‘Mad Men’ Season 6 finale: did delicate flower Don Draper lose his job?

SPOILERS

Spoilers for the season finale of Mad Men!!!

Okay, let’s get into this. Last night was the season 6 finale of Mad Men. Am I the only one who laughed inappropriately during several parts? When Don Draper started in with “I was an orphan. I lived in a whorehouse…” I lost it. I started giggling. It’s so wrong. But I know these characters so well! Don’s blasé-yet-emotional admission in the middle of a pitch meeting was supposed to have weight, I know. It was supposed to be Don’s rock-bottom (more on rock-bottoms in a sec), his last gasp of “this is the real me, everything else is a façade!” But it just didn’t have the weight that it used to have. Remember the finale in season one? Don telling his mistress that he was a “whore-child”? That had weight.

As for Don’s rock-bottom, I just thought it was kind of asinine that he decided to change his ways after punching a minister and spending the night in jail. For the love of God, the minister deserved it!! Was Don black-out drunk? Did he not remember that the minister deserved it? As for the shenanigans with Megan and her career and Don deciding at the last minute to let Ted (and his family!) go to California… God, that took such a long time for Megan to finally acknowledge that her marriage sucked. I didn’t feel any pity for her in that situation. She’s going to be fine (unless she gets killed by Charles Manson next year, I guess).

The funniest part of the season, and one of the most enjoyable parts overall, has been Pete Campbell. I’ve always had a soft spot for Pete and his struggles. Sometimes he gets it right but most of the time, not so much. This was the season where Pete really got played for laughs more and more, and I would like to make special mention of his secretary, who is a perfect comedic partner for so many hilarious moments. “Your mother is lost at… oh my God, she fell off a ship!!” Pete’s mother falling off a boat after marrying her gay male nurse Manolo (who thought she was rich!) is the best thing ever. The second best thing was Pete and Bud Campbell being too cheap to have the situation investigated. I’m still laughing.

As for the Peggy and Ted situation… is it wrong that I don’t feel bad for Peggy either? I think Ted was in love with her, is in love with her, although it’s more of an infatuation than a deep, significant love for him. As for Peggy, I don’t think she really loved Ted at all. I think he was there, he was something to keep her mind occupied. We’re supposed to think that this experience made Peggy a harder woman. We’re supposed to think that Peggy is going to become Don, that she will be hard and cynical. But that won’t happen. She’s Peggy! She’ll be fine. She’ll survive and thrive. And now she’s basically stepping up to be creative director of the agency. And all that I’m worried about it her terrible pantsuit. That pantsuit felt like a warning: the polyester ’70s are coming.

What did you think of the partners telling Don to go on leave? It was so overdue. And I’m so glad Joan was included in the decision and that she didn’t try to argue for Don. She saw him in that meeting with Hershey, she saw that he wasn’t up for the job anymore. I’m glad that Roger is kind of over Don too, although I’d be willing to bet that Roger will still have Don’s back if and when Don wants to come back. But for now, Don is just another Freddy Rumsen.

A few of my favorite parts – I’m really enjoying creepy Harry Hamlin. His character is a variation on Roger Sterling, but I feel like Jim Cutler is much more of a hands-on manager than Roger ever was. Jim still has hustle (as does Roger, but in a different way). Ted annoys me, but his presence this season has enriched the dynamic of the office. And I love that Bob Benson and Joan are becoming close. She knows he’s gay, right? Right. And it was sweet that she invited Roger to Thanksgiving.

So, what will the new season bring? I think Don will go to California with Megan for a few months, or maybe their marriage will be over, who knows. I think for sure Don will kill himself within a year. And everybody else will be fine, except maybe Roger, who will have another heart attack, right? And while I hate on the delicate, suicidal flower that is Don Draper, I do have to say that Jon Hamm’s performance as Draper is nothing short of virtuoso. I feel like Hamm is really without ego in his performance – he makes Don seem so smarmy, so destructive, so awful at times, and I love that Hamm isn’t concerned about making Don “likeable” at this point.

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

 

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123 Responses to “‘Mad Men’ Season 6 finale: did delicate flower Don Draper lose his job?”

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  1. Latisse says:

    DON’T put spoilers in the title!!!!

  2. GiGi says:

    + Everything. I totally agree.

    I loved when Megan said “You just want to be alone with your booze and your ex-wife and your creepy kids” (paraphrased, obvs)

    It was a good episode, but I felt like it took forever to get here. Like they saved all the action for the entire season for the finale. But it left me feeling ready for the next season… so I guess they did their job?

  3. Dawn says:

    Oh I loved the ending this year! It was great. I felt so much empathy for Don when he came clean with his history during the Hershey’s pitch and then the ending. Sally is right on target for her age group of that generation. Kids started drinking and smoking early in those years, after all I think smokes were about 35 cents in 68 and a bottle of cheap wine was like a dollar. All Pete’s drama and how Bob got him back and Roger and his jealousy about Kevin and Joan and so on. Did I say how much I love this show?

    • Launicaangelina says:

      I love this show. I thought the finale was excellent. Megan’s statement on Don’s ex wife and creepy kids was funny. I really enjoyed Don basically saying “f–k it, I’m coming clean about my whore-child past” in the Hershey meeting. The look between Sally and Don at the end was powerful. I’m really looking forward to next season.

  4. L says:

    Peggy’s line of Well aren’t you lucky,” “To have decisions.” that she spits out to Ted was awesome. And hopefully turns in into a smarter woman in her relationships. (Go for Stan! Look how proud he is of you. Stan!)

    Don should have been fired ages ago.

    • Esmom says:

      Yes Peggy with Stan would be awesome, way better than Ted, who is such an emotional mess. Talk about “delicate flower.”

