action. I get the feeling she may be pissed at Don but she will tolerate him as long as he doesn’t have another Hershey meltdown

      I loved bert’s final conversation with Roger. Some major tough love on his part. But a nice reminder Bert was a shrewd and wily guy to the end. He might be an eccentric oddball on the surface, but he understands the landscape better than anyone

      So bizarre seeing Kellie Martin being casted. Worse she’s old enough for the part

    • aimeslee

      This half-season finale was so satisfying to me. I’m not even sad that Bert died, as it meant we got that fantastic final scene. He had to go sometime, why not in service to his company? LOL But now, my biggest problem is keeping my mind from forming a thousand possible plotlines or outcomes for those 7 little bitty way-too-quick episodes that remain. I was so proud of Roger. All season long he’s been orgied out or sotted out. Finally, he showed us some brilliance, and when it counted for something. Making all the partners millionaires AND saving Don’s arss AND neutralizing Cutler AND keeping Cutler from destroying the firm’s human talent pool.A little thing I noticed: Roger was with Mona when he got the call about Bert. I would not be at all surprised if Roger goes back to Mona, in some meaningful form. A question I had was, was there any message of import in Bert’s song lyrics for Don? He’ll find love again…and the best things in life are free…so, is free love in Don’s future? Or, perhaps a woman with more money than he has? And I’m still SO STUCK on Don’s character being based on Draper Daniels that I constantly ask, who is the equivalent of the office manager partner Daniels eventually lives happily ever after with? Is it Joan? Peggy? I’ve always thought Peggy and Ted would totally get back together if like his wife suddenly passed or divorced him. Returning to NYC could give Ted the courage to ask for a divorce. And I held out for the longest on Joan and Roger to reunite in a committed way, but that’s looking really far-fetched now. You know, they could realistically kill off either one of those men, or both even, what with Roger’s bad heart and Ted’s depression. I’M SO CONFUSED NOW. LOL

      • MilaXX

        I think Don did find love again. When he talked to Ted, he spoke about just being creative and not worrying about the business end. I think that’s Don one long standing love.

        • aimeslee

          Never thought of that – good catch! xoxo

    • MaryGrace Stefanchik

      Joan and Don’s friendship started to sour when Don clearly disapproved of how Joan “earned” her partnership. It’s not just about the money – I’m sure she also heard about the “my mother was a prostitute” speech to Hershey.

      • Nancy Aronson

        I don’t think that Don “clearly disapproved.” He wanted to rescue, not to judge.

    • decormaven

      Oh, dear uncles! Thanks for posting this recap so early. This was a satisfying episode on so many levels. While seeing Bert (and for all intents, Megan) off the show had its moment of sadness, I think the second half of the season is now set up to see Mad Men “return to work.” We began this journey back in S1 watching an established agency merge with another, spin out on its own, merge again with another, then land at M/E. Maybe this move will allow the creative flower to fully blossom.

    • http://instagram.com/gioioio gioioio

      Harry being shut out of the partner’s meeting seconds before they all banked millions – do we think he will stand for this or finally leave the agency?

      • Daphnemcl

        Hmmm. It was funny but you are right. I’m predicting Don will leave agency to start a car dealership so maybe he’ll use Harry’s impending resignation as a bartering tool to convince McCann to let him go – in exchange for convincing Harry to stay.

        • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

          According to “Mad Men,” there’s nothing more powerful than a union of car dealerships!

      • NMMagpie

        He’s got a champion in Jim Cutler. He will stay to see if that has any weight.

        • Lady Bug

          In Don too, I think. Harry’s in an interesting position: Ted is still checked out, Roger and Pete are firmly in Don’s corner, Joan is in Jim’s corner, although I think his behavior after Cooper’s death turned her off. Where does that leave Harry? Like Pete, he’s one of the original Sterling-Cooper wunderkinds that has seen Don Draper both at his best & worse. He’s proven his loyalty to Don by giving him the heads up about the Commander Cigarette meeting. On the other hand, whether for nefarious purposes or not, it was Cutler that gave Harry his computer & the one that recommended that he become a partner.

          • NMMagpie

            That’s a lot of corners. And no doubt, the point.

            Jim Cutler is the very essence of nefarious. Put money in the mix and he flip flops immediately. He’s the worst kind of boss in this world, someone who thinks business drives business. Therefore, he can easily relegate creative to a lower level. I find it interesting that no one has really explained what that computer is doing or how it is contributing to the business.

            It is that obfuscation that Jim Cutler seems to traffic in most of the time and his use of Harry looks like more of that to me.

            Don still needs backers, no matter what. Harry will allow himself to be on the side of (or be used by) that player that seems to value him more. Right now, that does not look like Jim “Money” Cutler.

            • Nancy Aronson

              Jim was super mean to Harry, too. Say what you want about Don, his sort of mean doesn’t have the same level of ooze as that of a Cutler.

          • FibonacciSequins

            I think partnership for Harry is inevitable. Computers and media buying are becoming (as of 1969) too important in advertising for it to play out any other way. Harry’s computer is one of SC&P’s selling points now. Cutler’s backing Harry is somewhat irrelevant now that Cutler’s power is diminished. Don has made it clear he’s loyal to Harry even if they don’t always get along. Roger doesn’t value Harry much, but Harry’s importance to the agency will only increase with time.

            It’ll be interesting to see if (next season) we see Harry feeling disgruntled at missing out on a big payday, and how much drama might focus on the creative vs. computer push-and-pull.

            • Nancy Aronson

              His own fault. Don told him: any terms. just do it. And Harry waffled ’til it was too late.

      • MilaXX

        Even without the partnership Harry’s making good money. He’ll stay unless someone give him a better offer.

      • T C

        This depends entirely on what influence McCann will have with their 51% acquisition. McCann is interested in Sterling, Draper and Chaough; they might do some other arrangements for computer time on the SC&P mainframe or acquire that division in its entirety. This deal allows for many moving parts, especially since Don has stated he is not interested in the management aspect of being a partner and has pointed this out to Ted. Note also that Bert told Roger he is not a leader.

    • Marlsgate

      Favorite line of the night came from Pete (as it usually does), “I’ve got 10 percent!” The giddiness…loved it.

      • sienna elm

        Me too! He really is a clueless, selfish shit, isn’t he? :)

        • Nancy Aronson

          Why/how is that clueless?

      • Elizabeth Flowers

        I imagine them laughing at most of Pete’s lines at every read-through. Vincent must have a blast as this character.

        • Glammie

          He does. He also said that it’s been easier since viewers stopped taking Pete seriously as a threat and laugh at him instead.

          Pete’s such a great horrible/funny character.

      • Lady Bug

        The only thing missing was the “Pete Campbell dance of joy”

    • MarinaCat

      One of my favorite scenes was Don giviing Jim, *Elliott-Stabler-face* after Jim sneered at him, “the most eloquent I’ve ever heard you was when you were blubbering like a little girl about your impoverished childhood.”

      • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

        Isn’t it somewhat hilarious that someone other than Elliot Stabler can give Elliot Stabler face? :) But that is totally the first thing I thought of too when I saw it.. and now that I think about it Don has done Elliot Stabler face a few times before too.

        I have to say I found Christopher Meloni absolutely hilarious when he popped up in Veep recently. I never would have expected it – must be a huge relief to do some comedy after so many years in pretty serious and often distressing SVU drama.

        • Fordzo a.k.a. Fancy Mukluks

          He was so awesome on Veep. That whole show gives me life on a weekly basis.

        • Anne

          He was also funny on Scrubs–he played a pediatrician that Dr. Cox and Jordan were looking into for their son.

        • MilaXX

          Before SVU & Oz, Meloni did a lot of comedy. Usually along the line of his Veep character, the dumb muscle guy.

      • aesteve212

        I know! When Jim said “are you going to punch me” I thought – no, he’s going to laugh in your face!

    • NMMagpie

      So much of this episode was a full-on WHAAAAAT? And I LOVED it.

      Peggy got her moment and it was brilliant. My dislike of Jim Cutler reached new depths; an ambulance chaser is a better suit.

      I laughed when Sally made her play (a girl no longer) for the nerd and then had no answer for his: “What now?”

      And the creative in me just cheered Matthew Weiner. Like Don and Ted, it’s so much better when you can be creative without having to deal with all the other crap. Those moments spoke so deeply to me.

      What now, indeed.

    • jinco

      I don’t agree that Joan’s behavior was a badly written character turn. It seemed spot on to me. There are some very important and subtle skills she lacks for her role as a partner. She’s often out of her depth in that group and her ‘dump Don’ was a perfect (of many) example.
      Her reaction to Ted was another example of her inexperience and lack of skill. She scolds him (utterly ineffectual) whereas Don was truly insightful and persuasive in a way she could never be.
      And the way she sputtered when she heard how much money she could make was embarrassing. Spot on writing. Spot on performance.

      • NMMagpie

        I agree with you. Joan got to her position without acquiring a lot of the skills and finesse needed to get there by normal channels. Of course, those channels were not available to women at that time (and maybe not even now, by and large). She and Pete had the most open and somewhat immature reactions to sudden wealth, while the rest of the room is more stoic and plotting their next power play.

        We so badly want to see Joan as a power player when she’s just not there yet. That was my gut reaction when I watched this episode. For all the high polish of her look and affect, she is that woman in the sad blue dress, a woman with unattractive choices in front of her and not enough spirit to go out and make her own.

        • aesteve212

          And yet she had a scene this season when she goes to speak with a professor of economics (I think?). So we see her trying to acquire this knowledge in somewhat unconventional ways. And in that scene she schools the guy with what she knows of advertising. I think there is enough of a foundation that Weiner and Co could have a more nuanced read on Joan. It is a head scratcher why they have made her into a rapacious figure. That scene where they did the math was cringe worthy.

          • Gatto Nero

            And all the greed on display was a great lead-up to Bert singing “The Best Things in Life Are Free.”

          • NMMagpie

            It could also be that she, like millions of women in this country, see the amount of work ahead and how much more youthful you wish you were at this point in time. It’s pretty dang daunting for someone who has seen that their achievements, no matter how they got there, are perhaps not worth as much as they had thought in the long run.

            That would make a lot of people bitter and prone to lash out.

          • jinco

            That scene from earlier in the season when she speaks to the professor demonstrates her endless resourcefulness for sure. That is the kind of thing that made her a world class secretary/office manager. But as a partner, she often lacks the particular required finesse and skills of persuasion and depth. Bossy-ness is not the same as leadership. This is why, rather than coming across as being in control (as she does so well as an ofc. mgr.) she often comes across as brittle, nervous and, I quite agree, cringy at times.
            It would be unrealistic if she were any other way.
            You can see the learning happening with her all the time. She’s nothing if not observant. Look at her face when she sees Don reel Ted back in.

            • Glammie

              Interestingly, Don had his own set of leadership issues when he was going after Hilton and icing out Roger. Part of his arc was learning to appreciate what other people brought to the business, even though he had exceptional gifts.

              All this says to me is that Joan’s up for an arc next season–she needs to learn something about loyalty. Unlike Betty, I don’t think she’s a hopeless case.

        • ACKtually

          Thank you for this. I have been searching for why Joan is being written as she is and this finally makes sense. Joan was a Big fish in a small pond for years and she knew a lot about a little. Now her partnership and the merger has placed her smack in the middle of a bigger pond. Her skill set is still the same, she has less relationships to draw from- she learned a lot from watching Don and Roger of old. With Don going off of the rails and Rodger all but totally absent, she became an important office manager again. (remember at the beginning of the season we saw her still in charge of the secretaries) She is smart and savvy, yes, but I think, like Joan, we have all found ourselves in a position where, we are in over our heads. It is a scary place to be! Plus, she feels personally hurt by Don. She doesn’t have the tools to manage, so she lashes out and reacts. I think I finally get why they have written Joan this way.

    • Miss Disco

      i moved into a house that had ceiling tiles not dissimilar to those. they were a fire hazard. it amazed me that a nicotine stained house filled with disgusting old furniture that was probably flammable hadn’t gone up years ago.

      (the only piece of furniture we kept was the wood drop leap table, cos dining tables and chairs are hard to come by cheap)

      • aesteve212

        Those tiles! You find beautiful brownstones in NYC that had those added in, obscuring the wood work.

        • Gatto Nero

          Terrible choice on Peggy’s part (maybe she wanted noise dampening?), but great period detail.

          • Capt. Renault

            Ceiling tiles were a big focus of the first season, back in the old office. So many shots featured the ceiling tiles.

            I’m sure that ceiling tiles now being in Peggy’s home is a callback to that. Not necessarily season one, but of her work coming to her home (or something).

            • Eric Stott

              I think it’s just indicating that Peggy feels settled into the building to the extent that she’ll put some money into it. As to the tiles, they are indeed ugly, but in the 1960’s that place was not a beautiful building with potential, it was an old heap that needed updating to attract tenants. Gentrification and Restoration weren’t popular until the mid 1970’s.

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              All true, but even so, that suspended ceiling made me cringe! Aarrgghh!!!

    • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

      Mad Men Season Finale. Everything is up-ended, and there’s hope for Don.

    • AnotherJulie

      Last few episodes have been amazing, thank goodness. Absolutely adore the Peggy and Sally scenes.

      Way too many points to comment on, but I can’t be the only one to see the importance of Sally’s scenes-
      -Sally is a lifeguard- what will this mean for Don in the future? I’m already nervous.
      -Sally initially echoes what Cute Guy says, then during phone convo w/ Don, she immediately values Don’s opinion over Cute Guy’s. Kisses nerdy guy
      More evidence that Sally’s is the most important relationship in Don’s life, with Peggy as close second.

      Loved the Peggy and Julio scene, cried.

      Am hating how Joan has turned on Don, but she is absolutely consistent. Money is the most important thing to her.

      • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

        Maybe it’s more that talking to Daddy made Sally feel it was okay for her to go after the boy she wanted, and not the boy her peers would expect a girl to want.

        • AnotherJulie

          Exactly! You said what I meant, but you said it much more articulately. Don and Sally are both realizing their importance to each other.

          • Kathryn Sanderson

            You’re pretty articulate yourself: “Don and Sally are both realizing their importance to each other.” Quite true, and very succinct.

    • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

      Maybe the most annoying thing about Jim Cutler is how right he’s been about everything. Right to promote Joan, right not to go behind GM’s back to the dealershios, right to get a computer, right to recognize all Harry does, and, yes, right that bringing Don back would f— up everything.

      • MilaXX

        Bringing Don back didn’t eff up everything. Chevy already had their game pan in the works. Jim only courted Phillip Morris as a way to try and get Don out. In fact given the deal Roger struck, Don being on board was actually a bonus.

      • Teresa

        Interesting little glimpse of Cutler’s past…he was a bomber pilot in WWII, specifically Dresden, which drags up more negative connotations.

        • Nancy Aronson

          I know! Another opportunity to exploit and devastate the helpless. What an ass.

      • TigerLaverada

        Depends on your definition of right. It’s true that computer driven market analysis became de riguer in the ad biz, and media buying became much more pronounced as media outlets diversified and burgeoned, but if that sort of expansion was at the expense of creative product you’ve killed the ad agency. What you have then is a media buying business. Which is what Cutler envisions.

      • Nancy Aronson

        Fuck up everything for whom? From what we were hearing, most of the agency would soon be out of a job if Cutler had his way.

    • Fordzo a.k.a. Fancy Mukluks

      2015?

      • MilaXX

        That’s when we get the final 8 episodes.

        • Lady Bug

          7 episodes next year. I know this is water under the bridge and it’s probably been discussed to death, but I really wish they hadn’t split up the season, it’s going to be SO hard to wait until April 2015 to find out what happens to these characters.

          • siriuslover

            When I was bitching about this last night, my son in his very practical way said, “look at it this way, mom. Now we get more Mad Men next year instead of having it end in June.” Great kid.

