Like many other people out there, and not just the T.V. critics being paid to write reviews, I was anticipating the final episode of Mad Men last night. A devoted fan since the first season, this is one of the few television shows that I looked forward to seeing. I knew that I wanted to say something about it and in my free time came up with a lot of thoughts and notes on what I’d like to write about. However, before the hour was over I threw them all out the proverbial window. As the opening lyrics to the iconic (and irritating) Coca-Cola commercial began towards the end of the finale something in my head kept screaming “What the hell is this?”
However, as this piece by Molly Driscol in the Christian Science Monitor shows, Mad Men finale: What just happened – and why?. series creator Matthew Wiener is satisfied with how the final episode turned out. After all, this was his baby and characters. Mad Men was so well written, and deserved every award, so one can only respect him as a writer.
I have no problem with Don Draper (Jon Hamm, as if you didn’t know) lost in America and finally reaching Stephanie in California. I can even see them going on that retreat. Seeing him achieve some catharsis like he did was good. He needed to confront himself. Perhaps, Don finally accepts the fact that he is Dick Whitman and can now integrate himself into the man he truly wants to be. However, it should have led somewhere. Stephanie should have driven back a week later and picked him up.
Mr. Wiener and the producers could have added another fifteen minutes and give us that satisfying conclusion.
The part that made me laugh, I mean really laugh, is where Stan Rizzo (Jay R. Ferguson, now that’s a name) confessed to Peggy (Elizabeth Moss) that he loves her. I mean, I pictured Mike Ginsberg (Ben Feldman) escaping the loony bin and stalking our favorite career girl before Grizzly Adams admitted to carrying the torch. What about that nurse he took pictures of? What about that lawyer Peggy had such a great time with? On the other hand, Peggy and Stan worked together all those years and confide in each other. They’ve even each other naked in the “Waldorf Stories” episode (Season 4) so there’s no mystery there either. Despite my laughter, I do say it’s great those two get a happy ending. Maybe Stan will order a dozen roses for some future Valentine’s Day to put on her table.
Will television’s third favorite red-head (after Lucy and Ginger) Joan Harris be on the cover of Ms. Magazine in 1980? Will Pete Campbell really have a second chance with Trudy or screw it up like he always does? How does million dollar struggling-actress Megan feel about her ex-hubby’s pal, and ex-boss, Roger Sterling, as a step-father? Will Sally go to college? We will never know and it is just as well. However, in the case of Don Draper, there is no closure.
What a show.