    • emmie_a says:

      Yes! Peggy and Stan belong together. I don’t think it will happen but that is who she is meant to be with.

    • Esti says:

      I really don’t understand all the support for Peggy and Stan as a couple. They’ve got a great dynamic as friends, but nothing about them makes me think they would work romantically. Stan spends most of his time getting high and sleeping with lots of women. Peggy might have spent an episode or two dabbling in the alternative scene, but if this season showed anything it’s that she really wants is a traditional relationship with a more mainstream, straight-laced kind of guy.

      Personally, next season I want to see Peggy develop good relationships with her subordinates (something she struggled with at CGC) but not date any of them. SCP is full of unstable man-child types, she deserves better than that.

      • bettyrose says:

        Agreed. Id really like Peggy to stop sleeping with men at work completely. That scene last week with her, Pete and Ted said it all. Too much drama for the workplace girlie!

      • Bijlee says:

        Lol Peggy has slept with two maybe three guys at work….and they were all married hmmm. Except duck, he was divorced.

      • bettyrose says:

        The scenes with her and Duck always made me gag a little, but as I said downthread it’s all part of Peggy’s journey.

      • L says:

        I’ve heard before how Stan is “beneath” Peggy for some reason, but honestly, how is that the case? He never put Peggy in second place like Ted has, never used her as an object to feed his ego like Don, he isn’t the emotionally stunted Pete, or the needy drunk Duck. He isn’t Abe who thinks she’s “the enemy”, or that other idiot that thought she was a naive virgin.

        Stan is supportive, he makes her laugh (alot), he kisses very well (judging from Peggy’s reaction in previous episodes this season) he absolutely adores her ambition (the way he looked at her as he was leaving in last night’s finale? Pure adoration), he treats her like an equal, and he isn’t a narcisstic, self obssesed dick. He came into the show as a chauvinist who challenged Peggy and now appears to be a very good friend who appreciates her accomplishments. That’s a great basis for a relationship.
        As for the hooking up with ladies-as others in the office have said-Stan has a rep to protect and I feel like it gets played up as worse than it actually is. He’s single and can hook up with a few women-but within he’s a clean up stand up guy.

      • Esmom says:

        @L, great assessment of Stan. He is definitely one of those who’s evolved over the years.

      • Esti says:

        I don’t think Stan is beneath Peggy (I’d say he and Ken are the most stable, reasonable guys in the office) but just because he’s a nice guy and a good friend doesn’t mean they would be compatible. He got really into the 60s counter-culture, which is exactly the problem Peggy was having with Abe — she doesn’t want to rebel, she wants to have the traditional family and career, just with her as a working woman. She doesn’t want a poster of a revolutionary on her kinda dingy bedroom wall, she wants to live in a nice upper class apartment that looks the way she pictures success. She’s into turtlenecks, not hippie beards — literally and metaphorically.

    • Becky1 says:

      I knew Ted was not going to leave his wife . He’s been presented as basically a decent (although flawed), honest person and leaving his wife or sneaking around indefinitely would not have fit his character. I think he really does love Peggy, though, and deciding to move so there would be distance between them was ultimately a good choice. I felt disappointed, though, because I really want Peggy to find some happiness in her personal life. Plus, I was personally sort of attracted to Ted. I think the actor who plays him is cute. Anyway, I hope the show ends with Peggy in a happy relationship. Out of all of the characters, she’s the one I root for the most.

      On a side note, I loved how they had her wearing a pants suit in Don’s office at the end-that was obviously a well thought out costume choice-very cool.

  5. Pixie says:

    Loved it, loved it, loved it. I’ve loved all of this season, really- I mentioned in the other thread how it’s so much darker and gloomier because it reflects Don’s descent. How much weight did you actually want his confession to have? I thought it had tonnes, I thought it was well done and Roger’s bit with him afterwards was great. I really enjoy this tv show. The ending, with his kids, was perfect. Ted and Peggy kind of annoyed me a bit- but mostly because I’d root for them and then remember Ted has a family! The bit with Peggy in Don’s chair at the end was absolutely wonderful. And, for the record, I think Don and Megan will divorce- she showed her hand with the kids and all he really wanted in a wife was to be a mother. And, oh, the bit where he called Betty Birdie! All in all, a fantastic episode!

    • MeganDraper says:

      When Don called Betty Birdie in front of Megan, I knew their marriage was over with.

      • Sachi says:

        Don has called Betty “Birdie” in the past while already married to Megan, esp. when Betty had the cancer scare and Don was reassuring her that everything would be alright.

        Don only calls Betty by her nickname in extremely intimate, poignant conversations. This time it was about Sally. I think Megan perked up because of how serious the situation must be that Don was calling his ex-wife a nickname that is only used by him. She also heard Don say he was picking up Sally and the kids, so I doubt Don or Megan completely checked out of the marriage at that point.

  6. Shelley says:

    I don’t watch Mad Men. I might watch it if I am assured the Hamm’s Dong is on full display. Is it?

  7. Eleonor says:

    I disagree, the most amazing thing ever happened on Mad Men was Pete dancing the Charlestone with Trudy.

    BTW After six seasons of messy relationships we’ve found out what really Joan needed: a gay friend in her life. Bob will eyeroll for all of us when she’ll find another husband. But he still gives me creepy vibes.
    I like Cutler: I want him and Roger to do an “on the road” trip to California, on a chevy. That would be EPIC.

  8. MeganDraper says:

    Last night was excellent. I think he will be back to Sterling and Partners. His marriage to Megan is over with, she will be divorcing him to start a career in Cali. Don or Roger is going to have a heart attack for the last season. I don’t think Don will kill himself, he’ll live but always with regrets. Hopefully he will become a better parent to his children and Sally will forgive him and save him. Who knows????