            • Lady Bug

              Very astute kid you have there! He’s absolutely right. :)

          • Fordzo a.k.a. Fancy Mukluks

            Why aren’t they just calling this two seasons? Why all this “mid-season finale” BS? To me, a mid-season finale means that the time until the next new episode will be 6 weeks or something like that.

        • Fordzo a.k.a. Fancy Mukluks

          Yes, I understand that. My comment was more of a “I have to wait until 2015?!”.

          • Nancy Aronson

            Interesting from an alchemical standpoint, and Weiner does seem to be interested in Tarot, after all. 7 is a powerful number for transformation in alchemy. Seven seasons, the seventh season composed of two parts, each seven segments. Way seven-y.

    • PowerfulBusiness

      I think Matthew Weiner is doing a masterful job of bringing this show to it’s end and instead of going full-on dark annihilation, is doing something much tougher – making these characters lose and gain equally at the same time. These characters have gone through huge shifts in such subtle ways this season, that when you articulate it you go, ‘wow, that actually happened?” Don is, to quote TLo, not ascendant anymore, equals with Peggy and lacking power but also becoming more selfless, aware, and appreciative of his true relationships (Peggy, Sally). Roger has moved from a flippant inheritor of wealth to a leader, and someone who cares for people (loyalty to Don, his daughter). Joan is becoming corporate! We always wanted her to be more than a secretary and this chick is gunning for the big bucks and while it’s not pretty to watch sometimes, Joan is going to be okay. Peggy is making peace with her lack of family/child, is about to climb that trajectory of surpassing Don and instead of it being a bitter fight, it’s going to be a gentle passing of the torch. We made these predictions years ago, but to see them actually become realized, in such a realistic, imperceptible way is just great storytelling. I doubted you Weiner, but you’re a genius. I bow.

      • Chris

        I disagree with the assessment that Don is equals with Peggy, particularly in the business world. Don gave her a big push by insisting she give the pitch to Burger Chef and creatively they both are top notch but Don has the reputation. Don can walk out and get a job anywhere. He was concerned enough about Peggy to make sure Burger Chef was hers so she would have something of value to ensure her job and status.

        • PowerfulBusiness

          Agreed. Let’s rephrase to say a humbled Don who now has an office next to Peggy’s without it being the “head” office, they both have to report to Lou, and Don was essentially assigned to Peggy’s team and as he himself self, had to write coupons and tags. It’s a far cry from the boss of ’65 screaming, “That’s what the money is for!” I just can’t believe we got to hear Draper say in a pitch, “And now to tell the story…Peggy Olson.”

          • Chris

            I think Lou is out. They have a new regime, Cutler’s reign is over and there are two head of creatives in New York again. Let Lou go peddle his cartoons. The big guns just want Don and Ted.

            • FibonacciSequins

              Agreed. Roger’s in power now; Lou and his cardigans are out on the street.

            • Glammie

              Yes. Also, Weiner’s made it clear that Don has not lost his creative juice. That, to me, was the takeaway from the first episode this season. Even when Don’s lost just about everything, he has his copywriting.

          • Jaialaibean

            Or the Don who “forgot” Ginsberg’s Sno-Ball materials (with an idea slightly better than his) in the taxi on the way to the pitch …

        • Vanessa

          I don’t think that a stellar Burger Chef pitch was going to save Don at this point. I felt like Don handed the pitch to Peggy after he found out that Bert had died and his future was no longer with the agency, and Megan affirmed that he should take the hint and move on–and his reaction was to get out of the way and let Peggy move up.

    • Jacquelyn

      Normally, I love Joan (like most of us, I think) but last night I found myself angry and frustrated with her. In her mind, Don cost her millions, but surely she can see that if his talent walks out the door, their company will loose even MORE money. Until Peggy is firmly established (which will take a few more years), DON is still the prized piece of horseflesh (that line….). Joan is being a bit ridiculous.

      The ending number. That was perfection.

      I agree that, in the end, this wasn’t sunshine and daises for Don. I remain convinced that he’ll die before the series ends, to “officially” make way for the new generation of creative people, like Peggy and Stan. Peggy was the clear winner of this episode (with Roger coming in at number two) but in a lot of ways, Don just went along for the ride.

      I was trying to keep track of all the red and blue in last nights episode and who was wearing it when. Was I the only one who thought that Peggy’s outfit during the Burger Chef pitch looked a lot like what Julio wore in her apartment the night before? Looking forward to your thoughts in Mad Style!!!

      • MilaXX

        After this ending I don’t think Don will die, I think he’ll eventually become the figurehead Bert was.

        • http://www.nouvellegamine.com Jordan Wester

          nice call. I totally agree.

      • KBz

        Roger’s tie when he is speaking with the McCann guy also calls to Julio and Peggy outfits. I saw it as all three of them “making moves”

    • DeniseSchipani

      Aiiii, Peggy, why are you putting in ceiling tiles? Some later UWS gentrify-er will curse your choice! (But I hope she gets to sleep with the handyman). THat scene with Julio was heartbreaking. Like her dance with Don last season, the way she hugged the boy and DURING the hug realized just how much he meant to her was heartbreaking. And when she said, “I’ll visit you all the time!”, she and Julio both knew she wasn’t going to. It made me wonder: was she re-enacting her feelings at having given up her child for adoption? As a mother, I can’t even let my mind go to a place where I’d be able to hand over one of my newborns and know I’d never see him again, though I understand that she did the right thing. But that has to bubble up, and it surely did (for me) in that scene with Julio.

      • Gatto Nero

        She choked up when she reassured Julio that they were moving because his mother cared for him so much. I can’t help but think that this brought to mind her abandonment of her own child. I don’t think she regrets the adoption, but some kinds of pain never really go away.

        • Chris

          Absolutely. She knew she did the right thing for her child the way Julio’s mom was doing for him but it still hurts her. That was a great scene.

      • MilaXX

        Loved the scene with Julio. It seemed to continue the unusual family arrangements theme. Julio wasn’t her son, but they had a bond and will miss not being in each others lives.

    • Pennymac

      This is me giving a sigh of contentment at how satisfying last nights episode was. I think I’ve had a latent fear that Weiner would muck up the characters I’ve become so invested in. And I can understand Joan’s motivation: 1969 single mother, getting up there in age (for the 60’s) and no corporate role models to follow? I think “tough business woman” is undefined in her life and therefore comes across as greedy bitch. Or it could be just bad character writing. But everything is so deliberate in this show, I doubt it.

      • MilaXX

        I don’t mind Joan being a tough business woman, but her anger towards Don does feel a bit beyond the pale to me. I could understand her initial anger in not wanting him back, but she seems almost uncharacteristically pissed at him.

        • Chris

          And she looked ready to kill Ted. They are just taking her character way over the top. As TLO has pointed out she is making great pay. Don’s antics before certainly aren’t keeping her from feeding her child and he is what made that agency a name. Joan needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

          • MilaXX

            Someone made an interesting point. Don’s melt down was in part about being raised by a prostitute. I’m wondering if part of her seemingly irrational anger is over the fact that she somehow felt that Don’s ranting about a prostitute was also a slight against her and/or her own residual guilt over sleeping with the Jaguar guy to get her partnership. So perhaps it’s a mashup over the that, the IPO thing and how hard the firm had to work to rebuild their rep after Don’s melt down.

            Just spitballing here, trying to make sense of her attitude.

            • rei

              I am also beginning to wonder if she holds Don partially responsible for Lane’s suicide. She’s the one that read his resignation letter and after checking the books for tax time, went to Don to question him why Lane killed himself when the books were fine and they turned a profit.
              I think she might suspect that Don knows more… and that coupled with Don’s firing Jaguar and other antics, she might just not trust him at all.

            • Chris

              I keep wondering if MW is ever going to address this or he just thinks it’s clear the way he thought people knew Joan landed Avon last year?

    • AnotherJulie

      For the last 7 episodes I need:
      Lots of Sally and Peggy, with or without Don
      Lots of Roger and Pete
      Less Joan
      No Megan
      Just enough Meredith, Caroline and Dawn to be interesting
      Some reference to Sal

      • SonOfSaradoc

        Wouldn’t it be amazing if Kitty, Sal’s wife poor kid, was hired on at SCP in some capacity – or even was part of McGann – and Sal showed up with her at a company function? Weiner has said that Sal has disappeared from the story, but he lies. He lies.

        • Kit Jackson 1967

          That’s true. Weiner said he wasn’t going to cover JFK’s assassination, and then did a whole episode on it.

        • AnotherJulie

          While we’re wishing, I would love it if Weiner was lying altogether and they actually hired Sal. I know, too good to be true

    • Gatto Nero

      Although “Don is not ascendant,” this season 7.0 finale was more uplifting than I was expecting. Don may not be alpha male anymore, but he is much closer to being an integrated, self-aware, compassionate human being than when the series started. And he is “of essence” to the next chapter of SC&P.
      And the departed Bert Cooper — singing and dancing in his pink argyle socks. I hate whimsy, but can I tell you how happy that made me?

      • Jaialaibean

        Don is certainly better off personally than in the days when he was on top of the world.

    • Valdri8

      Laughing because I waited patiently until 9 to read this review, and it has been up for hours! Great review as always. As a little girl in the 60’s whose parents were Broadway-philes, the ending last night was lovely dollop of fresh whipped cream on a warm piece of peach pie. I actually squealed.

    • MilaXX

      I had to watch twice to because I wasn’t sure exactly how I felt about that ending. Sure it was delightful to see Robert Morse once more as a song and dance man, but I wasn’t sure how I felt about it as part of the show. In the end I decided to go with it. I liked it. In a way, I see it as Bert passing on the reigns to Don.

      Last season I was nearly done with this show. I was tired of the cycle of Don drinking & womanizing until he crashes and burns. I don’t know if he was humbled by nearly losing his job or what, but this season Don seems to have gotten it. Perhaps it was in part the ghost of advertising future, Freddy Rumsen’s call to Jesus speech to him. Whatever it was Don seemed to have learned enough to do things a little differently. He called Megan to tell her as soon as he knew his job was in jeopardy. No more lying and trying to pretend things were okay. Even his advice to Ted while no doubt was in part to save his job, was also coming from a place of honesty. My favorite bit of emotional growth from Don has to be finally giving Peggy the respect she deserved. Having mended fences in last week’s ep. this week instead of trying to showboat, he actually told her she was the best person for the job. Back when they had that big blowup that ultimately cause Peggy to leave, this was the validation she was looking for.

      Speaking of Peggy, please be getting it on with hunky handy man. I may be over reading things but I was happy to see he was neither intimidated or condescending when she told him she owned the building.

      I’m gonna need a gif. of both Don’s reaction to Jim’s yes vote and Roger’s “Really?!”.

      • Elizabeth Flowers

        I loved Jim’s reply. “It’s a lot of money!”

        • decormaven

          Yes. He’s no dummy at poker playing. Chips on the table – cash in!

    • Page White

      You made me cry.

    • Tracy Alexander

      I loved getting a glimpse of the old Harry Crane jumping up and getting emotional for the moon walk. Remember that Harry? The one who photographed hands and confided his fears about his career to his wife?

      Also loved the detail of people in the neighboring motel rooms banging on the walls and cheering. I lived in an apartment on the night Obama was elected (2008) and it was like that too- people sharing history together.

      • http://www.nouvellegamine.com Jordan Wester

        I really miss the old Harry. He was adorable.

        • Gatto Nero

          Incompetent but adorable.
          Remember when the firm split off and he had to call the hotel room where they’d set up shop because he got lost?

          • http://www.nouvellegamine.com Jordan Wester

            hahahaha! no, I don’t Poor Harry.

      • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

        I thought he was going to cry!

    • Capt. Renault

      My man Bert may have been a racist and a Randian, but nevertheless, I loved him so. And his stellar art collection.

      An excellent exit.

      • Gatto Nero

        Was that a Jackson Pollock in Cooper’s living room, by the way??

        • Capt. Renault

          It certainly looked like one. I couldn’t read the signature. I expect someone (*coughcough*) will screencap that very shortly.

          Great art at the office, great art at home — heaven knows what’s at his beloved ranch.

          • Gatto Nero

            What will become of that Rothko? Did he have any survivors?
            His personal life (except for the long-ago dalliance with Blankenship) has been a mystery.

            • http://www.nouvellegamine.com Jordan Wester

              He has or had a sister. She was in an early episode. His wife is deceased before the show starts. He apparently doesn’t have any children, although we never find out exactly when his surgery to remove his testicles occurs, Roger says it was when Bert was in his “prime” when that is.

      • Daphnemcl

        I wouldn’t call him a racist at all. He didn’t hate blacks. Back then the just wasn’t that integrated in many respects.

        • Susan Velazquez

          Even if Bert didn’t burn crosses on anyone’s lawn, he still didn’t consider Dawn or Shirley worthy enough of being the face of SC&P. Which was him being racist.

          • Daphnemcl

            I would reserve that word for people who have stronger emotions associated with their actions. Back in that time it really was a different world socially and economically. People weren’t used to many things we take for granted today. I don’t think it was a personal thing where he didn’t consider Dawn “worthy” of being the face if SCP. Now, the remark about Roger being a Kike was more hate directed I thought.

            • Susan Velazquez

              Uh, no. Speaking as a woman of color, white people don’t have to actively hurl racist slurs at me for me to consider them racist. There is a misconception that racism must be an active, violent hate. More often than not, it manifests as an insidious, almost invisible force such as microaggressions and institutional systemic forces. I don’t like the sentiment of “It was a different time back then” because there were people who were actively anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic, etc back then too. It was just easier for everyone else to go along with racism because it afforded them privileges or maintained a status quo. Complacency and neutrality during the face of racism, to me, is just as harmful as “active” racism.

            • Daphnemcl

              The world has changed and continues to change. Language changes. Standards change. If I called you “a woman of color” today, in 10 years from now that might be seen as a racial slur. You can’t just be flinging out the word racist right and left. You have to use some judgement. Today we use standards that just didn’t apply back then. Calling someone Negro today might be offensive, but back then it was common. From how I saw Bert act towards Dawn and Shirley, he never treated them badly. You’d have to call everyone a racist back then because everyone was just following societal standards. But with no malice in their hearts. It was just ignorance, not racism. People weren’t enlightened. Although you may think I’m not enlightened because I don’t agree with you, I try to understand both sides, but I just don’t rush to label people racists.

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

              Bert DENIED A BLACK WOMAN A POSITION SOLELY BECAUSE SHE WAS BLACK.

              That’s racist, full stop. Even by the standards of 1969.

            • Daphnemcl

              Nope. I think it was discriminatory. Different word. Different meaning. Different sentiment.

            • Susan Velazquez

              Thank you TLo! This may be difficult for people to understand but most racist people can have contradictory attitudes about people of color. Bert hires black maids and allows black secretaries and black managers in the office–but these are subservient positions to him and they are working for him. When it came for Dawn to possibly be at the reception desk and thus be the face of the agency, that’s when Bert’s tolerance stopped. ““I’m all for the national advancement of colored people, but I don’t believe people should advance all the way to the front,” is what he said. Bert, like many people in 1969 who were increasingly aware of just how much power the civil rights movement had, is one of those covert racists where he doesn’t say racist things all the time, but instead lets his actions do the talking for him. In this case, it was denying employment opportunities to a black woman solely because she was black.

            • Susan Velazquez

              Whoa, whoa, whoa. I must object to you conflating the term “woman of color” as a possible racial slur when it is a political identity/term coined by a black woman meant to build solidarity within marginalized races. I see we will have to disagree on Bert’s characterization but if I see racism in real life, I’m going to call it out in hopes the person will alter their behavior and do better regardless if people think I’m “flinging” the word around.

    • Sherilyne Cox

      RIP Bert Cooper. His final production number was a perfect curtain call, and Robert Morse was radiant! I always admired that MW cast Morse in the iconic role that seemed to connect his stellar “How To Succeed” role to his Randian office, the precise position to which HTS’s J. Pierpont Finch aspired.

