Mad Men Season 4 Episode 13 Recap

Mad Men Quotations

I was really happy to work with Chris Piascik on this weekly series of Mad Men drawings and recap. I’m really pleased with how they came out and I hope you enjoyed the little twist they added each week.

The big question about what would happen with the agency was actually solved last week when the partners all put money in. That bought them 6 months. The beginning of next season will have to be right around 6 months from now, or else losing Lucky Strike wasn’t that big of a deal. If I recall correctly, season 2 was 6 months after season 1 and season 3 was 1 year after season 2. Maybe the pattern will be 6 months, 1 year, 6 months, etc. From the comments last week was a suggestion of Hilton (or possibly Disney saving the agency), which I thought made sense. That didn’t come to pass because the agency’s situation isn’t as dire as we thought. I thought Sterling killing himself was another possibility based on a sequence from a couple episodes ago. That didn’t happen either.

-When Joan delivers the mail to Lane, she definitely looked like she decided to keep the baby. This is confirmed later in the episode when talking to her rapey husband. “Yes, honey, they’re bigger.” I guess surgeons in Vietnam can make calls.
-We hadn’t seen it in a while, but when Don and Pete met with the Cancer Society, he was pitching. That’s always fun. At the beginning, he was subtly pitching himself, “In my heart it was an impulse because I knew what I needed to do to move forward.” Before going on to pitch ideas, “Teenagers are sentimental as well. Have you heard their music?”
-The partners tried to get Ken Cosgrove to Pete Campbell his father in law. He’s not willing to do it, though. “I’m not Pete, sorry about that.” On the second watch, I noticed that Don’s look lingered a bit on Ken when he talked about not wanting to screw stuff up with his wife/real life.
-“It’s Glenn, are you decent?” Sketchy Glenn is so sketchy!
-Betty is feeling all upheaved and she’s taking it out on Carla. There conversation has a strange dynamic because Carla is deferential, but not TOO deferential. In certain cases, she talks to Betty as if she’s a child. A recurring theme.
-All you hedge fund dicks paying 15%? Capital Gains was 48% in 1965. Stop complaining.
-I’m extremely excited for The Walking Dead, but it’s possible AMC went a little hard promoting it this week. Also, imagine how much AMC gave up in advertising during the finale of Mad Men. I wonder how much of a crossover Mad Men and The Walking Dead. On the one hand, there is definitely a set that watches all of the finely crafted cable programs (Sopranos, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, etc). On the other hand, zombies are not in the ballpark, not even in the same sport as advertising in the 60s.
-Maybe Don’s turning over a new leaf. He takes Faye Miller’s advice and tells his kids that he’s sometimes called Dick. We’ll see how long it takes him to tell Megan.
-As soon as Stephanie gave Don the engagement ring, I figured he’d ask Megan to marry him. It made sense because, 1. Well, what was he going to do with an engagement ring? and 2. What was he going to do with an engagement ring in the finale of the season? After that milkshake scene, it was obvious. Other telegraphs were his lawyer suggesting he settle down and his look at Ken when Ken mentioned his wife.
-“There is no fresh start. Lives carry on.” This is interesting, and probably jarring to Betty because Don actually did get a fresh start. He did and he didn’t though, because Dick Whitman is still following the new Don Draper around. Also, I think Henry is continuing to realize he’s made a mistake. Especially with the, “No one’s ever on your side.” line. No one’s on her side because she always on the wrong side.
-Did you notice Don was drinking the champagne of beers right before going a-knocking on Megan’s door.
-Peggy’s out pitching and it’s working. Way to go, Peggy.
-Don told Megan she made him, “Feel like myself. The way I want to feel.” When he says myself, what do you think he means? I wonder what Megan’s role will be like next year.
-After Ken told Peggy they’d won the account, Peggy jumped into Ken’s arms and he lifted her up as they hugged. Then immediately after, they both fixed their hair at the same time. Pretty awesome.
-After Don told everyone about the engagement, Peggy stayed behind to discuss. It’s clear Don has an affection for Peggy, but it’s more father/daughter or brother/sister. Hard to say why Peggy cares, really, except maybe devotion.
-I guess Peggy and Joan are friends now? Took a long time! “Well, I learned a long time ago to not get all my satisfaction from this job.” “Bullshit.”
-I wonder what this means from a psychological perspective, “I hope she knows you only like the beginnings of things.” Don was never going to be able to be with Faye permanently after he told her. He’s not able to be who he wants to be when someone knows who he really is. You want to know when Peggy will be leaving the show? It’ll be sometime very soon after she learns the truth about Don’s past.
-The scene with Don and Betty in the old house was very sweet. Betty was vulnerable. I thought for a second they would do it. The shot that ended that scene with Don going out one door and Betty out the other was one of my favorites of the season. Nice work, cinematographers.
Scene with Don/Betty, great shot.
-So, this was around Labor Day, right? Strange that I think the last 3 episodes took place in a month while all the other episodes were separated by about a month. Unless this was during Columbus Day. Did they have Columbus Day in 1965?
-I don’t know what Don looking out the window in the last scene signifies, but as J pointed out, the song that played the episode out was “I’ve Got You Babe.” That was the song playing every morning in Groundhog Day. It’s a stretch, and an obscure reference, but how cool would it be if that was actually a nod to the idea that Don’s life is repeating itself? Very cool.