  9. TheyPromisedMeBeer says:

    Can we talk (again and again) about Kiernan Shipka? I adore her. ADORE. Like, how did Matt Weiner and the casting producers get so lucky when they chose her as Sally Draper? Because, THAT LOOK SHE GAVE DON!

    After feeling they like they spent a little too much time on Megan at the expense of more interesting plot lines these past two seasons, I’m glad to finally start to like her again.

  10. lucy2 says:

    I didn’t realize it was the finale, and kept thinking what a great and loaded episode it was! The Don confession was so uncomfortable. His “firing” is long overdue, he’s such a mess.
    I’m glad Megan finally realized what a sham her marriage is, and is going to LA anyway.
    Ted always seemed like a nice guy in a not-so-nice guy’s world. Peggy needs to find someone equal, but unattached.
    I’m really liking Cutler too.

  11. Cool Phosphorescent Shimmer says:

    They just can’t fire a partner, right…they’d have to buy him out. Don will be back.

    I hate Roger’s ungrateful bitch of a daughter, Margaret.

    When Don asked Megan to go to California and she had that sort of “instant tears” reaction, that’s when I started laughing. God, JP is a terrible actress.

    Betty did a good job as a mother at her wit’s end. Of course, she has always been a HORRIBLE mother, and now that is coming home to roost (ushered in, of course, by Don’s flagrant philandering).

    That last scene with Don and the kids, especially Sally: powerful. I see hope for them at last.

    Did Pete quit his job, I guess?

    Peggy’s a fool for sleeping with spineless Ted, but at least she got to wear some hot clothes in this episode. Well, before Pantsuit Nightmare happened. Who needs Rosemary’s Baby when you can have Peggy’s Pantsuit?

    • emmie_a says:

      Right. They can tell Don to leave but he still has a financial interest in SCDP so they would have to buy him out.

    • Esmom says:

      Yes that “instant tears” reaction you mentioned might have been one of the worst acting moments in the show, ever. Although I like JP and think she’s generally done very well and held her own with such an amazing ensemble.

      I thought Pete was going to work on Sunkist with Ted. I’d think they need both a creative and account person there at a minimum.

      I see hope for Sally and Don, too. And for the first time I see the possibility of redemption for Don. I was really almost completely convinced that death was the only route for him but that changed last night.

  12. Sachi says:

    I really liked the scene between Don and Sally over the phone.

    It was also a good buildup to the last scene.

    I felt bad for Betty. For all the criticisms she gets for being an “abusive, evil, horrible, monster of a mother”, I liked how the show has shown her character to have depth and that she actually loves her kids very much. She also knew whatever problems Sally was having was because of Don and she couldn’t reach out to her daughter to help her. She almost sounded like she was ‘forcing’ Don to come see Sally because Sally needed her father, and up to that point Don hasn’t done anything to deal with his daughter’s anger towards him.

    Ted is a douche. But I can also see what he was trying to do. Oh, well. Glad Peggy is (hopefully) done with him!

    Cutler is ruthless. He’s a charismatic character but I’ve no doubt Don’s “leave of absence” was his idea. Changing the name of the agency was also his idea a few episodes ago. It was step one to wiping out Don’s presence at the agency.

    Roger is a great character because he makes you forget that he’s always out for himself. I have never seen his friendship with Don to be anything more than drinking buddies. He loves Margaret but I doubt he loves much else. But Don making an embarrassment of himself at Roger’s mother’s funeral probably added to Roger’s decision. I don’t think even Roger would have been that pathetic to come drunk, throw up, and ruin the occasion for everyone else.

    Don himself didn’t help matters. His work has become stale and his presence at the office has become irrelevant. I think after numerous times of being late, leaving early, etc. everyone just decided he has become a liability.

    The weird thing is, Pete wasn’t at that scene with the partners. Did he leave the agency, too, or is he just going to the California branch? Don could have had Pete on his side, but he has rebuffed Pete many times in the past. But that scene with Pete and his brother….LOL :D :D :D .

    It took a long time for Megan to realize her marriage wasn’t working out. But what bad acting by Jessica Pare!!!

    Don has burned his bridges: Megan, Sally, Peggy, the agency, etc. Maybe the final season will show him trying to re-connect with the people in his life.

    • Bijlee says:

      I love your opinions on this show! Partially because you are among the few who does not trash Betty every instant you get.

      I completely agree with your assessment of Betty forcing don and how much she really does care for her kids.

      I’ve liked Ted this season…and then last night happened. Now I am so mad at him. I’m mad at Peggy too. I thought she was being kind of crazy telling him he brought his wife in purpose etc. it was so weird for Peggy.

      And yes funniest scene was Pete and his brother.

      I think someone below said it well, it’s the death of don draper and the rebirth of dick Whitman. Or some weird sort of middle ground.

      • Sachi says:

        Thanks. :D I love Betty. She’s one of the most complex characters on the show and I’ve never believed that she is abusive or she’s going to damage her kids for life. It’s great that Weiner’s obsession about showing Betty as a shrew seems to be over. Betty has matured this season and I think she’s happy with Henry.

        Loved the scene with her and Sally last week. She really wanted Sally to open up and she looked so torn when she couldn’t do so. In that scene of her phone call to Don, I thought she showed how much she loves Sally and was hurting for her daughter.

        re: Don/Dick – Yes! I think his confession about his childhood was his saying Dick Whitman is ready to come out and live again. I guess that really was Don hitting rock bottom. Hopefully it sticks.

    • Esti says:

      Completely agree about Betty. Everyone likes to rag on her for being a bad mother (which she definitely has been in the past), while at the same time ignoring how much worse Don is as a father. Yes, Betty has been far nastier to Sally than any mother ever should be — but neglect can be every bit as harmful as active abuse, and Don has deserted those kids (sometimes physically, in dangerous ways) at every opportunity.