    • otterbird

      Bert instead lavishes his final word of praise – and final word, period – on Neil Armstrong for the singular achievement of being the first man on the moon: “Bravo.”

      My husband and I both thought Bert was actually praising Armstrong’s first words on the moon- the adman to the very end, he appreciated a well-crafted line. :)

      • Judy_J

        I thought the same thing.

    • MarinaCat

      I guess Mrs. Crane will be proceeding with that divorce after all…

      • Chris

        Both she and Trudy should make out very well. Trudy in particular as Pete is going to get quite a windfall.

        • Lady Bug

          Pete should now be praying that Trudy actually does end up marrying Charlie Fiditch, then he could stop making alimony payments.

        • Glammie

          Hmmm, I see a Pete/Trudy scene in this. Yay. I like Trudy and Pete together so much that I don’t actually care whether they’re getting along . . .”Hells bells, Trudy!”

          And Trudy’s mercenary enough that maybe she’ll soften up a bit on Pete now that he’s independently rich instead of just a good name with connections.

      • Lady Bug

        Ah, the Harold & Jennifer Crane marriage, another Mad Men marriage hits the dust.

    • VictoriaDiNardo

      First – need to say that Tom and Lorenzo’s commentary and recaps enhance MadMen viewing to the nth degree – thanks guys!

      So Ted is miserable in LA, wants to move back to New York and will concentrate on creative. It’s going to be interesting how Peggy reacts to that development!

      Loved Bert’s dance off, and I too thought his final “Bravo” was a compliment to the great tagline given to Neil Armstrong. That was good marketing and he saw it immediately. Ad man to the end indeed!

    • Scimommy

      Fabulous recap and analysis, TLo, as always, and lots of good points made in the comments. Not sure if anyone’s mentioned this as I haven’t scrolled all the way down, but re: Joan… The way she is treating her position – i.e. making is mostly about money, money, and more money – is reminding me, when it could’ve been forgotten, HOW she got her partnership. When she slept with the Jaguar guy for partnership, I was reluctant to call it prostitution then, because I liked Joan and I felt that she had been painted into a corner by life, by men, etc., etc., etc. I felt like she was playing the hand she was dealt the best way she knew how, that it was an act of desperation because this was the only way she could appropriate a status within the company where she is taken seriously. However, this turnaround – that for her it’s all about the cash – makes me more comfortable saying that she prostituted herself and is now trying to collect. (sigh) Not what I was hoping to be thinking about Joan toward the end of the show.

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

        I disagree that Joan’s prostitution was an “act of desperation.” She was making a comfortable living as the traffic manager.

        • Scimommy

          Hey T or Lo! I didn’t mean financial desperation. Desperation in terms of hitting a glass ceiling, in terms of status, position, etc.

          • Gatto Nero

            It’s likely that she would not have been offered a partnership otherwise, regardless of her value to the agency.

            • Scimommy

              Exactly. I felt that she (misguidedly, in my opinion) used what she thought was her best asset to advance her career, but I didn’t think she did it purely for the money. Peggy is advancing *her* career using *her* best assets, and money is a nice perk, but that’s not why she is doing it. I thought something similar was going on with Joan.

              I am almost wondering if Weiner read people arguing against calling what Joan did “prostitution” and is making her so obviously (and uncharacteristically?) money hungry in response.

            • Alice Teeple

              I said this earlier in another thread, but I don’t think she’s uncharacteristically money hungry. She’s always been money/power hungry, from the very first episode. She takes Peggy around and brags to her that she’s been in some guy’s mansion but is pretending she was never there. The context was, “play your cards right and you’ll get out of the secretary pool as a wealthy wife.” It was more palatable to behave this way to her if it was done discreetly. This misguided advice led Peggy to feel obligated to make a misguided move on Don and set the series in motion.

              Joan’s actions have always been motivated by money and the promise of security it has. With more money at stake, her true character is simply being revealed more and more. Her version of the glass ceiling is that now her particular form of prostitution is public knowledge because of the higher stakes. I think her behavior is a reflection of that realization, probable shame, and deflecting men’s perceptions of “we all know how you got this partnership.”

        • Eric Stott

          Joan could have walked out of that agency and straight into the door of another one and gotten a job.

        • rei

          I think that Pete and Lane at the time presented it to her as a desperate act for the company, that the agency would be in trouble if she didn’t agree.
          I think that while the partnership was a lucrative deal for her, she was also motivated by loyalty to the company and so when it became clear to her that the company didn’t need jaguar that much, it kind of sent her in this weird spiral.

          I also wonder if she might suspect that Don had some involvement in Lane’s suicide and that might have some bearing on her animosity toward him.

          They have a habit of underwriting Joan… leaving large gaps in her motivation.

    • JL

      I wonder if part of the reason that Joan has become so “greedy” lately is that she is feeling time pass, knows she’s likely to be on her own for the foreseeable future and needs to ensure that she and her son are financially secure, not matter what happens. Even if you are making a decent living, if you are a woman on your own in that time period, that is always a worry in the back of your head.

      • MarinaCat

        It can be an overwhelming feeling for some, navigating the upper echelon as a newbie, AND, as the only woman during a time where women were not typically partners in a firm. And even though Joan has been partner for a while, it can be argued that her true partnership started when she moved upstairs. Perhaps Joan is struggling with her new dialect of the language of office politics? She bounces from giddy girl who just got a big bonus to tough broad who has had enough of Don’s antics. The money is just another piece of it, and when big dollars are now counted in the millions rather than in the hundreds, one’s perspective can change. What did Don say to Dow? “What is happiness? It’s the moment before you need more happiness.”

        • Daphnemcl

          You can also include the shafting she’s gotten on all levels from Roger. He has trampled over her repeatedly. She fired that dark haired secretary and Roger not only unfired her but married her! Then later on she made Joan call a car for her. Ouch! And Roger shafted her when she got pregnant too. No, she is bitter and alone, which is why we will see an apology from Roger by the end of the show that will be enough for her to forgive him and everyone else too.

          • P M

            I think you’re right. Roger and she go waaaay back. It’s been a 15 year relationship, and Roger needs to act as though he honours her as much. He more than Don needs to really do some amending with Joan.

            At the same time, I wonder what effectively working for a bigger company will do to Joan. I wish it would take her into a new environment, open her eyes a little to what other women are doing, what the possibilities are for her, if only she’d allow herself to dream a little differently. I can dream, right?

            • Glammie

              Yep, I think she owes Don an apology more than vice versa. She’s tried to screw him over big time. Roger, on the other hand, should make amends toward Joan. Though I still ship Roger/Mona.

            • P M

              I wish Roger would have to go down on his knees and tell Joan he’s sorry for being lousy to her.

            • Daphnemcl

              You are right. She might meet someone at the new company. Although I’m not expecting it. I’m just expecting her to soften after realizing that she meant a lot to Roger.

          • verve

            How did Roger shaft her when she got pregnant? He was pushing for a while to support her and their baby; she turned him down every time.

            • Daphnemcl

              He wanted her to have an abortion. And when she came back to work he kept referring to her “kid” in a callous manner. If he lived her he would have wanted to really be with her and he would have shown it. She was really on her own though.

      • Kit Jackson 1967

        Plus, if she’s staying in New York, that means private school for Kevin.

    • Ma. Gabriella Dutari

      I loved Cutler’s lines this episode, he’s a cunning bitch! From the much needed smackdown of Lou to that final vote in the Partners Meeting (“What? It’s a lot of money!)

    • Kathy S

      I thought being owed something was an interesting theme of this episode. Joan clearly feels she is owed money. Harry thinks he’s owed a partnership. More literally, Jim blew off Lou with the words “We don’t owe you anything”, while Megan said goodbye to Don by saying, “You don’t owe me anything”. Two very different relationships ending which the same phrase.

    • MartyBellerMask

      So. With Pete & Ted back in NY, what does this mean for Peggy? She’s over Ted by now, right?
      And what about Pete? Any chance they’ll wind up back together?

      • Chris

        I don’t know that Peggy is over Ted but whatever they have planned for the characters is clearly going to play out over next season. I can see it going either way with Ted- Don shows him how important it is not to throw your family away or he faces the fact he is genuinely unhappy and tries to get Peggy back. Whatever happens I think it’s important for Peggy to have a guy, any guy, who really wants her for her and puts her first. Maybe this handy man will be the fellow or maybe he is just a plot device.

        • MartyBellerMask

          Maybe handyman will just be a fling. I’d be fine with that too!

          • Gatto Nero

            In season one, didn’t Peggy put on airs and put down her working-class date? I wonder if the handyman will be a callback to that — only she’ll be less insecure and more kind this time.

            • Chris

              Yes, I thought of that before this season when she had to rely on her sister’s husband who was exactly the type Peggy had rejected in her flight from Brooklyn years ago. He and her family are all she has now and her place probably doesn’t look so different than her Mom’s and her sister’s. You can’t run from who you are. Ted learned that, Don learned it and Peggy will learn it in some way too. I just want good things for Peggy whatever they are, but I think like Don, it would be easier for her to love someone who understands and loves creative the way she does.

            • Gatto Nero

              Yes — her earlier putdown was an attempt to deny who she is and where she comes from. She felt she was moving up in the world and needed to act the part. If, as TLo say, people don’t really change but instead learn to work within their own paradigm, maybe Peggy can embrace both her working-class roots and her successful, creative side. Once she accepts who she is, fully, she may find someone who can appreciate all those aspects of her.

            • Chris

              Yes, if Don has shown anything it’s that you can’t find happiness with anyone no matter how “perfect” they seem until you are happy with yourself.

            • Alice Teeple

              It’s hard to say whether Peggy will ever embrace her working class roots, although she certainly acknowledges them. She sees herself as having escaped the drudgery of her sister’s boring life in Bay Ridge, but she can still understand those people. She wanted to live on the Upper East Side like Don, but instead got swayed to live on the Upper West by Abe. I don’t want to read too much into the handyman yet, because if it were Don, he would tap the female version of that in a hot minute. The fact that this guy seemed to be Abe 2 making comments about single women owning buildings, could either be a new boyfriend, or a realization that no matter where she goes in life, at work or at home, she’s always going to run into that glass ceiling. Or…drop ceiling.

            • siriuslover

              She did, but I also think she didn’t want to be there because her mother set them up, not necessarily because she was too proud to date a working-class guy.

        • E M

          She is investing in the building, which shows she isn’t planning on dumping it. A handyman hubby would be perfect for her. He can take care of the building and tenants, and she won’t have to put on “airs”. She still connects to her working-class catholic roots. I think if he is the kind of guy who isn’t intimidated by a woman like her, he’d be a great match for her.

      • Gatto Nero

        I think Peggy and Pete have moved way beyond that. They’re office friends and colleagues, they have a quiet understanding of one another and a shared history. But I don’t see any sparks there.

        • Lady Bug

          THIS. As Pete said to Peggy last year, “you really know me.” She knows and accepts him in a way that no one else can. I’m a Pete & Peggy friendshipper, and I hope in Season 7.2 we will see them interact more and at least talk about their past.

          • Kit Jackson 1967

            They would have to be alone, and it would have to be private. Maybe Peggy is working late on a pitch, and after a meeting, Pete realizes he needs a file he left at the office. They see each other and talk. There would have to be drinking. I can’t see them talking about it sober.

            • Lady Bug

              Yes. ITA with you. It would be the perfect bookend to their Season 2 scene-where they are all alone in the office and Peggy tells Pete about the baby.

          • elevan

            HA! “Friendshipper.” I love it.

      • NeenaJ

        Peggy needs a man with “a strong back and a weak mind,” as the saying goes. She needs to ditch the creative types – they are way too much work. Mr. “You’ve got a lotta books” will do nicely.

    • decormaven

      Quick shout out to the Uncles for keeping this thread in line. Much appreciated.

      • MartyBellerMask

        Happy to have missed the shenanigans.

    • Doris Allen

      I’m just grateful that they gave us a finale that didn’t end in some stupid cliff hanger. Way to go, show! Leave us happy and humming for a year!

      • Daphnemcl

        Well I think it was a cliffhanger just not a stupid one.

        • Chris

          It was very similar to last season’s “For Immediate Release”. You are left thinking “how will all this play out” but you are hopeful about it.

          • Lady Bug

            I think it had both a hopeful, yet bittersweet ending. Don realizes that “best things in life are free” yet that was just after he agreed to sign a five year contract (and convince a very reluctant Ted Chaugh to sign) that will make Don and the other partners multi-millionaires and keep their company, but, at what price?

            • siriuslover

              But if we focus on that line, “the best things in life are free,” we see where Don (and perhaps others) are heading: a realization that there is more than the agency, more than busting your butt for more money. For Don, he’s repairing what relations he can. Unlike with Betty (you’re not getting a dime) he says to Megan “I’ll always take care of you.” It’s not about the money anymore. He gives Burger Chef to Peggy (there was a time when he’d steal her ideas). His lines to Ted were not simply more advertising, I think he truly felt them. For him, it’s not about the money but about the creative process. Then there’s Ted, who doesn’t want to be in the business, and (probably) realizes that he was unhappy at home long before he cheated on his wife (marital counseling over the New Years holiday?). Peggy, realizing that this little boy who needs her is more important than work. She kicked him out (I’m working), then brought him in to her home and we get the full force of her maternal love for this kid. Roger, coming to terms with his new family (Brooks is newly clean cut, and he’s sitting nicely with Mona) finally realizes that to be a leader you have to put your sense of control over everything aside (very zen-like wisdom from Bert, perhaps). The selling to McCann wasn’t about the money, it was about going out with your head held high. The partners didn’t want to be sold to McCann before because it wasn’t on their terms. It was really a hostile takeover of the firm. Here, they’re walking into the face of the enemy knowingly, because they’re a family and don’t want to be separated. Relationships: the best things in life are free in terms of money, but cost a lot in emotions.

            • SunDevilWitch

              This was a nice flip-side to a previous post about the episode being about money. It was both, very well-presented.

            • Chris

              Yes and before SC was bought because Roger selfishly needed money to divorce Mona and marry Jane, now he’s doing it to save Don and all the people who work there. The man who was an absentee father at home and at work is stepping up to try and be a leader at SC&P. It also looks like he is trying to be there for his grandson too.

            • Glammie

              Good point–the whole sale of SC occurred because of Roger’s self-centeredness.

    • J Smith

      That turn by Cutler at the end, jumping on the bandwagon, was beautiful. That’s straight out of the Doctor Smith (Lost In Space) handbook.

      • Frank_821

        Yes and it was wonderfully very much in character. The man is a schemer but it’s not simply a power play or ego on his part. That tirade of his where he called Don out seemed genuine. He sees Don as trouble and not worth the effort.

        He’s not going to scoff at 32 million dollars

      • Glammie

        I sort of liked him through the episode–that line–also the one to Ted–“Remember what happened the last time he talked you into something?”

        • Chris

          I wasn’t sure about that line- did Cutler mean the merger or that he thinks Don talked Ted into going to CA? No one could really argue their agencies combined aren’t worth more and Cutler and Ted have the largest shares.

    • Vanessa

      Cliched, but I liked seeing Roger “grow up” when he lost His father figure. After Bert dispensed some final wisdom to get him going.

    • decormaven

      Can’t wait for Mad Style. Meredith’s two piece outfit with the rick rack trim- that brought back a flood of memories.

      • Alice Teeple

        That dress was adorable! I love Meredith’s style. It’s one of my favorites on the show.

    • Angela_the_Librarian

      Thank you for your in-depth pieces all season long. Here are a few quick observations:
      * I was more moved by Julio and Peggy being separated than the demise of Don and Megan’s relationship.

