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?