      It was nice to see Betty find her equilibrium this season. She and her husband are getting along and she’s helping with his career, she’s got a better relationship with Sally than we’ve ever seen, and she completely overcame her Don demons and is now able to just have a friendly relationship with him.

      And lo and behold, once she was given something to do, January Jones was pretty great! I know her acting gets a lot of criticism, but I’ve always liked the way she played Betty. The problem is when the show doesn’t know what to do with her, but when they write her good material (as they did in season 1), she’s always done well with it.

      • Sachi says:

        The Betty character seems to have been written just for January Jones.

        What I like about Betty’s arc is that there is progress. Yes, one episode she’s nasty, but the next she’s shown to have a good side. She’s not a one-note character. She has grown up a lot.

        What I also liked about her conversation with Don is when she was breaking down and said Sally came from a broken home. It came across as Betty blaming herself for her daughter’s problems and it brought back the scene when Sally accused her as being the reason why Don was moving out of their house in Season 3.

        It’s those little things that remind you that Betty is more than a petty, unhappy person and that she is attuned to her kids’ feelings and troubles. She’s the constant presence in their lives and she is hurt when they are hurting and she’s unable to do anything about it.

      • bettyrose says:

        The Betty/Sally dynamic feels very real to me. She’s raising Sally the way she was raised but Sally’s a different generation and doesn’t acquiesce the way Betty did in her youth.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        I’ve seen abusive mothers–Betty ain’t it. It was the ’60s, anyway, it wasn’t like now when a kid gets an ice cream cone because he only called his mother a whore twice today. It must be an immigrant thing because outside of North America, parents (generally) don’t feel the need to commit hara kiri if the kids aren’t dancing on rainbows for five minutes. Two different worlds and galaxies apart.

        And let’s not forget that a really good portion of the time Sally is just a straight-up brat. They try to ladel on the shrewishness of Betty’s mothering style, but what girl doesn’t spend a good ten years (at least) thinking her mother was built for only one purpose: to destroy daughters? Sure, it’s a bit heightened (the slap over the bangs–that should’ve been reserved for ‘can’t stand to be around my kids ever so I have to go chase tail the one night I have them’ Don), but when we reached the moment when everyone was hollering, ‘OMG, Betty’s giving Sally an eating disorder because she didn’t give her a standing ovation for being sullen and rude when her step-family was trying to making polite conversation with her and she went on to spit her food all over in front of all of those guests at the Thanksgiving dinner’ (which they decided was throwing up for some reason), it took a good fortnight to my eyes to startblooking at something other than my retinas. What warrants some discipline, then? Manslaughter? Oh, but she’s probably damaged beyond hope because Betty caught her smoking that one time and punished her.

        Betty’s worst moment was her firing of Carla and I guess her reaction to her father’s death wasn’t the greatest, but don’t understand the beatification of Sally at all. The character strikes me as a pretty typical kid: not bad but nothing over which we’d sell Grampa’s Farm.

      • Bijlee says:

        @jo mama OMG THANK YOU! People went on and on about betty being abusive. LOL, when sally got locked in a closet for smoking all I could think….that’s it? This is what people are getting pissed off about? Dang people are wussies!

        My mama would have taken a wooden spoon and given me a red behind, if I was lucky that is. I agree, the over the top adoration for Sally is strange. The kid is straight up bratty. But I love that Don is finally getting a WELL DESERVED piece of it. I hope it lasts longer though. It’s not fair that Betty gets it all the time and Sally still gets away with how horrible she can be, but Don can’t seem to handle it a few times.

    • apsutter says:

      I love Betty’s evolution! I think it’s clear that she was only a bad mother before because she was a woman stuck in a terrible marriage and into a domestic life. Now that she’s with a man that treats her like gold and whom she loves she’s totally coming into her own. And Sally being disruptive isn’t just because of Betty’s past problems. Don is basically an absentee parent by this point. They both have faults but if Don can actually be honest with himself and be a dad then I think Sally will be alright.

      Pete’s going to Cali with Ted after failing in Michigan. And I think Don and Roger are friends but if anything Don has been the one to keep him at arm’s length

    • kc says:

      So I just started Mad Men like 3 weeks ago on Netflix and now I am fully caught up. I had to comment because I love Betty! I couldn’t believe this was the January Jones I had been reading about sleeping with Miley Cyrus’ boyfriend. She is great in this role. I loved the first couple of seasons when she was one of the main characters. Her and Glen, weird but in a good way. Her and Don were a hot mess and they have never gotten over each other. That husband of hers now yuck.

  13. emmie_a says:

    How in any way is DD a delicate flower? The guy had a rough upbringing, he lives a rough life. A delicate flower would have crumbled and cried and begged for his job because he didn’t think he could survive without it. Don didn’t. I could almost hear him muttering the f*ck you’s under his breath as he was walking down the stairs.
    If the finale was supposed to be the death of Don and the rebirth of Dick Whitman — how does that tie in with all of the doors this season – two sides of a door, two people living as one: Don/Dick?? Or is it that you never know what’s on the other side of the door and Don emerging as Dick??
    I’d like to find Don in CA next season, with his own ad agency that puts SCDP out of business (but he probably has a non-compete clause in his contract??)
    Anyways, I want Don to find his version of happiness. You can think he’s going to kill himself but if he going to kill himself he would’ve done it after he asked to take a leave from SCDP. I’m still rooting for him.