      *I know that Peggy’s pitch was supposed to mirror Don’s Carousel pitch, but it didn’t resonate with me quite as much. Maybe because it is about a fast food place, and it’s depressing to think that the only quality family time you might have is around a tray of McDonald’s

      *Why wasn’t Ted given more flack for his behavior with the clients he was flying around? Don was put on leave after having a breakdown, but at least he didn’t put them in mortal danger. I guess Cutler must have kept his actions secret from others (except Pete)

      * Meridith’s “seduction” of Don was one of the show’s funniest moments.

      *Ultimately I didn’t see the end as very upbeat. The song was upbeat, but I think the message, the best things in life are free, demonstrates Don’s real ambivalence about getting absorbed into McCann. I’m guessing that he really won’t be able to fulfill a 5 year contract obligation with them.

      Ugh, I really wish they would have just continued the season. Splitting into two 7 episode seasons was a really dumb decision!

      • Elizabeth Flowers

        If they’d gone all at once we would’ve lost an episode this season. Splitting got them one extra episode. So, it blows, but I’m just looking forward to binge watching Mad Men once it’s done with that extra episode in there. I’m curious to see how it plays in a marathon.

      • MarinaCat

        I have to agree about the Burger Chef pitch. For *me*, I didn’t get that Kodak moment (see what I did there?) that they were shooting for. In fact, and I know this is unpopular, I’ve never been a fan of Elisabeth Moss as Peggy in the pitch meetings. All the pitches have sounded the same to me: Burger Chef could have been the Heinz teenagers gathering around the fire.

        And I TOTALLY agree with your last sentence, but who doesn’t? ;)

        • Gatto Nero

          The Kodak Carousel pitch was about nostalgia and included slides from Don’s own life — of a pregnant Betty, of his kids — and was much more moving, I thought.
          But Burger Chef was a breakthrough moment for Peggy nonetheless. And the pitch reflected a societal change in how families relate to one another, and a kind of nostalgia for how it used to be.

          • MarinaCat

            Yes, I understand the context and how this was a breakthrough for Peggy. I just don’t care for the way she pitches. ;)

            • Gatto Nero

              I understand! There’s something inimitable about Don’s choice of language, voice and timing. He’s the master.

            • Chris

              It’s the “timbre” of his voice as he said to Ken ; ) I like Peggy’s pitches, she’s definitely Don’s protégée but she is developing her own style and voice. She doesn’t need to steal his lines anymore.

            • Glammie

              There’s a reason why Hamm does a lot of voiceover work and Moss doesn’t. She’s a fine actress, but Hamm has a great voice.

              Curiously, adman Hal Riney had that characteristic. He did the voiceover for his best known ad–“It’s morning in America” for Ronald Reagan. Hamm once said he saw Don Draper writing that ad . . .

        • Glammie

          I thought it was a good pitch and I really liked Moss in the Julio scene–but, no, this was no Carousel moment. Enough to win the account, yes–but enough to establish a series, no.

      • ShaoLinKitten

        Tears actually came into my eyes during the Peggy/Julio scene. So poignant. It’s clear to me that Peggy has not been able to quash that maternal urge. I hope she hooks up with that hot maintenance guy.

        Good point about Ted. He almost killed himself and two guys from a major account and has openly talked of suicide, but not even a slap on the wrists? Insane. I think the Peggy/Ted thing is going to come to a crisis next season. His misery could well be Peggy-related.

        Agree also about Meredith. Also, on a Mad Style note, loved her daisy pin and earrings. So perfectly Meredith.

        • siriuslover

          His misery is definitely Peggy related. He seemed “ok” at the beginning of the season when he came to the office, but then went downhill after that interaction in the coffee room. What drew him to Peggy was her creativity, that’s what he thrives on, and Don’s pitch to him focused entirely on that aspect of his life (creativity, not Peggy). And his meek “I can work in the City?” just sealed it from me. He may have been working, but he’s been in as much an exile as Don was.

          • P M

            He looked like a drowning man who’s been offered a helicopter out of the water with that final meeting.

          • ShaoLinKitten

            Peggy’s storyline is the one I’m most interested in at this point. I am ambivalent about her and Ted. They clearly love each other, but the price Ted would have to pay is very high. I don’t think they’re through. I foresee some sort of crisis, where they either commit to each other or put it to rest permanently. Ted may have realized that he can’t enjoy his family or truly be present for them when he is so miserable. Not sure if he’s what’s best for Peggy, though. She might be better off banging the hot handyman.

            • Kit Jackson 1967

              What’s best for Peggy is to date the handyman, and have him pick her up at the office. Stan will see him, realize there is competition, and go after Peggy. For once, Peggy will get to make a choice, and she’ll chose Stan, because Stan and Peggy are meant to be together.

            • ShaoLinKitten

              From your mouth to Mr. Weiner’s ear!

            • Alice Teeple

              Make that: realize there is competition that isn’t a boss figure. :)

            • Alice Teeple

              I thought the handyman was a callback to Abe, and a parallel to Sally coming home to hot boys in her home. Peggy comes home to find a man in the corner fixing her house in overalls, just like Abe was doing a few years ago. That’s what a man is “supposed” to do. She showed some minor interest in him, until he brought out her cynical side by saying “a single woman owns a whole building?” To be fair, Abe brought out the exact same reaction when she first met him, so it’s possible that she’ll run with him for a while, but the idea of Peggy being with another Abe figure makes me cringe.

            • Chris

              Dear heavens- I agree no more Abes!

      • DM

        I don’t understand why the partners settled for five-year contracts – and a total buyout takes away their control and gives it to Roger, who I love, but whose interests are different than theirs. But maybe they saw themselves just riding off into the sunset or something!

      • Glammie

        Yes, the problem with Ted’s meltdown is that it would leave Cutler in a serious pickle–inadequate creative director in Lou, nonfunctioning one in Ted–and now’s when you try to fire Don? Not if you’re at all pragmatic. It was a weak bit of plottiing, but Mad Men has an ongoing problem with getting various bits of business right–generally, I just try to go with it.

        But, yes, Ted should have been put on leave. No one listens to poor Pete.

      • Alice Teeple

        I think that your note about the Carousel/Burger Chef parallels is an interesting one. I don’t think we, as 2014 people, are supposed to feel that resonation as well because we know what damage the fast food industry has done to our society. But in 1969, people by and large weren’t operating on that schedule of convenience. I remember the “Ramona” books when I was growing up – the hard times stories about families in the 70s, and how Ramona dreams of being able to go to a fast food restaurant and bite into a hamburger the way she likes. Her parents are strapped and all she can dream about is going to a fast food restaurant with her family. At that point, fast food restaurants were still sort of a novelty. Even when I was growing up in the early 80s, fast food was something we ate only on car trips on the Turnpike. The attitude about them has really shifted in the past 20 or so years, but at that point I don’t think the cynicism of them hadn’t really dug in yet.

        • Alloy Jane

          Not only that, fast food had yet to become the anti-nutritional garbage it is now. It was still real food, like In & Out.

          • Alice Teeple

            Well, technically, it was still anti-nutritional garbage, but not Frankenfoods yet. :)

        • Angela_the_Librarian

          Yes, I’m probably thinking in anachronistic way, but also there is just more emotional heft when talking about family pictures versus hamburgers (even if Peggy was trying hard to make it not about hamburgers). I guess I’m just a bigger sucker for nostalgia.

      • T C

        Cutler needed control of Chaough’s vote to terminate Draper and wasn’t going to address Chaough’s behavior until the termination was complete.

        • Angela_the_Librarian

          I don’t think Cutler had any intention to address Ted’s behavior(unless somehow his hand was forced). Also, I always found it interesting that the other partners were willing to accept Cutler voting for Ted in abstentia. I actually think Ted might have taken Don’s side.

    • decormaven

      “Tell me what I can do.”
      “You can get my attorney on the phone. And we can’t do this.”
      “You’re right. Not right now.”
      Meredith- never change!

    • surfergirl70

      I didn’t interpret Don’s handing the pitch over to Peggy as a sign that he didn’t think he could do it – I think he really was trying to protect her interests because he thought he was on his way out of the company. Except for Cutler and Joan (who clearly doesn’t give a shit about anything but the money), I get the sense that everybody still believes that Don Draper is a rock star.

      And I thought Bert’s “bravo” was to Armstrong’s eloquence with the “one small step for man” line (an ad man’s appreciation for the ultimate tag line), rather than a general nod to the moon landing itself.

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

        We don’t think Don didn’t think he could do it either. We think he recognized that Peggy could do it just as well.

        • surfergirl70

          Agreed. In any event, love your recaps and Mad Style posts. :)

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

            Thanks!

      • ShaoLinKitten

        I agree with your assessment of Bert’s “Bravo!” I think it was mostly admiration of an excellent meme, as we’d call it now. A brilliant tagline. Bert Cooper died an ad-man.

      • DM

        I agree, his reason for having Peggy present was very clear and rational. He was right, before Bert died there was a good chance he’d be gone. I expect that if she got Burger Chef, she might be more inclined to fight his corner, but that wasn’t his thought then.
        I agree as well about Bert’s “Bravo!”.

    • Belle

      Thank you for that grand recap that not only explained a few things, but agreed with others that have been weighing on me in the way only an unimportant thing like a fantastic tv show can. I didn’t disagree with one single thing. How lovely to know there’s someone out there with whom I don’t have to argue :D

    • Angel O’Leary

      Joan’s turn to hatred of Don seemed to have really started after his telling everyone about growing up in a brothel. I wonder if Joan’s reaction may be about this hitting to close to home? Enough people know she slept her way into a partnership for her son to eventually find out and she is seeing in Don what that sort of thing can do to a person. I know that Don’s mother’s situation was exponentially worse but I think it may be a sort of psychological itch and Joan just can’t stand to see him and be reminded constantly.

      On a less serious note, I REALLY want Meredith to end up with Don. She is so odd she makes me laugh.

      • DM

        Interesting point about Joan. I was thinking she resents Don as well somehow: there was a mixup between them somehow – he didn’t get to her in time before she slept with that sleaze Jaguar guy, and he reacted negatively to it when he found out, and there was a suggestion she had lost some of his admiration. Maybe he reminds her of that too, I don’t know.
        I was waiting for Don to slap down Meredith but he showed amazing restraint or maybe was in too much shock. She was so patronizing – “Look at you, you’re so confused!”

      • Glammie

        Interesting idea. Maybe it’s not just the money, but also the prostitution thing–in a way, Don knows too much.

    • Teresa

      So what exactly is Harry’s status re:partnership. Was he voted in but it’s not official? They were fast to kick him out of the partners meetings.

      • DeniseSchipani

        He ends up a day late and a dollar short. Had Bert hung on another few days, he’d have been officially a partner,a nd Don would have been out. It’s like when your boss gives you a verbal raise, then leaves before it’s finalized, and the new boss chooses to ignore it (what, me, bitter?) :)

        • MilaXX

          You too? Been there, done that. It burns.

        • Angela_the_Librarian

          I wonder though if Don would have really been out. Cutler just assumed that Harry would have voted him out, but I’m not so sure if that would have been the end result.

          • P M

            Exactly. Harry would have actually been a good swing state, so to speak. He has divided loyalties.

            • Glammie

              Harry would have voted for Don, since he leaked the news about Commander that enabled Don to get back in the swing of things.

              So, Cutler 20 percent, Ted 20 percent, Joan 5 percent. Jim controls Ted’s vote.

            • MilaXX

              Agreed. Harry may have had enough loyalty to Don to alert him to the Philip Morris deal, but he also owed his being recommended for partnership to Jim.

      • FibonacciSequins

        I think he was negotiating the terms, which means he hadn’t accepted the offer and won’t get any of the McCann. It seems to be up in the air whether he’ll be a partner after that deal goes through.

      • MarinaCat

        In the final partners meeting where Roger was presenting the McCann deal, I thought Roger said something like, “You didn’t sign yet” or perhaps Harry said, “I’ll sign it!” Either way, there was the suggestion that Harry is not a partner and gets nothing.

        • elevan

          The partners shooed him off twice now during “partners business.” I think Harry did in fact snooze & lose.

      • EveEve

        He was voted in, but hadn’t signed the deal yet. Apparently his wife’s alimony demands were holding things up. He wanted to get divorced before he became a partner.

      • Laylalola

        It’s really sad because he asked Don what he should negotiate for and Don flat-out told him don’t negotiate, take the deal now.

      • E M

        He asked for Don’s “impartial” advice which was to sign and not negotiate. He didn’t listen, and he got screwed out everything.

    • Frank_821

      I wanted to add as much as I have liked this half season, I still hate the idea of splitting things. Owing to the structure we haven’t gotten a proper writing for the Don and Joan scenario. And even more so with Ted. We only have the one episode where we get some commentary about the fallout with Peggy. But really nothing has been explored in that area. Ted’s been background noise. Ted saying he’s sick of working in advertising didn’t ring quite true and I am surprised Jim Cutler didn’t suspect something more. After all Ted volunteered to go to LA. That alone should have alerted Jim something was amiss

      Anyway, overall a better season. Less wheel spinning and less bullshit*

      BTW I loved how obvious to Betty Sally was being. But my god Sally Draper is looking to be a young women. I was a little thrown how glammed up she was for the boys in her Life guard uniform. But good for her for picking the nerd over the obtuse hunk.

      *speaking of which. My hats off to the uncles and their administrative efforts. Those who were up around 5 AM will understand what I’m talking about

      • FibonacciSequins

        I missed that but my hat’s off to the uncles simply for their thoughtful analysis. I’m going to miss this next Monday morning!

        • wisdomy

          Totally off-topic, but I just need to say that your username makes me absurdly happy. :)

          • FibonacciSequins

            Thank you! I wish I could take credit for thinking it up, but I stole it from a PowerPuff Girls character. I’ve received many compliments here on it, which in turns makes me absurdly happy! :)

      • Sherilyne Cox

        I don’t necessarily agree that Sean, the hunky guy, was obtuse. He was definitely thinking about the government’s choices and how it might effect him…..a young man who could be drafted. His brother, Neil, was safe. Sally continues to experiment, not certain what she wants. Or why.

        • Frank_821

          I based my assessment on everything about him in the episode not just his comments about the moon landing. His mom sized him up pretty well. Lots of talent and potential but no passion. The comment about the government spending is not unreasonable. For me he doesn’t seem like he has any idea who he is or what he wants. Also he’s not aware enough to show some manners when he’s guest in someone’s house. He seems like a kid who sulked and complained for the sake of it.

          His brother Neil seems to have a better fix on his identity. But then again as the nerdy one, Neil might have that luxury of figuring himself out where Sean may be unfairly pigeon holed as a social golden boy and jock.

          Now that I think about it. You can see a minor and very loose comparison between those brothers and the rant Jim Cutler gave to Don calling him a bully and a jock in a suit. Granted it’s a really loose connectin

          • Sherilyne Cox

            Yes, Sean certainly seems to have been objectified by the adults who, based on his pedigree and his natural assets, may expect him to follow a specific path. Betty makes the same assumptions about Sally who she presumes would be attracted to the same things/people she admires. After all, it’s always about Betty, and she has no clue about who her children are. None.

          • DM

            Who were those boys, anyway? I couldn’t jog my memory – who was their mom, Roger’s ex-wife or somebody new??

            • MilaXX

              Mom was a college friend of Betty’s. We’ve never seen any of the character before.

      • Glammie

        I want to add my thanks to TLo for the administrative efforts. I’ve been coming here for years now and it’s remarkable how wonderful a corner of the Web this has been over the years. That little dust-up this morning made me remember how awful things can be.

        • T C

          Absolutely agree. Bravo Uncles!

    • Amy

      It makes total sense to me that Don would have to work longer to win back Joan’s trust and goodwill than anyone else’s. She’s not as young or impressionable as Peggy, and Don’s supercilious judgment (especially considering his own baggage with prostitutes) was probably the one sting Joan couldn’t forgive. Just hold on for next season. The showrunners needed to leave SOME personal amends for Don to make; in light of the fact that he (via Roger) makes some serious professional amends to Joan in 7.07, I still have hope for their friendship.