So that’s it. Another season in the books. The finale didn’t have the explosions of last year when the new agency was formed, but the engagement was a huge event. I enjoyed it. What did you think?

Mad Men Season 4 Episode 13 Recap

9 thoughts on “Mad Men Season 4 Episode 13 Recap

  1. Rachel says:

    I’m kinda let down with this finale. Besides Peggy and Ken doing virtually all of the account work, reigning in closer with American Cancer, and Joan getting a half-assed promotion, they focused primarily on the soap-opera underpinnings. I miss when they actually focused on the engine of advertising. I felt like I could have just as easily been entertained by watching an episode of Days of Our Lives. My predictions were totally off, but it’s almost as fun being wrong as it is being right (almost……) =)

    MW had some beautiful shots in this episode…. but the writing was pretty terrible in my opinion, especially in regards to Don. The “L” word, really? Does anyone really think Don is in love with Megan? And… “she reminds me of you, you know?” to Peggy…. UGH. I feel like he wrote this hastily, as if he was trying to tie everything up after the bombshell that was dropped last week with the NYT ad. This is fantastic show with great fans, and I think it deserved a better finale after a topsy-turvy season, IMO.


  2. David says:

    The entire episode felt rushed and even a little surreal. I kept waiting for someone (Don…maybe even Megan) to wake up, the proposal scene was so bad. I thought it was a dream! Alas, the storyline kept going, leaving myself settling for the cheesy proposal after they magically appeared back in NYC.

    I can’t say it was a bad episode, but it didn’t leave me wanting more or satisfied. Not exactly what you want out of a finale.


  3. I really hope next season begins with Don waking up next to Faye, this finale all having been a dream. Everything that happened seemed too easy, and to impulsive. While that fits the bill for the story arc and Don’s development, it seems cheap to go backwards instead of continuing to develop Don’s character, and those characters he is closest to. Groundhog day indeed. The way the episode was cut seems like its possible. Don was either the center of the scene, or completely outside of it–possibly as an observer in his own dream. I know its a stretch, but I liked where his character was going before the finale.

    Sopranos did a whole season of dream sequences. No reason Mad Men can’t. Fingers crossed.


  4. the passenger says:

    The jump from the end of S1 to the beginning of S2 was about 15 months–Thanksgiving of 1960 to Valentine’s Day 1962.

    Then from the end of S2, when Betty tells Don she’s pregnant, to the beginning of S3 was about six months, because she was still pregnant.

    I don’t expect any pattern to the jump-aheads. I think Weiner and the other writers just go back in for the new season and decide how far ahead they want to resume the story.


  5. Don says:

    What was the song they played when he jumped in the pool with the kids, anyone know? It was hard to make out the lyrics because of all of the background noise, splashing, etc.


  6. Srboljub says:

    Don (you don’t say?), the song is “Hot Dog” by Tri-Lites.

    Concerning Don’s congenial disposition toward Peggy, I don’t see it either as father/daughter or as brother/sister, but as compatriot/compatriot. In Peggy, Don sees himself is how I read it. Those two are the male/female American dream stories of the show: they’re our self-made “Manhattan people”. To plagiarise for the pitch: They’re the “low caliber” people “with a spark”.

    Also, I didn’t find that the script rushed all that much with the new wife development. To me the new relationship makes sense and didn’t feel like a dream at all. First, it’s realistic that things happen in life in bursts. Second, FBI horror and Dr Miller’s advice make Dick start to embrace his post-Korea life as really his. His identity crisis starts to get solved. His peace starts to depend more on the fortune of his kids, because they are the most tangible thing in his life. Cosgrove makes him realize that with that remark about family. Work can be this and can be that, but your family, that’s your life, that’s what’s truly real. Well, it turns out Dr Miller can play a great part in his job and his soul searching, but won’t ever be able to be an auspicious part of his family. But Megan can. And he needs that. So he takes her. It’s not love by our romantic notion of Love, I agree, but he once reminded us (in 1st or 2nd season) that that notion is a historical marketing concoction anyways. Everybody looks for his interest. Don’t we all say, when we try to show our love: “I need you”? Which means that he really does love her. Or “love” her, whichever you like. That’s why his “L” word doesn’t ring out-of-character to me. I belive him that he really believes that he loves Megan. Now, would that marriage last? Doubt it.

    I guess I’m saying I liked the finale. I loved the scene with Betty. She was almost ready to get back with him, the child that she is.


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