  14. danni says:

    what an episode!!!!!
    the part with duck and don in the elevator…. i think it was a circle closer to the second season finale when duck was forced to left the agancy

  15. Michele says:

    As much as I adore “Mad Men,” I’m ready for it to be over with. I do think that Don will commit suicide next season – and he’ll be carrying Dick Whitman’s ID when he does it. His identity will finally come full circle.
    And, hey – no one’s mentioned the picture of Jon Hamm in that awful wrinkly, straight-out-of-the-package dress shirt! I wish he’d ironed it first – the fit is fantastic.

    • Gistine says:

      I think this could happen. Personally, I’m going the other way. I think Draper is toast, in a good way in that all of his skeletons are out of the closet for everyone to see. I think part of the reason why he is so tortured is because he can no longer live the lie, all the way around. I think he married Megan because she knew his story and he probably thought coming clean to her would make everything green. But like Buckaroo Bonzai once said, “wherever you go, there you are.”

      I think his life is imploding in a good way. The jig is up and the human side of Whitman is forcing the hardened side of Draper out. Him giving Ted California was probably the most magnamonous thing I have ever seen him do on the show.

      My prediction: Draper/Whitman is going to get his ducks in a row (no pun intended) and clean house at SCP- or he’s going to go out on his own and kick their ass. I don’t see suicide, I see redemption.

      Peggy, I think is the one who will go dark. Ted is gone forever, Pete will rise up and kick ass, and without Ted, Cutler will be weakened and do something so underhanded that he will be exposed and eliminated, which is a bummer because his character is awesome. I don’t give a doo about Joan, but see her and Roger hooking up. And then Roger dies. Megan is out to CA, Sally and Don will mend fences, Bobby and Eugene will continue to be filler. And I don’t know wtf about Bob.

      We shall see!

  16. Cam S says:

    Don needs therapy. His freaking childhood wasn’t THAT bad! I’ve had friends that were molested, beaten, etc as children and they don’t self loathe and whine as much as this guy. The writer needs to give Don something else that is making him miserable, cause the “I had a terrible childhood” trauma story, ain’t holding water with me anymore.

    Peggy, close your legs to married men! Her relationship with Ted is so cliché.

    • Esti says:

      Seriously, how is Peggy getting the blame for that situation? Ted kissed her, and she ignored it until he brought it up again. When he told her nothing could happen, she wasn’t the one who kept putting them on accounts together or initiating physical contact in meetings. And then when he shows up at her door, she tells him he should leave and that she’s not that woman (who will break up a marriage).

      She only gave in when he told her he loved her and was leaving his wife — and yeah, it’s dumb to take a guy’s word for it, but women in 1968 probab;y didn’t have the same cynicism about that line that women today do, especially when it’s being delivered by a “nice guy” like Ted, who doesn’t usually have affairs or hit on the secretaries.

      Yeah, she was flirty, and yeah, she should have waited until he’d actually left his wife to sleep with him. But on the whole, she was not the one initiating things, and she was not the one who was married. That whole mess of a situation is 95% on Ted.

      • Cam S says:

        Sorry, A simple “No thanks man, you’re married” would have saved her a lot of grief. And if a married man ever tried to kiss me, he is gonna get slapped down! Boss or no boss. Can’t believe she had the nerve to ask him why his wife gave her suspicious looks. If she is gonna play, then she should learn that paranoia comes with the territory.

        Besides, you’d have thought she would have learned her lesson when she got knocked up with Pete’s baby! I say again “Peggy, close your legs!”

      • bettyrose says:

        Team Peggy all the way. She makes terrible decisions about men. But she owns that flaw and never expects anyone else to suffer for her mistakes. Watching Peggy figure herself out has been one of the best parts of the series.

    • emmie_a says:

      Cam – Just because you think something isn’t bad, doesn’t mean it wasn’t bad for the person who experienced it. Everyone reacts to situations differently. I applaud those who had tragic childhoods yet have come out on top. That doesn’t just automatically happen to every single person, which is why I find it totally believable that Don’s childhood has left scars that might never go away… As I temporarily forget this is just a fictional show!

      • Cam S says:

        He sent Betty to a therapist in season 1. Perhaps he should try it himself instead of boring clients with his sad traumatic childhood? Sorry, my pathetic childhood could run circles around his backstory and I turned out pretty well adjusted. Perhaps that is the reason I can’t sympathize.

    • apsutter says:

      Are you watching the same show as the rest of us? His childhood was f*cking awful. He birth mother was a whore who died in childbirth, his father was a poor drunk farmer who hated his son and beat the hell out of him, his stepmother HATED him and said shitty things constantly to him, he watched his father die before his eyes, he had to move into a brothel with his stepmom who he witnessed sleep with the owner for their rent, and his first sexual encounter was a rape by a prostitute who was ALSO a mother figure to him. If you aren’t messed up by that then you aren’t human.

    • d b says:

      ITA, Don needs a shrink! But given the time period I can understand the depth of shame Don feels about his “secret” — Dick Whitman would not have fit in among the power elite circles Don Draper travels in.

  17. Bijlee says:

    I loved Betty last night. For the brief amount of time she was there her scene was one of the most memorable. I loathe don and am sooooo happy with the decision the partners made. I wish we had been in on that discussion.

    I feel so bad for Megan. I love that she keeps trying to make it work and that her marriage is important to her. It’s clearly not important at all to don. I can’t imagine how frustrating that is. She’s honest and forthright about what she wants, what she doesn’t want, and her desires. She talks to him and is steadfast enough in her opinions and thoughts that don listens.

    Does he respect her? No, but he knows he can’t manipulate her as much as he could Betty. I LOVE bettty. I feel so badly for her. She is trying to be what she believes is a good mother and Betty is far better than people give her credit for.