    • http://www.ellenciompi.com/ NurseEllen

      To me, this episode was all about money—its advantages, its tendency to corrupt, its way of altering the viewpoint in even the most trivial of interactions. To wit: Peggy with the repair guy–he hands her a hastily scribbled piece of paper, she says, “I told you I wasn’t going to pay until the job was finished,” and he says, “That’s my phone number.” Joan–“I’m tired of him [Don] costing me money.” Roger–after Cooper’s death, he regrets that his last words to his friend were “the lyrics to some stupid old song”. What was the song? “Let’s Have Another Cup of Coffee, and Let’s Eat Another Piece of Pie”, a song from the depression, about ignoring financial realities and getting on with life. Don–he doesn’t tell Megan that he doesn’t love her (and I’m not sure, maybe he still does), but he does say, “I’ll always take care of you, I owe you that.” Harry–bitching that his wife is putting off asking for a divorce because she is waiting for him to be named a partner and therefore get more alimony. Of course the whole buyout/merger and the incredible financial windfall it will present to the partners….how fast did the atmosphere in THAT office change after Roger’s revelation of the deal he brokered? And the final “The Best Things in Life Are Free”, a not-so-subtle bit of advice from business founder to one of his business sons to stop concentrating on the money and start paying attention to the stuff that really matters.

      And seriously? “Oh Captain, My Captain” as a memorial reading to the SC staff? PUH-LEEZE. That poem was cheesy abut 10 minutes after Whitman wrote it, plus it was written about the death of Lincoln. Cooper may have founded the company but he sure wasn’t Lincoln. He couldn’t even stand having a black woman as the front door receptionist. Cutler’s an ass. (Although his send off of Lou Avery was spot on target, very funny, and perfectly delivered.)

      • Alice Teeple

        I thought it was perfectly ironic. It’s something that would have been cheesy and cliché, but perfectly reasonable to expect at the time. After all…O Captain My Captain was used in “Dead Poets Society.” The fact that Cooper was a Randian racist made the choice of that particular poem even funnier…and the fact that a black woman found his dead body after sitting next to him was also ironic.

    • Amy

      Also: Neil is actually much more like Don than his big brother is. Sally chose the guy who embodies what she (and everyone else) loves best about Don–his imagination and optimism. Isn’t that what the plaid was about–a visual link to Don?

      • Chris

        That’s true and Don at Neil’s age didn’t look any better than him.

      • P M

        i.e she chose Dick, not Don? I like that interpretation

    • TigerLaverada

      I love this show so much, yet your recaps increase my pleasure exponentially. Thanks for your insights and late-night diligence!

    • Sherilyne Cox

      My first job was at a Burger Chef. It’s a wing place now that shares a parking lot with Whole Foods.
      Hats off to Wiener and all of the matching shots between like-minded characters. Also loved the way that Bert Cooper’s ethereal soft-shoe made him seem weightless. My sister was born the day Armstrong walked on the moon. This episode was particularly personal for me.

      • DM

        My first job was at Burger Chef too, part time when I was in high school. The manager was a portly guy with stringy hair who drove a hearse and leered at the girls. When we found out he’d hired a new one at a higher pay rate, we all demanded raises.

        • Sherilyne Cox

          Was his name Kent? Big jerk who let the pretty young things eat all the French fries they wanted for an accidental grope.

    • Shawn EH

      Wow. Still processing this amazing episode. The TLo take on the Bert Cooper song and dance is the best take I’ve read online.

    • Marian Humin

      I’m feeling a real Ayn Rand influence on Mad Men. Anyone else? When Don said, I just want to work. I don’t care about the business. It hit me like a ton of bricks.

      • Gatto Nero

        I may be wrong, but I think Don meant that he wants to do the creative work he’s known for and not have to worry about the financial functioning of the agency.

        • Kit Jackson 1967

          It reminded me of Jim Henson selling to Disney. Henson didn’t want to have to deal with the business side/distribution, he wanted to create. The Disney deal would have let someone else handle the other elements, and leave Henson free to focus on the creative end.

          • Alice Teeple

            That’s a really good analogy. And yet, deep inside, I’m cringing, because really, it’s a lie. You’re only answering to someone even larger and more corrupt in the end. (Yes, I think Disney is corrupt.)

            • Kit Jackson 1967

              I think it’s a case of what looks like a good idea on paper vs. what the reality ends up being. With the Henson deal we’ll never really know how it would have turned out, because Henson died during the final stages of the negotiations.

        • Marian Humin

          Exactly!…..Just like Howard Roark in “The Fountainhead”. I’m seeing Don as a compilation of Howard Roark and Hank Reardon from Atlas shrugged. Pete’s character reminds me of Peter Keating. I am seeing many of the characters of MadMen as very similar to Ayn Rand’s characters .

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

        I assumed that was why TLo referred to Bert Cooper as Randian, above!

        • Marian Humin

          I’m not just talking about Bert Cooper. Many of the characters of Mad Men remind me of the characters from Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged”.

      • Laylalola

        Bert Cooper — if he didn’t push Ayn Rand I think he did explicitly discuss her or her writings? Kind of like the Mark Rothko painting that he had for so many years, it was kind of unclear to me whether Bert actually liked it or had it for other sort of inscrutable reasons but it was always definitely hanging over him.

    • VDbloom

      I really enjoyed this mid-season finale, as odd and unexpected as it was. There were so many brilliantly acted scenes that were by turns incredibly touching or very poignant: Don’s scenes with Peggy, Don’s scene with Megan, Peggy’s scene with Julio, Roger’s scenes with Don, and Roger’s scenes with Bert. The image of Roger taking down him mentor’s nameplate from the door was particularly heartrending. My one concern is that all the major players save a few seem to have encountered good fortune in this episode, and given that there are seven episode left, it seems as if they may be headed for a fall.

    • http://www.redriverhistorian.com texashistorian

      My favorite, fulfilling moment was Peggy’s pitch – and Pete’s dawning realization that SHE is the “horseflesh” now. He berated her in the rehearsal for the “introduction” but then had to eat humble pie when she OWNED the presentation. Pete is such an unlikeable character, and the show realizes it – and gives us the satisfaction of realizing it.

      Thank you, Tom & Lorenzo, for your late night work! You made my day.

      • Lady Bug

        Partially agree with you about Pete, to some extent. He can at times, behave in an unlikable manner, but there are other times when he is also shown to be loyal, dedicated and forward thinking. While he still sometimes behaves like a 12 year old boy and throws massive temper tantrums-in many, although certainly not all, cases he’s usually correct about the underlying issues. In some ways, I think he’s actually matured quite a bit since Season 1. Yes, he’s now realizing that Peggy is a force to be reckon with.

        • DM

          That actor can really do a lip-curling put-down like nobody’s business. I was otherwise enjoying seeing Pete looking so tanned, relaxed, and healthy (a bit too healthy maybe) out in California. I guess he lost his girlfriend now, though?

          • Lady Bug

            Yes, what Bonnie giveth, Bonnie taketh away.

        • FibonacciSequins

          I love that Pete is such a complex character. He is by turn loathsome, impressive and hilarious!

          • Lady Bug

            So, so true! He can also be completely heartbreaking, as in the scene with Peggy when he tells her he loves her, or saying goodbye to Tammy at the end of Season 6. Pete Campbell is one of the great characters in T.V. history.

    • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

      LOVED IT.

    • John G. Hill

      I watch the whole show, and the only thing bugging me is Peggy having office ceiling tiles being installed in her apartment. Is there anything more hideous?
      Other than that, great show, and I’ll admit I teared up when watching Robert Morse do his thing. In his many years on Broadway, Robert Morse owned that stage.

      • siriuslover

        cuiously, just yesterday I saw an episode of Property Brothers where the house the couple purchased had exactly the same thing. I think it was a “thing” to modernize old buildings and keep in heat at the time. Not 100% sure though.

        • Alice Teeple

          It was definitely a heat-related thing. Additionally, it covered asbestos and insulation. It wasn’t just bad taste, it was seen as a practical way to keep heating costs down – something that would really become an issue in the coming 8 years or so.

          • T C

            The sight of an ineffective table fan led me to thinking she might also install a window air conditioner. She did mention sweating during her wardrobe display with Julio. The lower ceilings definitely bring lower utility bills and hide expensive (when properly done) re-plastering. Makes me believe Peggy is staying in her building for a while, unlike Joan.

      • P M

        I thought to myself as I saw that: ‘Ah, and now we know when hideous tile ceilings began. They, too are practically a product of the hideous 70s’

      • SunDevilWitch

        I groaned and thought, “Someone’s going to pay to have that removed in about 35 years and be thrilled to discover all the gorgeous moulding.”

        • Alice Teeple

          When we first moved into our house in 1986, there was still green shag carpeting and terrible 70s plaster swirls all over the walls. I will add that our house was built in the 1880s, so it looked even more ridiculous.

        • DeniseSchipani

          And they’ll be glad (or they should) that the former owner simply added drop ceilings, rather than tear out things like original molding. Most of the hideous stuff of the 70s just covered the old, and ironically protected it. Think linoleum hiding perfect hardwood floors beneath.

      • Sherilyne Cox

        Dropped panel ceilings were to the new sixties as dome kitchen ceilings were to the new eighties.

        • FibonacciSequins

          Excellent comparison!

      • Alice Teeple

        I thought the ceiling tile installation was a hilarious touch!

      • DM

        Hung ceilings have always been a cheap and unsatisfying alternative to fixing ceilings properly. She’s on her way to being a great slumlord…!
        I never liked Peggy’s taste in clothes – fabrics, colours, patterns are always off. Her hair has only recently shifted from dreadful to mildly irritating. She seems unrealistically unconcerned about her appearance, for somebody in her line of business. This was the first time I recall her thinking out loud about what she would wear to a presentation.
        Having said that, Joan’s wardrobe has been puzzling me for ages. She dressed for the 50s for half the seasons and now I don’t know where they got the number she wore in the last scenes.

        • Glammie

          She tries, but she has no sense of style. I’ve known a number of women like that. Her clothes are pretty much always suitable for the event, just not necessarily flattering. Her casual wear’s pretty much a disaster though.

        • E M

          I don’t think there’s anything to suggest she’s trying to be slum lord. It was a common and probably fashionable thing to do at the time. It seems like she’s trying to improve the place and probably save on heating/cooling costs.

      • MsKitty

        I can only imagine what “House Hunters” would have been like in 1969. Entitled twentysomething homeowner: “If there’s no drop ceilings, formica countertops or avocado appliances, then that’s a dealbreaker to me.”

    • Jo Bleaux

      There were some touches that made me wonder what was going on until the finale, which was so uncharacteristically surreal. For instance, the green-screening in Ted’s airplane scene was comically bad. Also, the first step on the moon was moved to night-time instead of mid-afternoon as I remembered it (I looked it up — 20:18 GMT), giving a dreamy quality to the interlocking scenes.

      • Qitkat

        While it is correct that the Eagle LANDED on the moon at 4:18pm Eastern Standard Time (20:18 GMT or UTC), Neil Armstrong did not take his first step on the moon until over six hours later, at 10:56 pm EST. So it was nighttime for everyone we saw on Mad Men watching the historic first step. I watched all of this live at the time, and remember that the landing was in the afternoon, I think the broadcasting was pretty much continuous. The last evening news came on in Washington DC late and they played the highlights with the song “The Impossible Dream” playing over them. I remember crying with overwhelming emotion.

        • jschool

          Exactly right. I remember it clearly, as well. Our family was glued to the TV set all evening (on the east coast).

          • decormaven

            I remember going out to look at the night sky to look at the moon.

        • Glammie

          I was at a family camp. Hundreds of us sat in the mess hall watching this fuzz-filled screen (no cable back then and reception was terrible.) So, more the idea than the visual. But it’s still a vivid memory–kind of an apex of the American Dream.

        • FibonacciSequins

          Thanks for adding this. I was only seven at the time, but in my recollection we watched that historic first step on the moon late (for me) at night. Glad to know I wasn’t mis-remembering.

        • T C

          I was halfway around the world that day, volunteering in a Spastic Children’s School. That country never broadcast any western television live or any television outside the 4-9:15pm weekday on the two government channels. It was extraordinary to see a television rolled into the large room where we did 1:1 motor skills practice with the clients in the early afternoon. I watched, my clients were not interested and when I returned home, my cook absolutely could not believe that humans had gone to the moon. Her stringent disbelief continued well past Moon Festival the following month.

          • Qitkat

            That’s fascinating. It’s all too easy to forget everyone did not react as most Americans did.

        • Sherilyne Cox

          My sister was born that day and my parents shipped me off to the beach with the neighbors for the weekend. We listened to on the radio while watching the night sky on a Florida Panhandle beach. One small step for mankind, and a giant push for my mom!

        • Jo Bleaux

          I must be remembering the actual landing (I was pretty young at the time).

    • SunDevilWitch

      I haven’t liked Joan’s sudden animosity toward Don, and you’ve nailed it on the head that her fortunes have actually risen because of him.

      I would suggest that she’s terrified of not having enough money to get by without a man, hence keeping the apartment and practically climaxing at the thought of $1.5 million. I think she made a deal with herself that sleeping with the Jaguar guy was the last time she’d let a man control her finances. She’s been told by mum (and society) long enough that her worth is only in her looks, she knows they’ll go soon, and she wants to never have to rely on another man, including Roger, to support her and her son.

      • MarinaCat

        Well, Don wasn’t exactly a force in getting more money for Joan, but regardless, I’m wondering what their relationship holds once the deal and the money are solidified. I don’t know that I like the idea of Joan forgiving Don just because he fell ass-backwards into a plan that yielded her more money. That would make her look completely shallow.

        • Alice Teeple

          I’m not sure that Joan ISN’T completely shallow. When we first see her taking Peggy through the office, she humblebrags her way through a speech about some powerful man whose house “she didn’t see,” with a wink. She had a long affair with Sterling and enjoyed the monetary benefits that came with it: including that nice fur coat. I think people are putting too much of a “St. Joan the Single Mom” spin on her character. She’s always been a whore, but now everyone knows it and she’s trapped in that role because of her own greed. I think that’s perfectly in keeping with her focus being on the money. Let’s face it: $1M in 1969 money is plenty for her and her love child to live off of in a Village apartment. But she’s doing just fine without it. She sees the $1M as the payoff/reward for her terrible choices, and for that to be taken from her invalidates that choice and reminds her that she’s no better than the whore bags in Don Draper’s brothel origins.

        • SylviaFowler

          She is completely shallow though. And Don is the reason she has most of the money she had in the first place. It was his creative talent that turned the company into a juggernaut and his survival skills and smarts that have saved it (more than once). If it weren’t for Don, she would have been out of a job a long time ago.

    • Candigirl1968

      Thank you TLo for taking time out of your holiday for sharing the recap with your Bitter Kittens!

      Joan seems to have taken a turn, but I continue to wonder, why should she be in Don’s corner? Notwithstanding her partnership, she remains on the fringes – heck, until Jim started getting strategic, she still managed the secretaries and sat with the support staff. She is very good at her job, but it appears to simply be a means to an end; there is no great love for the work, nor is there a true sense that the place is “hers”. If SC&P blows up, or she is otherwise forced to leave, her job prospects are unclear, but they will likely be inferior to what she has (heck, for all of Peggy’s talent, she still gets treated like a monkey riding a bicycle all too often). For single mother Joan, security is understandably money, and $1M (which is probably at least 5 or 6 times that amount in today’s numbers) equals real security. And Don, even if he didn’t know an IPO was on the table, is very comfortable messing up other people’s money without concern for the fallout.

      Don has rebuilt his relationship with Peggy by doing the work, i.e., by doing his job, by making real amends and by demonstrating that he is wiling to be authentically generous. He’s rebuilt his relationship with Roger by doing what worked for them (engaging in some yelling and then Don showing Roger he could play by the rules, at least within reason). If things are going to change with Joan, then Don is going to have to put in the time.

    • Shawn Taylor

      I hope someone was as happy with Bert’s “he’s a pain in the ass” aside as I was.

      • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

        Well, as Meredith would say, Who cares?

    • Garry Todd

      Loved this episode! HATE THE 11 MONTH WAIT FOR THE REST! :( But SO MANY great moments: the speculation and national anxiety around the moon landing, Peggy and Don seeming VERY cozy in that hotel room(and everywhere in general), Peggy & Julio, Meredith(!!) attempting a seduction that got denied by DD 2.0, the mostly-drifting Roger suddenly regaining his mojo after Bert’s death, and lastly Bert’s fabulous “final scene”…genius, odd, but perfect. Besides Roger putting the cutlery to Cutler(that man is fucking TOAST!), or uber-greedy bitch Joan, or TEd literally “dying” in a plane “pitch” meeting, my all-time fave arc was this one: Sally Draper, Nerd Slut! This gal is going to grow up and marry Paul Allan/Bill Gates/etc. SO GLAD Roger got his shit back together, but very sad it took Bert’s death(I knew that was what that phone call was) to make it happen…but yes, Bert HAS raised his two sons well. Bravo Matthew Weiner!

      • Ganoc

        “Nerd slut” is a really unfortunate phrase to use about an adolescent girl sweetly kissing a boy. As is calling Joan an “uber-greedy bitch” for being upset that a colleague’s actions cost her $1million (in 60s money, no less). She’s poorly written this season, certainly, but I would be pretty upset if I had lost out on that pay check, too.

        • Garry Todd

          Okay so “nerd slut” may seem harsh, but wasn’t she a bit overly tarted-up? And SMOKING like a chimney! Perhaps correct for her time period, but I see her as “Don-ette”, and I see lots of men in her future. Also re:Joan, as the description above says Don had no idea they were going to take the company public…and last night, with Don’s help, Roger made her EVEN MORE MONEY! So, as many times as Don has defended Joan and tried to rescue her, I stand by my assessment. Seems to me money means much more than loyalty to Joanie.

          • FranklyMyDear

            So Joan is labeled an uber-greedy bitch, but Cutler, who ‘votes’ for the merger in the end because “it’s a lot of money” after trying to fire Don, bully the partners and try and run the company his way is not? And please sir never, ever use that awful term nerd slut again… Particularly not in reference to a teenage girl.

          • Ganoc

            I don’t think its appropriate, ever, to refer to a teenaged girl as a slut, no matter what prefix it’s given. I think it’s especially egregious to do so and justify it by saying she’s “overly tarted-up.” I don’t want to get harsh, because I love the collegiality of the TLo community, but calling a young woman a slut and another female character an “uber-greedy bitch” in one post reads as misogyny. And that’s not cool.

      • CatLady

        Ick, “nerd slut” is a really gross phrase and a bad way to describe that scene.

    • VDbloom

      Did anyone else catch the moment when Cutler showed Bert the letter he wrote about Don being in breech of contract? Bert was outraged that Cutler had made him a signee of the letter without his consent. I thought this was a kind of hilarious callback to when Don left Bert’s signature off of the Lucky Strike letter. Either way, Bert really can’t catch a break with his capricious coworkers.

      • SunDevilWitch

        But the secretaries do know to break into a well-choreographed dance routine when he starts to sing.

        • P M

          That’s the song waiting to be written about office workers in general: Tap-Dancing to the Boss’s Tune.

        • Lady Bug

          The secretarial pool at Sterling-Cooper: not only will they buy your daughter birthday presents, hide your affairs and perform emergency first aid following a gruesome accident with a lawnmower- they can also perform a soft-shoe with the best of them!

        • DM

          Were they all ghosts, too?

          • SunDevilWitch

            Ghosts of Flings Past :)

        • E M

          I think they were clearly all part of the fantasy. Its clear Shirley and Dawn are the only African-American secretaries really at the firm (unless something has changed in the last few weeks) based on their name-game.

    • http://instagram.com/gioioio gioioio

      Peggy’s “We have no liquor!” followed by putting her face in her hands and shaking her head had me laughing so much. Don and her are truly equals now.

      • wisdomy

        I think that was my favorite moment of the whole episode.

      • T C

        Roger also needed a drink after he bought his way into Don’s building.

    • John G. Hill

      AMC is hoping for a renewed media build-up to next season. First honoring the excellence of the past years, and contemplating the future. They are hoping this goes the way of “Breaking Bad,”with people binge watching on Netflix and having the time to catch up. May not happen the same way though, the body count on “Mad Men” being a tiny fraction of the bloodshed that was a weekly staple of “Breaking Bad.”

      • Sherilyne Cox

        I’m already planning the series finale party and hope people come as their favorite character. I’ll probably be Mona, but am considering Pete’s dead mother. Shrimp cocktail, rumaki, oysters Rockefeller and high balls. Lots and lots of high balls.

        • SunDevilWitch

          I’m doing the same thing! Although I’ll channel my inner Joan for this one. Now off to buy a gold charm bracelet…

          • Sherilyne Cox

            I need a new hat. Maybe something with fur. Bergdorf’s is having a sale.

        • FibonacciSequins

          What a great idea! I’m going to binge watch the full series before the second half of Season 7 begins.

          • Cheryl

            I’m going to be sooo drunk, oh wait you said binge watch…

        • MilaXX

          The power of suggestion is strong. I always want a glass of wine watching Scandal and I almost always fix a cocktail to watch Mad Men. Last night I had fresh pineapple blended into vodka.

          • FranklyMyDear

            Yes! Thank you! I poured myself a nice scotch for this episode. And Off-topic but I covet those ballon wineglasses Olivia has on Scandal

            • MilaXX

              Crate and Barrel carries them. I may or may not have purchased them. ;-)

        • Gatto Nero

          Are we all invited?

          • Sherilyne Cox

            Yes. I’ll alert the caterers and see if I can get my fabulous friend, Charlotte, to reprise Meghan’s zu-bi-zu-bi-zu.

      • MilaXX

        When he was on The Colbert Report MW made it seem like the split season was a much his decision as it was AMC’s.

        • elevan

          I didn’t see it that way at all. I thought he was trying to avoid giving an honest answer/possibly badmouthing the network.

    • Inspector_Gidget

      “Half-season finale” is the new “jumbo shrimp”

    • EveEve

      When Roger (to convince the partners to accept the buyout) threw out the proposition that the company might be valued at $65 million, it seemed improbable to me. Yet nobody in the room expressed any scepticism about that dollar amount. Instead they (particularly Joan and Pete) started salivating at what that would mean for their own personal gain.

      Is it possible that the amount was deliberately vastly over-inflated by Roger and nobody even thought to question it?

      • Laylalola

        I thought they didn’t question it because it didn’t sound vastly over-inflated, so I did a quick Google. Business publications went to the bother of figuring out Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce had $40 million in billlings — that was in 1960s dollars and years earlier in Mad Men time (before losing Lucky Strike and taking Jaguar and Chevy and Sunkist etc).

        • EveEve

          Thanks – that makes sense. Still, it seems as though things were being wrapped up just a little too cleverly, quickly, and neatly for the semi-season ender. Partners voting without giving the details any consideration – when so much was at stake? pure tee-vee.

          • Alloy Jane

            SCDP was created to get away from McCann, so I don’t see any neat wrapping in the sell-out. Hence the irony of Bert singing “The Best Things in Life are Free” in Don’s vision. It may have been staged to make us feel good, but I wonder how bad the shit will be hitting the fan next season.

    • Jean Genetic

      This was the series finale that we all wanted I think, however, it’s not the series finale! Whatever happens in those final seven episodes, I have a feeling that it’s not going to be what I expected.

      • Lady Bug

        Yup, that’s one of the great things about Mad Men. I usually have no idea what to expect, but after it happens, it usually makes sense.

    • MarinaCat

      Between the scene with Meredith, and that mid-air shot of Ted’s airplane, there were a few moments where I felt like I was watching a 1960s rom-com. All we needed was Tony Randall as the male friend to the female lead.

    • claudine

      bravo

    • acerbia

      HE WAS AN ASTRONAUT.

    • VastAmphibians

      Halfway through Cooper’s song and dance number, I recalled that Don also saw the ghost of Anna Draper the night that she died. Much more briefly, and without music, but at least the notion of a character saying a last goodbye isn’t as completely foreign to this show as it first seemed.

      • Alice Teeple

        There was Adam showing up at the dentist’s office, too!

    • E M

      Thank you sooo much for this review. I was out of sorts trying to figure out the end, your recap nailed it.

    • Cyprienne Zed

      Sally goes for the nerd under the stars, not the athlete everyone expects — choosing Dick Whitman over Don Draper?

      • Gatto Nero

        Choosing the smart, sensitive guy over the cynical jock.

    • CatherineRhodes

      What a great episode and outstanding season. Wonderful analysis, TLO.

      Peggy: Love that she was nervous and wobbly the night before the presentation, but then pulled it together and knocked it out of the park. A true professional. Last week, she asked “where did I go wrong?” but this week she surely understands that for her, landing Burger Chef is more satisfying than a thousand wood-paneled station wagons in the suburbs.

      Joan: I disagree that Joan is acting out of character. She’s always been about the money. Remember she whored herself for a partnership, then received a lot of praise during the IPO days for how well she’d managed the company’s finances. She was devasted when they didn’t go public. She’s almost 40, realizing perhaps that a husband isn’t in the cards for her, not willing to be Bob Benson’s beard, not really all that maternal, not into the Martha Stewart-ish aspect of decorating her home (as we discussed last week) — so where does she find her satisfaction now? From the money that career success brings.

      Megan: I always really liked Megan, especially during the early years of the their marriage when she and Don were the power couple at SC. But she had other aspirations and the couple grew apart. The writers did an excellent job depicting a failing marriage during this season. It takes a lot of fits and starts before both parties finally both understand that it’s over — the fondue pot was the coup de grace.

      • oat327

        I just think it’s hard to reconcile Joan of past seasons, and even Joan’s “I want love!” of last week, with Joan’s recent interactions with Don. If she was so single-mindedly motivated by money, she’d be Mrs. Bob Benson, or even Mrs. Roger Sterling. Or at least living in a nicer apartment.

        Plus, even if she is that motivated by money, a good businesswoman would know Don didn’t actually “cost her a million dollars.” Her stake in SCDP was still worth a fortune–and, because of Don, her stake in SC&P is worth 50% more, two years later. She’s never been shown as anything but thrilled at her powerful role at SC&P–so why would she still hold a grudge, years later, about a one-time payoff that would’ve closed all of those doors, especially because things are so much better for her, in terms of finances and power?

        Agreed about Peggy, and especially Megan, though. I don’t think Megan was ever as complex a character as the others, but the writers did do an excellent job depicting her marriage to Don from day one.

        • Alice Teeple

          She’s made no secret that she found Draper attractive in the past, and even though she had a longstanding affair with Roger, she still had eyes for Don. Maybe in her head she’s a bit put out that he’s the only one who never put the move on her. I don’t think she’s ever gotten over three disappointments – first, the perception that he was involved in the plan for her to whore herself out, and then his too-late arrival to save her, and finally his role in throwing out the baby with the bathwater. His “I grew up in a whorehouse” speech may have been perceived as a dig at her choice. I don’t think her anger toward him is out of character, but more misguided shame for herself.

          • Alloy Jane

            Joan wants status, power, and the money that buys it. She has her own ideals, which include holding out for love, but that single-minded pursuit of money/power coupled with Don undermining her personal sacrifice in selling her body to “save” the company, plus merging with CGC and preventing SCDP from going public, makes her anger towards Don very much in character.

            • Alice Teeple

              Oh that’s right, the power angle, too. You’re exactly right. She saw her prostitution as a guilt trip trump card she could always use as a “look at the sacrifices I made.”

      • Qitkat

        I agree about Megan, the marriage finally ended with a whimper, and Don had gained enough grace to allow it to end without another argument. I alluded to several poignant moments occurring in the episode in my long post a short while ago, and this definitely was one of those.

      • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

        Joan being 40 and having a child – I wonder how many marriages happened to women in that situation in 1969? And 2014? And how long they last.

    • landseaandsky

      Did anyone else catch that tiny flinch from Pete when Peggy referred to the ten year old boy she had at home? Did I imagine it?

      • Kathryn Sanderson

        I caught it, too.

        • Lady Bug

          Me three

      • VastAmphibians

        I didn’t catch it, but I was wondering what he was thinking at that moment. I’ll have to go back and rewatch that scene!

      • FibonacciSequins

        The camera cut to Pete when she said it, so we were intended to notice his reaction. I didn’t exactly see a flinch, I saw him lifting his chin – which I read as him both acknowledging the power of her pitch, and thinking of their child.

      • E M

        It seemed to me neither Pete nor Don had heard that part of her pitch before. Don turned his head slowly and had a puzzled look on his face, Pete looked up confusedly. But Don is the king of bringing in made-up or half-truth personal touches into his pitches (a la Hershey’s before the melt down) and they both knew it was pitch-talk — even though they both know there’s a kernel of truth to what she’s suggesting about the ten year old boy, probably neither knows about Julio.

    • PowerfulBusiness

      I thought they did a seamless job this week interweaving Betty’s storyline (really the Francis family) storyline with all of the other characters. Usually that family ties in in an overarching thematical way, but this week I loved how when their story felt like a continuation of what was happening at the office or the SC&P members on the road.

    • VioletFem

      I was so sure that Betty was going to end up having a Mrs. Robinson moment encounter with the “alpha male” football player.

    • AnnaleighBelle

      I sobbed through the entire episode – and Bert just sent me over the edge. **laugh/cry**

    • CatherineRhodes

      To say Don Draper hasn’t changed is not really accurate. He has confronted his sordid past rather than hiding it. He allowed those closest to him, his children and Megan, to know his secrets, and even ham-handedly confessed them in “open court” during the Hershey presentation. In AA they say you’re only as sick as your secrets. If that’s true, Don is a healthier person for having aired his origin story.

      This season he seems to be a better man. He’s accepted that his protege is now his peer, he’s letting Megan go without humiliating her or blaming her for the failure of the marriage, he has a decent relationship with his daughter and a renewed commitment to the value of his work.

      Perhaps, as TLo notes, it’s not change that Don has experienced but rather acceptance of his own paradigm. I prefer to see it as maturity, which in my opinion, is the best kind of change.

      • FibonacciSequins

        I agree with you. I think of it as Don having integrated, become whole. He no longer uses a persona to hide behind.

      • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

        He’s taken to internalizing, realizing that things he does are his fault, and no longer requiring flashbacks to excuse his behavior.

    • Laylalola

      The way they handled Bert’s death was such a nice touch, very much conveying that unlike some of the heavy deaths the show has dealt with, this was a man who had lived a very full life, was happy at the end, and at peace that it was his time.

    • landseaandsky

      No, I’ve looked again. It was a lift of the chin and a a look I can’t quite read.

    • Laylalola

      Harry will always remember the weekend he hesitated and lost out on his lottery ticket.

      • Lady Bug

        Hopefully, Scarlett will be able to provide him with some comfort. ;)

    • SayWhaaatNow

      I actually thought Sally going for the nerd was her going for the guy who was more similar to her father. While football lunkhead was sitting indoors and complaining about the marvel happening on TV, Neil was outside looking at the stars and dreaming. Who is more similar to Don in that regard? The guy who watches things unroll in front of him, or the guy who goes back to work – the guy who wants to make things happen? Cutler even calls Don a football player in a suit, but anyone who knows Don knows that is not who he is. He may look like an alpha football player, but he’s got the complexity of a dreamer. Sally went for the guy who had the essence of her father.

      • P M

        I thought the football player line was more about Don behaving like an entitled QB, rather than a team player.