    Dons a crap dad through and through. A crap friend. A crap husband. Just an incredibly crappy handsome guy. I love that Sally is finally being a jerk to her father and that don really can’t handle that. all the women in his life cannot stand him anymore and all his lies. First Betty, then Sylvia, then Megan, peggy, joan, and Sally.

    Which is why I’m uncomfortable with the last scene. While I can see he wants his kids to understand or know where he came from and reveal his past. And he’s on this whole I don’t wanna lie anymore. It does seem a little emotionally manipulative. He has to be the good guy to Sally. At least someone has to be sympathetic to him, especially since his colleagues are beyond tired of his antics.

    I don’t know I guess I’ll see how it plays out next season and what don and Sally do with this information.

    • Faye says:

      I think you, me, and a few other misfits on the board have a soft spot for Betty :) . I don’t love everything she does, but I do think she is very much over-attacked, and the fact that anyone thinks Don Draper is a better parent than her is hilarious to me. I did not like her sleeping with Don, but I was happy to see some self-confidence back in her. I think she’s there when Sally really needs her, which Sally knows at heart (going to her when she got her period; calling her when she wanted to come home).

      My feelings toward Megan are mixed. I hated the character for so long simply because Matthew Weiner shoved her down everyone’s throats so much, especially last season, trying to convince us how sexy and youthful and fresh and perfect for Don she was. It never worked for me, and I thought her catty comments about Betty during Betty’s cancer scare and her undercutting her acting friend to get a commercial showed her in a less-than-positive light.

      That being said, I can’t help feeling sorry for her this season, with her husband cheating on her with their downstairs neighbor. That’s a new low even for him. So, I wish the character good luck in California, and hope she stays there so we don’t see Megan last season.

      As for Don, I wasn’t entirely happy with the season finale because I felt like it gave him an easy out. All along, it seems Weiner’s been selling this storyline that poor widdle Don acts like a dick (not Dick) because of his sad childhood. And at a certain point, you have to take responsibility for yourself no matter what happened, you know? But the ending seemed to me as if Weiner was saying that all of Don’s problems stemmed from an inability to be honest about his childhood, and now that he’s done that, he can reconnect with his children and he’s off the hook for everything he does. I don’t see it.

      Next season is the last one, right? I’d love to see more of Peggy, Joan, and even Bob. These people are the wave of the future, and their stories are much more compelling to me than Don’s, at this point.

      Just a last point – I really love Harry Hamlin. He’s knocking that sleazy Cutler character portrayal out of the park. He’s a surprising combination of grossness and actual good sense.

      • emmie_a says:

        Faye — The ending scene was a brief minute and all we got was an admission from Don and a reaction from Sally. How can you say that one scene means Don will reconnect with his children and that he’s off the hook for everything he did??? Mad Men is never that simple.

      • Faye says:

        Well, if you read Weiner’s interviews, you’ll see that he tends to attach a lot of meaning and importance to certain small scenes. So basing assumptions on the last scene isn’t that far off-base.

        However, I’m not just talking about the ending scene. The whole season, IMO, was building to this. The constant flashbacks to his whore-ridden childhood. The big Hershey scene in this episode, where Don basically just goes “fuck it” and blows it all to hell by revealing his childhood.

        If you look at the juxtaposition of the flashback scenes, they’re always near an adult Don cheating scenes. To me, that’s yet another way of Weiner trying to draw a big red arrow from “Don has a bad childhood —->>> Don cheats!”

        And in that one quick last scene, you saw Sally give him this look of understanding and compassion (even if muddled by anger). To me, he’s done nothing to warrant it just by showing his childhood home to them. I don’t think Don will ride off happily into the sunset, because that’s just not how this show is made. But this was clearly meant to be a turning point for Don, a semi-redemption if you will, and I don’t think he’s done anything much to deserve it yet. Obviously, this is just my interpretation and mileage varies.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        I’d agree with all of that–except Joan. I go between hating her and not giving a hooping funt about her. She bugs. I’m full of unpopular loyalties. I like Betty, I roll my eyes at every wiggle of Joan’s ominous hourglass and I would have been absolutely delighted if it were Sally who were lost at sea.

        There ya go.

      • Bijlee says:

        @jo mama Hahahaha! I feel that way about Sally too. She is annoying, but what teenager isn’t? Frankly I’m annoyed at how rudely she’s treated her mother. And dang the things she said would not fly at my house. Like closing the door on her mother’s face. I would have gotten a spanking for that.

        But I adore Joan. She’s much too sweet and talented. IMO she doesn’t get half the credit she deserves for how hard she works at the business. Especially compared to the awful louses she has for bosses.

    • Pixie says:

      I think the last scene was more a response to Sally’s words in the episode with the burglary when she said she didn’t know Don at all. I saw it as a sign Don’s ready to be more honest with his kids, especially Sally. He knows he effed up with her but he wants to start rebuilding his relationship and he figured the truth was the best way to do that.

    • emmie_a says:

      Wow – all loathe and crap for Don. I can see hating him for his actions but what about having some sympathy for what a broken, depleted person he is?

      • Bijlee says:

        Sorry. My loathing of don is partly because of his actions but largely the fan bases willingness to forgive the guy for everything he’s ever done while trashing Betty for everything she’s ever done.

        Don was abused as a child and the way he’s overcome that abuse is positive given he’s never hit his kids or Betty. But he’s incredibly emotionally abusive and has an unbelievably screwed up relationship with women. I do feel badly for everything he’s suffered as a child, and all I ever feel like doing is giving that poor boy a hug and wrenching that wooden spoon out of his stepmothers hands.

        But I just feel everyone is way toooo forgiving of his actions in the present and completely unforgiving of other characters (like Betty, who likely had an emotionally abusive relationship with her parents).