        • Chris

          It also reminded me of Betty’s misperception about Don before she found out he was Dick Whitman. Didn’t she think he was a high school football hero who quarreled with his family? Everyone buys the Don Draper persona.

          • Glammie

            Yep. Immediately thought of that when Cutler said it.

      • BeyondNow

        Remember the computer guy talking about counting the stars.. and Don said, “Who looks at stars to count them?”

    • Lady Bug

      Even though they didn’t show the scene, I can so picture Cutler, in a very monotone, drone voice, reciting “O’ Captain! My Captain!” during the partners meeting, while the other partners look down at their watches waiting for the actual meeting to start.

      • FibonacciSequins

        I was hoping Roger took control and said something more fitting before Cutler could get started. But maybe that’s why Don went downstairs – he knew it was coming.

    • BeyondNow

      Dear Uncle Tom and Uncle Lorenzo, thank you for your guidance, understanding and insights all these years. As much anticipation I had for the show, I had for your posts about the show. If I may share how I interpreted Bert’s “Bravo” to the moon landing— It was that Bert got what a great tag line Neil Armstrong had worked out. ” Upon taking a “small step” onto the surface of the moon in 1969, Neil Armstrong uttered what would become one of history’s most famous one-liners. But strangely, what he actually said is far from clear. Listeners back on Earth heard, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” But Armstrong , who died at the age of 82 on Aug. 25, maintained afterwards that he actually said something slightly different: “That’s one small step for a man…””It’s just that people just didn’t hear [the 'a'],” Neil Armstrong told the press after the Apollo 11 mission.” I think Bert understood this completely. He was the ultimate Mad Man.

    • BeyondNow

      By the way.. This show has become the family of every single person posting….. so, we are in the same dynamics as Sterling Cooper. THEY became each other’s family, and we have taken them in as ours…. Oh, the metaphor of it all…..

    • AnnaleighBelle

      Don’s point to Ted is well taken. How many times do people move up the ladder just because it’s expected? If you get into teaching because you love interacting with the students, taking a promotion to principal probably won’t make you happy. Same with being a cop or probably being a software creator. As you move up in a job, they usually just become politics and paperwork, and the thing that attracted you to the work is gone. Business tends to be pretty generic as you move up the ladder away from the actual work.

      Don found his passion again by focusing on the work, writing tags and coupons. Maybe Ted will, too.

      • Alice Teeple

        I thought it was a nice parallel to Peggy’s speech and even to his own Carousel speech that he brought his own personal experience and wove it into a pitch for Ted. We’ve seen him fighting tooth and nail against being put back into gruntwork under Peggy, but he twisted it into a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps for creative satisfaction” to get Ted back in the saddle.

    • mixedupfiles

      Clive Thompson tweeted that the episode made him recall Gil Scott-Heron’s “Whitey on the Moon.” At first I was wishing that the show had included perhaps Dawn’s family in the collage of different families watching the moon landing, but likely it was a deliberate choice not to — and to include as Bert’s intro his housekeeper off-screen vacuuming, removed from the general [read: not black] “everyone” who was absorbed in the event, whether in favor or not.

      A rat done bit my sister Nell,
      with Whitey on the moon.
      Her face and arms began to swell,
      and Whitey’s on the moon.
      I can’t pay no doctor bill,
      but Whitey’s on the moon.
      Ten years from now I’ll be payin’ still
      while Whitey’s on the moon.

      • AnnaleighBelle

        And that’s the eternal struggle. Why waste so much money to go to the moon when we have problems on earth; why get involved in foreign issues when there is so much wrong at home…

        • mixedupfiles

          I’m actually firmly on the reach-for-the-stars side, but then, I’m in a position to be.

          I’m still thinking about Ta-Nehisi Coates’ great piece in the Atlantic this week, about how American history is congenitally and seemingly eternally dependent on black Americans in the role of the other. It’s not an economic, advantaged/disadvantaged divide (and in this episode Julio is entirely absorbed in the event), it’s an everyone else/blacks divide. I can’t do justice to Coates, but his piece is in part about how the country consistently uses blacks as a we’re-not-them crutch — so, Social Security and home ownership programs were specifically shaped to exclude most black Americans (and when did the country decide turn to Reaganite self-reliance? When blacks began to be included in tax-funded benefits).

        • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

          You can say it shorter: why live when you can die? There really isn’t an answer, but – there is.

      • Alloy Jane

        It wasn’t until Sally said, “We’ll be going there all the time, will people go hungry down here?” that that idea even crossed my mind. I’ve never seen it as “whitey on the moon” or as having any effect on what goes on “down here.” But I grew up reading Discover magazine and National Geographic, so I’m clearly biased. Science and technological advancement was never something that I saw as belonging to white people and I feel like the aspiration to technological greatness lifts everyone, not just one race or even the nation (America, fuck yeah!) that made history. Scientific endeavor is what distinguishes us as a species, and I guess what I’m saying is that even if whitey never made it to the moon, they still wouldn’t care what happened to “other” people. The space program is now dead but “other” hasn’t benefited from it. In fact, I think its death hit the entire American public pretty hard. And not just because the “Your big dreams cost too much” statement takes a stab at the heart of our national idealist-oriented identity, but also in the economic sense because all those aerospace jobs no longer exist. Buildings full of people are now job hunting because their field is disappearing. And that includes those who are considered “other.”

        • Azucena

          The point of Gil Scott Heron’s piece is not that science and technology are bad, but that the powers that be are willing to spend tons of money on them while ignoring the most basic needs of whole subsets of the population. And it is super difficult for othered people to feel that an advance like that “belongs” to them when it does nothing to improve their day to day life and they meanwhile have little else that actually belongs to them. It is a song of betrayal, not an anti-science screed.

          • Alloy Jane

            I never said it was an “anti-science” screed. I said my point was that IMO nothing will compel “whitey” to care about “other,” and even when “whitey” stops spending money on science and technology, it does not positively impact the daily life of “others.”

            • Azucena

              Well I’m sure the poet would have agreed with that. But the poem itself has little to do with what money is spent on, and everything to do with the forgotten who aren’t considered worthy of a fraction of it. The moon reference serves as a metaphor for the country’s misplaced priorities– Sally’s momentary cynicism and the hopes of the nation are literally on a different planet than his community’s suffering.

            • Alloy Jane

              Aaah ok, I suppose the metaphor was lost on me in yesterday’s feverish haze, but it makes so much sense when you put it in those terms.

    • http://www.therewm.com/ Rachel W. Miller

      Can we talk about Meredith and Don’s scene?! Because I felt like they were setting that scene up this entire season and the pay-off was FANTASTIC.

      • Qitkat

        One of the funniest moments of the entire series, and it paid off so well because of the set up and also us knowing how previous secretaries ‘got their man’, or didn’t ;-)

      • leighanne

        Meredith was firmly set in her belief that something would happen between the two of them. She is just hilarious.

    • ybbed

      Can we say shift dresses? and poor boys?

      • rainwood1

        I rocked my poor boy sweater and bias plaid skirt. Or at least I thought I did.

    • Lady Bug

      Food for thought: Peggy is Don 2.0…and Pete is Roger 2.0. Both Pete & Roger are from wealthy, established families and essentially got their jobs because of their family name/wealth. Roger because his father founded the company along with Bert Cooper & his sister; Pete because of the Dykman family name. At the same time, they both proven their worth to the company in numerous ways: Pete was essentially carrying the entire firm last year and it’s shown time & time again, that he’s very good at his job. Roger was coasting for several years, but when push came to shove, he really proved himself by negotiating the McCann deal.
      Both Pete & Roger were married to women who were able to call them out on their bullshit when needed, but also saw more them for more than just their flaws. Roger is finally dealing with the impact his absentee parenthood has had on Margaret. Pete has a little girl at home who doesn’t even recognize her own father. Whether or not Pete decides to take a more active role in Tammy’s life, or whether Tammy will receive birthday gifts from Pete’s secretaries for years to come, remains to be seen.

      • FibonacciSequins

        I hadn’t thought about the parallels between Roger and Pete!

    • Lady Bug

      Don to Meredith re: The Kiss “This never happened, it will shock you how much this never happened.”

    • rainwood1

      I love any episode where Roger springs into action, and the sendoff for Robert Morse was so perfect that I didn’t care when it came out of left field.

      I saw this episode as saying “people can change” at least some of them. Don thinking of Peggy instead of himself, and letting Megan go without anger, Roger deciding to be a leader, which I always thought he was capable of but had chosen not to do because there was always someone else around to lead. Peggy finally realizing she’s really that good. And I’m less sure about this, but change isn’t necessarily good and Joan might be an example of that, as she seems to be about nothing but the money at this point. I still think it was mostly bad writing of her character because Joan has always had business savvy and there was nothing to gain in joining Jim Cutler to vote Don out. I get the sense that they don’t know what to do with Joan now so she just stands around being the scolding schoolmarm which makes no sense for her character.

      And I loved everyone sitting around a TV watching the landing on the moon. I remember that moment very clearly because that’s what we were doing. Our non-traditional family was gathered around the TV watching, entranced as Neil Armstrong took that “one small step.”

    • lillyvonschtupp

      I admit like the others here, I got misty-eyed at the end. It was a touching tribute to Robert Morse. Even Jon Hamm’s eyes watered up.

      • FibonacciSequins

        Robert said in a Q&A that he and the girls rehearsed that scene away from everyone else, that nobody knew what was going to happen. I think Jon’s reaction was genuine, and it did make the scene even more touching for the rest of us.

    • Rich Orstad

      If Sunday nights are great with this amazing show, Monday mornings are equal parts wonderful with your spot-on analysis. Thanks for that!

      • Lady Bug

        Yes, and Wed with the Mad Men Style reviews!

    • NinjaCate

      A few things:

      This is the first episode in a long time that’s really made me feel like this show was worth it. The entire hour was CRAY and I loved it. This show moves so slowly at times that I often find myself lost on plot points because I don’t remember what came before. But this last episode was something magnificent. From the moon landing, to Peggy killing it, to Bert’s death, they really wanted to give us something to talk about for the next year.

      Am I the only one who noticed the musical cues throughout the episode? Correct me if I’m wrong but Mad Men doesn’t generally do musical cues does it? The music during the “what the hell is this letter about?” scene and the “you’re not a leader” scene almost pulled me out of the show for a second because I didn’t expect it. In a way the music also ramped up the action for me. Mad Men has always been a quiet show that slowly unfolds. The music kind of signaled that more was coming.

      In Bert’s musical number, there was a black secretary that I don’t remember seeing before. Did they get a new girl? Or was she just a product of Don’s imagination?

      I have to agree that I find it strange that Joan is basically…. super greedy this episode. TLo has pointed out a few times now that she’s pretty rich for a woman of that time, so it’s not like she wants for anything. Why the sudden about face for $1M if Don was the real reason she was pissed? I mean, Yeah, it’s a lot of money, but still! Pete’s “I have 10%!” was classic though.

      I positively loved seeing Sally suddenly get all dolled up when the boys turned up. THAT HAIR. Hilarious. And I loved that Betty immediately noticed too.

      My only question is why did the moon landing’s outcome weigh so heavily on the Burger Chef pitch? Were the client involved in it somehow, or was it just because they’d crafted the pitch around saying “rah rah, moon landing, technological advancements” and it would have been mucked up if the moon landing went badly?

      • Ginger Thomas

        As far as the moon landing goes, it was HUGE. Whether you approved of the attempt or not, the entire world was focused on it, and nobody really knew if it would come off okay. When it succeeded, it made pretty everything else seem minor (including Burger Chef). If it had failed, and the astronauts had died, nothing else would have seemed important.

        • Qitkat

          I absolutely loved that this episode was set during this monumental event. It was the best choice Weiner could possibly have made. It’s another historical moment where almost everyone remembers where they were when it happened.

        • decormaven

          Yes. The country had already been through so much sadness- JFK, RFK, MLK- and the nightly drama of Viet Nam playing on the television. If the moon shot had gone south, it would have just been another bad thing to add to the list.

        • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

          Not relevant, but Apollo 11 barely missed crashing on the moon. Though they kept that knowledge away from the public at the time.

      • http://knittedfuin.tumblr.com/ Eruwenfuin

        Regarding the moon landing, I think it was more the fact that it was such an astronomical event in terms of what it meant for the USA, that it’s failure would mean their pitch the next day would be ruined by the fact that the greatest, most costly, adventure of the USA to date had failed. The country’d be in mourning. I’m pretty sure Peggy says something to that effect, or at least says that the moon landing will have a great effect on their pitch when she says that she doesn’t know how she should pitch this when people have just “touched the face of God.” I don’t think they actually hinged their speech on the moon landing until after the moon landing succeeded and Don gave Peggy the pitch.

        And those musical cues were really jarring to me, mainly because they were very loud too. I’m pretty sure they’ve used music to some degree before, but this was almost cinematic in a way.

        • fitzg

          Astronomical is a great word choice here.

      • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

        Would you want to pitch to a client on September 12, 2001?

        • NinjaCate

          No, but that’s different. 9/11 isn’t something they would have known about before hand to worry about. I don’t remember what it was, but there was something that Peggy said that gave me the impression that the Burger Chef clients had a professional interest in the Moon Launch and that their pitch would be affected by the bad politics of the launch going badly. As in, I thought that maybe Burger Chef would go bankrupt or something. I thought it was weird that a food company would be so invested in it. It sounds like it was more of an emotional investment than anything else. I guess I just got the wrong idea.

      • linddsaaay

        I think because if the mood landing had failed, it would have been a national tragedy which usually makes people feel bad about doing business for a few days at least. It would have just been bad timing and would have been on the clients mind more than the “silly” burger ad.

    • Lady Bug

      So, did they lose Sunkist thanks to Ted’s plane ride of death misadventure?

      • http://noticeatrend.blogspot.com/ Paul Wartenberg

        Nah, ’cause the McCann rep they visited took them mountain-climbing off some half-dormant volcano called Mt. St. Helens, and they haven’t come back yet.

        • Lady Bug

          LOL! Where’s Dancer-Fitzgerald when you need them?! ;)

        • Qitkat

          too funny!

    • Lady Bug

      For the love of chip-n-dip, please, please give Pete Campbell a storyline next year! VK has really good comedic timing/delivery, but my favorite Pete Campbell moments are always the more serious ones: the look of complete hurt & despair when Trudy tells him that he’s no longer a part of the family, the look he gives Peggy-the flinch of pain/recognition when Peggy talks about having a 10 year old boy at home eating supper-the same age that their own son is. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my ‘outraged Pete!” but I think sometimes the real subtleties and nuances of Kartheiser’s acting gets lost/not appreciated as much as they should. I’m hoping that there is a big pay-off for Pete in terms of storyline next year.

      • Bower Bird

        You mention the chip-n-dip (“We got two!”), it reminds me that Pete never got rid of the gun. OR, he got another one. Reminds me of when Kurt Cobain sang: “I don’t have a gun, no I don’t have a gun.” I think that we are meant to forget about the gun.

        Another thing about Pete: I was truly concerned that he might have gone into Trudy’s house and raped her, had the maid not been there. I don’t think that he much counted on the maid (when talking to Bonnie, he had already planned on being there a long time) and he forced himself on the German nanny in his building, so he is probably not above it.

        • Lady Bug

          YMMV, but I can’t imagine Pete ever raping Trudy. For the slightest of split seconds, I thought that he might want to slap her when she told him that ‘you’re no longer a part of this family’ but as far as anything more, especially something as violent & personal as rape-no.

          • Bower Bird

            Spousal rape is as old as time. People might say, “Oh, yeah, their separated, but he came back. They’re not divorced. They’re working it out.” It happens too often.

            Pete mentioned the maid. I feel as if he was waiting the maid out. He didn’t know where she was. Is she a live-in? Who knows? BUT, she knew enough to give him a wide berth when he chose to stick around and drink and wait for Trudy.