        On top of that I always hear how he’s such a good father over and over and I often wonder why he warrants the whole good father thing when he barely interacts with his kids. Whereas Betty is this evil villain when she’s around them ALL the time. Huge difference between the two. I guess I like Betty too much that’s it’s left me kind of hating don for all the excuses the fans give him for his behavior.

      • emmie_a says:

        Bijlee: I have never heard anyone call Don a good father! He’s an awful father and I think he has even admitted to that.

        And having sympathy for Don is not giving him a free pass — it’s not forgiving him for his wrongs. It’s just an understanding of how he has come to be who he is. Maybe it’s more empathy. He’s such a messed-up, broken, depleted man that I bet he hates himself more than anyone else can possible hate him.

      • Bijlee says:

        @emmie_a Then I either need your friends or whatever forum you frequent. The ones that I discuss the show with seem to imply that Don is a good father, or at least compared to Betty a much better parent.
        Which I think is wildly unfair. Even Kiernan Shipka was saying he’s always trying to be a good dad…no he’s not. Especially in comparison to Betty who apparently is never trying to be a good mother. A few moments of trying does not mean he’s always trying. He’s always trying to appear to be a good dad that’s it.

        I’m well aware that having sympathy for a character doesn’t mean you forgive him. While that is true, when people grow attached to a character so much they’ve already forgiven him for things he’s done or have already said in their minds oh it’s just how he is, he can’t help it. I have sympathy for Don and I understand he grew up in hellish conditions, but I still dislike his actions and his hero like status. Although this is being dismantled completely given how grotesque he has looked this season.

        I’ve already stated I’m biased towards Betty given that people have called her horrendous things and have criticized nearly everything about her from her parenting to her looks to her intelligence. Do I think she deserves the Mother of the Year award??? LOL NO. But Betty is so far from this villain everyone paints her as. So it’s the conversation surrounding Mad Men that has me annoyed by Don Draper. While I understand the sympathy for him, I think sympathy for his character gets way out of hand.

    • Isabelle says:

      Betty is probably the only person that somewhat ‘gets’ Don/Dick. He also understands her more than her current husband. I have a soft spot for them being together or having a friendship. More Betty scenes next season please!

      • Faye says:

        I like the idea of them as friends, but HELL NO to them getting back together. Betty has Henry, and he is an amazing husband. She doesn’t need to travel that path with Don again. Bad for both of them.

      • Bijlee says:

        She has that gorgeous, sweet Henry. Seriously I’m surprised people don’t find Henry attractive, what is that??? Don is so not worth it. But he’s a good friendship that’s it.

      • Isabelle says:

        Agree, Henry is x10 a better husband than Don. Don’t want Betty and Don together either but believe they have more in common. Their natures are very similar. Betty is damaged, not as much as Don but she’s damaged. She cheated on Henry and did it without any guilt. I’m a Betty fan but Henry is the better spouse of the two. She doesn’t necessarily deserve Henry.

      • Carolyn says:

        I too like the character of Betty and the way she’s played by January. She recognises Henry has saved her given her a nice lifestyle etc.

        Kudos to the actress who plays Sally. She’s actually growing with her character. Perfect. Hope she continues to go great roles in the future.

        Nice work Matthew Weiner making Don unlikeable…sets it up nicely for either redemption or downfall as has been said by everyone else. I think the show has 1 season left max. Time to end it.

  18. Michele says:

    I think Don will be relieved in a way if Megan asks for a divorce. He will get out of the marriage never having to reveal his infidelity. Everyone will just chalk their bust-up to Don’s drinking.

  19. Happy21 says:

    I couldn’t wait to get into work today to post something but when I try to get it into words I can’t!

    Let’s just say that I’m super sad I have to wait until 2014 to see the next season! And with any luck there will be no more Megan. They did end that California bit really well so if we never saw her again I wouldn’t be surprised or wonder where she went.

    The finale was great! I like that so much happened.

    I do not think that Don is going to commit suicide. I think he may end up sick though…

    I’m really hoping this episode was where Don kind of turns a corner and starts to make some changes. I don’t think he’ll do a complete 360 or anything because afterall he is Don and he is a tortured soul but I do hope that some aspects of his life may change. Maybe his kids will become more important to him, maybe he’ll live as a single man for a while and figure out what makes him tick and then go back to work and kick some ass.

    I don’t blame Ted at all with what happened with Peggy and him leaving. I think he’s right in saying its for the best and she will thank him one day. And I don’t think that him taking his family away from his temptation is unreasonable either. I bet it happened a lot back in the day – remove the threat…He can’t fire her so he’s got to go. I liked the thought of them together but I don’t think it would have gone the distance.

    Bob Benson was completely AWESOME when he made Pete look like an ass in front of Chevy! Epic moment right there :)

    More Harry Hamlin next season please! Love him!

    Best line of the night went to Stan when Don asked where he was going and he said he had a sandwich on his desk and he wanted to get to it before Don did.

    Sigh…I’m going to have a hard time waiting until 2014 for my fix…think I’ll go back and start at the beginning :)

  20. bettyrose says:

    Gawd that “orphan in a whorehouse” moment was some of the best television ever. The looks on Ted and Roger’s faces… The neighbors could hear me laughing.

  21. apsutter says:

    He didn’t lose his job. Think of it as a long term sabbatical. They cant just fire him because he’s a partner. I’m just gonna paste what I said over on uproxx about this ep.