    • Qitkat

      It was a beautifully realized mid-season finale, with none of the far-fetched internet theories playing out, instead it seemed to unfold very organically. Ted’s ill-advised maneuvering in his plane was startling, as I had completely forgotten that he is a pilot, but given his later moments in the episode, made perfect, if off-kilter, sense.

      I loved all the Peggy and Don scenes together, and particularly noted that when he came to her room after Bert had died, he specifically was not shown telling her this, as he didn’t want to upset her the night before the presentation. She also answered her hotel room door with her hair in curlers, and there wasn’t a shred of embarrassment on either of their parts, neither was there any hint of romantic feelings, just the need to get to work on her presentation now that Don had decided he was handing it over to her. Their synchronicity of looks and unspoken agreement says volumes about the relief of the two characters finally being on the same page again, both working at their strengths, looking to the future as a solid team.

      Such a delightful finale scene with Bert dancing in his sockfeet, singing the perfect song. Don was startled, reflective, sad, and a bit amused at his ghostly vision. It was very poignant and a fine send off for the actor, acknowledging his character on the show and his most famous character on Broadway. I also found it interesting that he apparently had a live-in housekeeper who was black, or as Bert would have said, colored. She was important to him I think, in ways that his racism at the office was somewhat at odds with. Someone else here said they would have liked to have seen more scenes with Bert this season, instead of those focusing on Anna’s niece. That would have been nice, but the earlier episode which reminded us of Anna was perhaps an important segueway to Don’s vision of Bert after his death like his vision after Anna’s death. Two characters important to him personally who came to say very important personal good-byes. I think the words of Bert’s song are an important message too, at odds with the almost squealing delight that both Joan and Pete showed when they learned how much of a windfall the merger would benefit them.

      I heart Peggy with Julio, in another poignant scene, where an adult says all the right things, they think, to a child, and the child sees right through them. It gives us hope however (for those of us who want her to have a version of “having it all”), that Peggy is owning her maternal side, and perhaps will seek it out, along with continuing with her professional business success in the future.

      Lots of poignancy in this episode, also seen when Roger broke down in sorrow about Bert. The crassness of Joan and Cutler in that scene made me somewhat hate those two for being so mercenary so quickly. Roger knows what loyalty is, Don and Peggy came back to knowing what loyalty is, even Pete does to an extent. Ted seems more or less a lost soul, I felt sorry for him, what Don basically said to him was similar to Freddy’s remarks to Don. I don’t want him and Peggy to get back together. But Joan and Cutler presented their true colors this episode, shallow, mercenary, willing to flip loyalty at the literal drop of a dime. They disgust me.

      • P M

        And yet, Joan showed up to the office apparently in her pajama (at least the top) and a flimsy topper.

      • Glammie

        I’ll cut Joan a little bit of slack here. She’s always been a doer in a crisis, someone who keeps cool and does what needs to be done. That quality was subverted by Cutler, but I don’t think Joan started that conversation.

        I think you’re right about the song lyrics being important–the people who are happiest in the episode aren’t the ones focusing on money, but on relationships. Roger grieving Bert, but rising up to the occasion and, apparently, being an active grandfather. Sally looking up at the stars. Don and Peggy focusing on their creative work.

    • P M

      Just needed to add this line: ‘Well, Pete won’t stand for it.’ ‘Pete’s pregnant’. LOL.

      • Lady Bug

        “Congratulations Mr. Campbell, it’s a bouncing, 9lb baby boy! What are you going to name him?”
        “Burger… Burger Chef!”

    • Bob Ross

      Its a shame this season is split, but this has been my favorite season since season 3. They have finally buried the the depressing spiral of the last two seasons. This show is actually fun again. Although critics gave the past two seasons their due as art, it was not much fun to watch. All the characters (except Joan) have buried the hatchet. It was a nice touch Cooper’s death was the catalyst for that. As scathing as Cutler’s words were to Don, and his power play, I think that’s over, and was as soon as he raised his hand too, with the funny line, “its a lot of money!”. However, Joan is another matter. Don and Cutler were always at odds, Joan’s behavior to him was much more of a betrayal. (even Roger seems disillusioned with her)

      I think the last episodes will probably deal with some office stuff, Don meeting wife #3 (probably Neve Cambell), Betty probably moving on too (they did not really deal with the Henry thing this episode, but Henry was pretty harsh last episode.), and Harry finally getting a partnership stake. Although I was convinced this show would end in 1969, I am starting to think maybe they will go into the future to show how the characters end up. With Don at peace and with a new agency mostly at peace (except Joan), there does not seem to be any main story there now.

      • MilaXX

        i hope they don’t go all China Beach on us and leap too far into the future. In fact, I’d be okay if the final episodes ended at 1970.

      • Kim

        Neve had a short scene with Don in episode 1 of this season. That’s it and I doubt we’ll see her again.

    • bluefish

      Great review and beautifully written. One small comment — Don is most definitely not basically the same person he was in 1963, with marginal caveats. Not by a long shot and he proved that repeatedly in this very episode. And I think that folks are reading way too much into Sally having been kissed by the sensitive, poetic boy. He kissed her and she seems to have liked it well enough. Doesn’t mean she’s not interested in kissing any other type — She has that option and I expect she will keep all her opportunities to herself and on the table. Her post-kiss smoking looked to me like a young lady starting to really weigh her various options and feel her power. Betty and Don style for sure but headed for the 70s, with all the fun and reckless freedoms we young gals experienced then. Let’s hope she remains okay.

      • Logo Girl

        I thought she kissed him, like her mother warned her never to do?

        • bluefish

          You all are right — I missed that fine point.

        • mixedupfiles

          Yeah, she’s not going to be Betty, I think we’re meant to see.

        • bluefish

          And now, darn it, with all this talk about kissing in the moonlight I want to be kissed too! By anybody, hunky or nerdy, for almost any reason! Just keep my chicken breasts, large or small, out of it until I make up my mind! This show is what we call a “pecado” where I come from. A sin!

          • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

            I’m neither hunky nor very nerdy (at least not in a way that makes money), but I wonder what you’d be making up your mind about!
            And that threesome earlier was pretty sinful, and delightfully unsexy…

      • FibonacciSequins

        Sally kissed him, not the other way around. I think there’s meaning to her choice – she parroted the good-looking boy’s cynicism to her father, and after he questioned whether that really reflected her feelings, she sought out the sincere boy. I don’t think either boy represented her father but I do think they represented her testing who she wants to be, and who she wants.

        • bluefish

          Probably y’all right on the who kissed whom and no doubt the scene was meant to suggest that Sally was making choices about which direction to go in. I’m looking back as a 60-year old woman and something in me bristles at the notion, can’t help it, that a young girl would somehow have her way set by such an early encounter and that such a kiss means anything more than that. I don’t often pull the give ladies a break card but I think it’s a bit much. We would not expect such a thing of boys even in a fictional context. That it would be some kind of heavy, philosophical choice.

          Could be too that I am somehow reacting and possibly over-reacting to the offensive big (chicken) breasts advertisement that Hardee’s put on the air. Really, WTF was that? Not funny or clever. Just offensive. Christina Hendricks is a star of Mad Men for heaven’s sake. What the dickens. Guess I have lost my sense of humour.

          • FibonacciSequins

            Oh, I missed that commercial – I have a tendency to tune out mentally during commercials.

            I agree that one kiss doesn’t mean a teenage girl is making a definitive statement about her life. To me, the significance hinged on her initial attempts to copy Betty (doing her hair and makeup to impress the jock, copying his attitude) and then choosing to kiss the nerdy, sincere boy after her conversation with Don (and doing the kissing, instead of allowing herself to be kissed as her mother advised). It shows Sally experimenting and making thoughtful choices that indicate her future path. To me it said she’ll do things differently than her mother did.

            • MilaXX

              I think I just repeated what you said.

            • FibonacciSequins

              More succinctly than I did! I think you’re one of the most insightful commenters here, so I’m delighted we’re thinking along the same lines. :)

            • MilaXX

              Thanks, I think everyone here is pretty thoughtful in their comments. It’s what makes posting here a pleasant experience.

            • Glammie

              Also, to me, it read that she’s letting Don be her father again–and Weiner’s tip-off that being a parent’s incredibly important. I think it’s also why we see Roger with his grandson before he finally steps up to the plate as a leader at SCP.

            • FibonacciSequins

              Yes, all that too!

          • MilaXX

            I had seen that commercial before. I didn’t think it was anything more than a stupid nudge-nudge, wink-wink commercial like any zillion other stupid commercials of it’s type. I don’t think it was supposed to be a connection to Christina Hendricks.

            As for Sally. I don’t think kissing nerdy boy was meant to signify he would be her one and only. I think it’s just meant to show there’s hope for her. She doesn’t have to be Betty 2.0 or Don 2.0, she can make better decisions for herself and Don when he is on his game and acting as maturely as he did this episode can be part of what influences her to make better choices.

            • bluefish

              Thanks for that. Not suggesting that it was pointed at CH — Just thought it’s a really really tacky and stupid commercial that ought to find another home — and probably won’t!

            • http://jw452.tumblr.com/ The Sound of One Man Laughing

              I don’t mind that particular commercial — when I grew up, we had Mr. Whipple, Time to Make the Donuts, You’re Soaking in It! — stuff that actually sold the damned product and was clever. Now it’s just crap that makes no one left, with a brief mention of the product at the very end.

              Still, amusing to have a Hardee’s ad, (1) as they’re the ones who took over many Burger Chef sites after the latter stopped existing, and (2) it shows the state of advertising today.

            • Jessica Goldstein

              I wonder if it was a call back to Don’s racy ad for Janzen: “so well built, we can’t show you the second floor” or something like that.

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

            But we’re not talking about the choices of a young girl. We’re talking about the choices of the people who create this TV show. Sally is a character in a story and her choices have meaning to them, unlike in real life, because they were choices made by writers in order to tell her story and tell you something about her.

        • ItAin’tMe

          I wondered if she kissed the boy who she was sure wouldn’t reject her.

          • mixedupfiles

            He’d just shared with her a great experience.

            • ItAin’tMe

              Yes, I’m sure you’re right.

          • FibonacciSequins

            I hadn’t thought about it that way. I saw it as her responding to his openness and genuine enthusiasm about the moon landing. He didn’t even want the experience filtered through television – he got as close to the real thing as he could.

      • P M

        She kissed him. He just stood there looking stunned.

        • bluefish

          She kissed him and he, unwittingly, seduced her under the stars. In the nicest and most innocent way possible. What do I do next? So sweet.

    • NMMagpie

      I am sure this is going to get a shoutout in the Mad Style writeup for this episode but I do not think Elisabeth Moss has ever looked more beautiful than when she gave the pitch to Burger Chef. Good grief, she’s a stunner.

    • Jessica Goldstein

      I think it’s interesting that Matt Weiner gave us two episodes that
      nearly everyone thinks would have been a very satisfying series ending.
      Actually, it makes me more than a little nervous! It’s as though he’s
      saying, “Here’s the ending YOU want. Now wait 11 months and see what I
      had in mind.”

      Question: Is it my imagination, or did
      Harry Crane look sartorially hapless in this episode? I remember
      thinking that he had dropped his attempts at “cool” and that his tie was
      way too short. Is it a coincidence that this happened in the episode
      where he blew his chance at being an instant millionaire? Will be
      interested in Tom and Lorenzo’s take.

      Speaking of
      which: a huge thank you T and L for these reviews. I look forward to
      every Monday morning and always learn something I missed when watching
      myself. Thank you as well for moderating comments: To keep a forum like
      this going requires constant vigilance, and I appreciate your giving us
      fans a civil place to discuss our ideas.

      • Qitkat

        That tie! I don’t always notice all the nuances of dress and colors as so many here do, but that was one ridiculously short tie. Made me laugh.

      • Eric Stott

        I think Harry realizes that his California wardrobe won’t fly in New York, but he doesn’t have enough taste or money to replace it with something good. The 1970’s revival of pin striped suits is just around the corner, but I doubt the show’s timeline will extend that far.

    • Glammie

      I think we’ll see some sort of Joan/Don/Roger settling of emotional accounts one way or another next half season. They’ve set her up for that. Part of her has moved past the status seeking (turning down Bob’s Detroit mansion), but she also has more than a streak of pettiness and bitterness.

      Makes me think of how the Joan character was originally intended–old, bitter spinster stype. Then Christina Hendricks showed up and they went in another direction, but there have always been traits of the original character.

      • Lady Bug

        I think/hope the second part of Season 7 will really focus on the relationships between the core characters. We already had the cathartic Peggy-Don, Roger-Don scenes. I would love for the show to focus on the Roger-Joan-Don nexus (remember that scene in Season 4 when they’re both holding Joan’s hands underneath the table while awaiting for the Clio’s to be announced?) , as well as the Pete-Peggy-Don nexus.

      • Qitkat

        Do you think, or hope they will actually get back together? Because I don’t want them to, not romantically, anyway. I think Roger deserves better, having seen Joan at her pettiest this season. She is now the one who really needs a wake-up call towards maturity. But if the writers can craft a great episode, it deserves much more than one scene, to place her, Roger, and Don back in sync, with some real expository dialogue, with that I could get on board.

        • ShaoLinKitten

          I don’t know about Roger deserving better. He was horrid to her– recall the whole Jane Siegel sequence of events. That had to go into Joanie’s heart like a knife. It was well nigh unforgivable, though now that they have a son, and that Roger has had cause for deep reflection, maybe they could make it up. But probably not. I’d say neither of them have ever found their heart’s desire, though it seems like they were the closest either of them has come. It’s sad, the way their dysfunctional personalities ruined it for them (mostly Roger’s, to be fair).

        • Alloy Jane

          I get that Roger is a charming guy, but he’s no saint when it comes to personal interests. Now that Joan is a partner, her basic mercenary personality is no longer subtle, and that’s all that’s really going on with her. She hasn’t done anything “wrong” but campaign in the name of self-interest. That’s pretty much on par with Roger, “I had a heart-attack while cheating on my wife with a barely legal model twinset and then left my wife to marry a 22 year old secretary.” Her racism towards Sheila was a thousand times more petty than her negative feelings towards Don, but still not as offensive as Roger in blackface. Joan has always been a bitch. That behavior is usually couched by our seeing good reason in it, but since folks are herded towards sympathy to Don, and Joan has never been honest with him about why she has seemingly turned her back on him, her bitchiness is seen as unbecoming. So yes, Joan is bitchy, petty, self-important and aggrandizing, but not good enough for Roger? An overgrown boy who didn’t learn how to be a real man until this episode? Hardly.

          • Cheryl

            Applause, applause, Alloy Jane! I think people tend to forget that Joan has always been a nasty piece of work, from episode one, season one, on. Yes, she does have some good qualities; she’s smart, good in an emergency, she has great organizational skills, but she has been a always been a major bitch from the very beginning and her behaviour hasn’t deviated. The only thing different is pre-partner Joan, would have been much more covert in her actions. The difference between Roger and Joan; Roger has charm that Joan doesn’t but they have both behaved in loathsome ways.

          • Qitkat

            I certainly didn’t think I was implying that Roger is a saint, as you pointed out, he is very far from it! I think for me it is that I like Roger better than Joan, which I really hadn’t given much thought to before, but there it is. It may not be logical.

        • Glammie

          No, I think Roger and Joan are done as a couple. I’m a Roger/Mona shipper and I’m seeing some possibilities there, given that they were together with their grandson for the moon landing–that’s Roger’s family now. I got the sense that Roger and Joan care about one another, but they’re also a bit fed up with one another. She doesn’t like his childishness; he doesn’t like her lack of loyalty. But I think there’s some peace to be made to be made between the two of them–Roger’s just grown up at 50+. Joan has her own maturing to do.

          Mona, unlike Joan, is loyal. But I think Roger is the one who can get through to Joan. He’s been well-behaved about the whole kid thing. Let’s her set the boundaries.