    1. Ahhhhhhhh!! Peggy in a pantsuit! They totally made it a focal point to because they zoomed out to showcase it. As soon as I saw it I totally squee-ed and knew Peggy is gonna step it up and kick some ass.
    2. Peggy in that babydoll dress? Yowza!! And her sly look to Ted!
    3. Love the new SC&P logo! Very Price is Right! And they even have matching mugs!
    4. That minister totally had it coming.
    5. I felt really bad for Roger and you can tell that he’s just lonely and sad and he has that harpy money grubber for a daughter(but DAMN…I love her hair!) I do like that he’s becoming much more self aware and trying to work on his problems so he didn’t just jump into bed with the next young secretary. I LOOOVE when MM has nice little heartwarming moments in between all the angst so I loved when he went to Joanie’s on Thanksgiving to see her and his kid. Moon River playing on the stereo, a happy Joan and son, and Bob Benson carving a turkey…what more could you ask for?
    6. Pete has become such a sad and almost sympathetic character, it’s almost shocking considering what he’s done in the past. Dare I say he’s actually growing as a person a little bit? Love how Bob got him kicked out of Michigan…don’t mess with BB. Trudy looked freakin’ adorable and Pete’s scene with his daughter was heartbreaking.
    7. I can’t believe it took the partners this long to make Don take a sabbatical. He’s been a liability to them for an entire year.

    • Cirque28 says:

      #5: I loved that scene! Nobody is getting what they wanted and nobody’s lives are turning out as they expected. Roger is alone, Joan is a single parent… yet for that 1 evening, they’re happy anyway. And, along with Bob Benson, almost a little family unit.

      #6: Pete is like a Shakespearean tragic figure with a fatal flaw. (His fatal flaw would probably be his selfishness/entitlement.) Maybe I’m too much of an idealist, but I think you can see the good guy inside Pete. However, he repeatedly does not make the moral choice. And he went down a bad, bad road when he turned away from Trudy. Still, he could easily wake up in 10 years and realize that all of his success is actually not that fulfilling and it’s time to start redeeming himself.

  22. apsutter says:

    Oh also, Weiner using Judy Collins version of “Both Sides, Now” during the ending was just perfect. In fact, the last 10 minutes of the show were wonderful. Megan and Don, Trudy and Pete, Don and the Partners, Joan and Roger, Peggy in her pantsuit, and Don and his kids. What a solid episode. I think this might be one of the best eps of the entire shows run.

  23. June says:

    Dude, uh, spoiler alert for your title, man. Kinda spilled the beans there a little bit.

  24. Ally says:

    In fact, Jon Hamm has said in interviews that he’s dismayed how much many viewers still idolize Don. I think Jon & Matt W. worked really hard this season to kill of our idealization of the character.

    • Isabelle says:

      For the first time I actually sympathized for Don/Dick. Last nights episode actually put me back into Don’s league. I’ve really not liked him since season one. However, when he opened himself up and became Dick (who he really is underneath the Don charade)I felt for him. Admired him for the first time, because he had the guts to reveal himself and walk away. Hopefully Don has flipped the page and is Dick now versus Don. Last night’s episode made me more of a fan.

      • Cirque28 says:

        Yeah but at this point, wouldn’t he be Dick AND Don? He’s been Don too long to just bury that dude too.

        I believe the Freudian/Jungian concept of the shadow says you ignore your shadow self at your own peril. So you gotta let it into your regular consciousness. But you also have to be careful not to let the shadow take over. So surely ultimate healthy Don would need to be BOTH the handsome ad man and the shameful rejected orphan.

        But does Don/Dick has the courage to pull off such a feat? Doubtful.

      • Isabelle says:

        Don’s shadow will always follow him. He can’t escape what he has purposely built most of his life. It probably will be a weird mixture of Don/Dick. What he did last night was one of the first times he took responsibility for his actions. IMO his drinking & womanizing were side effects from suppressing his real self and his past. Sally finding him was his turning point. He stopped drinking. Plus sharing his past with his kids. Almost a miracle within itself. So that’s a good sign that he’s less “Don” than we’ve believed. Why would he struggle if he was completely Don?

    • apsutter says:

      Well they did a GREAT job of it. As soon as Don called Megan a whore for kissing a man for her job and left her weeping to go screw his mistress I completely turned on him. However the ending of this ep was just sad and made me feel sadness for everyone involved. Megan was spot on when she said that they are all in the same boat.

  25. anet says:

    Jesus Christ, almost every post I scanned has raving reviews….some of these episodes are flimsy and unfinished it seems…it’s been my first season to watch this show….had it not been for Don Hamm’s package (whether it be his balls or peen), I would not have wasted all this time. Oh well, till next year…

  26. American In Oz says:

    Having just watched the scene at the end between Sally and Don again…

    I think Sally was realizing her dad has had his own problems and is human. The awareness that your parents had a lifetime before you (and after) is a huge realization for most people.

  27. kiyoshigirl says:

    So, Don finally said “f*&k it, I’m done hiding”. Good for him. It’s the beginning of a new era for him and his children, particularly Sally. Either they’re going to become very close or she’s going to go off the deep end and fall into full o n rebellion. I did appreciate the impact of the look on her face when he stopped the car and showed her where he had grown up. Did she know it all along, or was it a total juxtaposition of what she thought he was? For me, that scene made chugging through this discombobulated, confusing season worth every moment. I’m a sucker for parents being real with their kids. Can’t have a truthful relationship without it.

    • apsutter says:

      Sally really knows nothing about her dad’s past. That came out when they were robbed and she even told Don on the phone that she was tricked because she doesn’t know him. The only thing she knows is that he was married once before and that she called him Dick.

  28. Noodle says:

    I don’t feel like Don is at a low. I think he had some sort of revelation and it wasn’t rock bottom.

    Why else tell the story in the boardroom? Why give up the trip to California? Why bring the kids to the old house?

    BECAUSE HE IS DONE DRAPER, AND HE CAN.

    Right now, he is rid of the wife and rid of the job. I’m not 100% sure this is ending with a suicide anymore.