Mad Men Finale

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11UrbzAndSpices's picture

Well I'll have a strong opinion when I start watching the show in 2017

...almost done with Breaking Bad!

If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special.

HS
Icouldnotgofor3's picture

Saban on a cart eating cold pizza

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d1145fresh's picture

I didn't completely hate it. I actually would say I liked all of the story lines except for Don's. I feel like it is an episode I will have to watch again and try to pick up the little hints of things that bring some more clarity to Don's ending at the colony. I am guessing they are trying to say he left there and went back to the agency to do the Coke ad. I would have like to have watched him make that pitch to Coke or at least start on it. That is what the show is based on but it seemed to fall off a bit. I think the other thing that hurt was there were so many story lines to try and wrap up.

HS
FunZone's picture

I'd prefer more working Don too instead of hippie Don. I liked the smile at the end though. To me, that signified his ad man swag coming back. Now he's probably killin' it like season 1 but personally he's finding more fulfillment.

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d1145fresh's picture

Yea... I think I could have used a closing shot in the conference room... maybe over his shoulder with him in a suit and a board with Coke and the slogan on it. Then cut to the song to show he was back at it.

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FunZone's picture

Although a little less vague, that's what you get from a former Sopranos writer! 

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rkylet83's picture

I thought it was interesting, but felt a bit rushed.  Not a lot of bluster or fireworks which is a trademark of the show. 

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hodge's picture

Exactly.  It would have been a disservice to the show if they went for a ZOMG-type of ending.  

Here's a great article on that from the USA Today.  Well worth a read.

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DurhamBuckeye's picture

I'll have to watch it again.  I didn't expect a lot to "happen" but I was a bit confused by the ending.  They wrapped up with a nice little bow stoylines for Peggy, Joan, Pete, and even Roger.  They left Don's storyline dangling, which wouldn't bother me at all if it wasn't so completely out of character for everything else they've developed him as.  Will watch again tonight, though, and see  how I feel about it.  

Edit: One interesting thing I noticed is that one of the characters in the Coke commercial looked to me like the receptionist (?) at the commune that Don talked with when he was trying to find Stephanie. the one who said "People can come and go as they please".  Did I imagine that, or did anyone else pick up on it? 

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Alice in Aggieland's picture

Did I imagine that, or did anyone else pick up on it?

You didn't imagine it, and a lot of folks are taking it as a sign that Don was in fact responsible for the commercial.

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hodge's picture

I've heard that a lot too.  Personally, I think Weiner used it as a winking nod to the audience -- every episode ended with some song from the pop music canon, and it was only fitting for Mad Men to end with a commercial that was so influential its own song was released as a single.  

Not to mention the fact that Coca-cola was Don's white whale, and "the real thing" speaks to the character arcs of the show's main characters and their journeys toward self-discovery.

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DurhamBuckeye's picture

After watching it again, I think Don got that smirk on his face because he had his next best marketing idea.  I think I was too dense to pick up on it the first time around.  With that being said, I enjoyed the ending.

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Braxton2Devin's picture

I just wish Don had one more interaction with the other main characters.

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Hoody Wayes's picture

I don't agree Mad Men is "one of the greatest TV dramas of all time": It could have been.

Its biggest flaw was in casting the leads. John Slattery should have been the male lead. Jessica Paré should have been cast as Peggy. Jon Hamm would have been much more effective in a secondary role, as Roger Sterling's onetime protégé and shadowy competitor.   

From seasons one-three, the directors and writers were their strongest in developing stories and juggling characters. In season four, the writing was muddled and there were too many characters. The show devolved into a prime time soap (too much drama and too little advertising). This continued through season five, with season six being somewhat of an improvement. Season seven sustained the momentum regained in season six, for the most part.

Weiner - who worked on The Sopranos - brought with him some of its devices, like ending shows on credits, over blackout, with musical commentary, beneath.

It makes we wonder if he was trying to one-up, David Chase and/or inspired by that show's controversial ending.

Mad Men ends with the same device. But, its use and the ambiguity of it make it a better fit, I think. Maybe, I'll change my mind about The Sopranos ending, someday. 

It feels like a Mad Men spinoff might be in the offing: Mad Women.

TBDSNITL: The best damn screen name in the land!

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Alice in Aggieland's picture

I loved it, I think. (It needs a rewatch for sure.) 

I loved that Joan, Roger, Pete, and Peggy all got fresh starts that felt in line with their character arcs, though I'm not sure I completely buy Reformed Pete Campbell. Joan gets use her hard-won payout from McCann to become the boss she always should have been. Roger becomes a grownup, finally - his line about Kevin being a "rich little bastard" was my favorite of the night - and finds a woman who is his equal in age, intelligence, and emotional instability. Peggy and Stan felt like audience wish-fulfillment, sure, but I like how Weiner bookended her story with office relationships in which the power dynamic is completely flipped. I also buy her staying at McCann because Peggy is, above all else, practical and risk-averse, especially with regard to her professional life.

Don is the only character without a finite ending because he's the only character who never grows or changes. He's Don, and he'll always be Don. You can strip him of his suit, his office, his car, even his name, but he'll always be the survivalist he was in Season 1, always looking for the next Big Idea (or con, depending on your view of him). Every setback is a jumping-off point for Don, building on his need for artifice: Korea made him Don Draper. His divorce from Betty pushed him toward Megan. Getting stranded at a hippie retreat (probably) inspired the Coke commercial. I still love McCann's president's perfect description of Don as the "white whale" - he can destroy everything around him, but it doesn't matter, because he's the prize everyone wants.

I'm going to miss this show.

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FunZone's picture

Yeah, I'll need a series rewatch before I buy Pete as sympathetic. 

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McGrind's picture

Agree with lots of comments here...really enjoyed seasons 1-3. Really done well with a pretty acurate depiction of the times. Right down to Sally (as a young child) mixing drinks for her dad. Season 4 and on was like a book with to many characters and too little focus on the adv clients who helped weave the spisodes together. 

For me the question for the whole last season is does Dick find peace in CA or does he stay as Don in advertising. 

Which personality wins? For me, it was decided when he gets no love/respect from the young women who knows him as Dick Whitman...nothing and no life there. So when he smiles he finds peace and the tag line for Coke. 

Great ending for me...would be one more scene where he calls Peggy. Then one would never know (for sure) if he gives the idea to Peggy and stays in the commune or if he returns to NYC. 

Justice delayed is justice denied....#FTP

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Hoody Wayes's picture

"Great ending for me...would be one more scene where he calls Peggy. Then one would never know (for sure) if he gives the idea to Peggy and stays in the commune or if he returns to NYC."

A few things make a spinoff or spinoffs possible: Don is superficial (the final scene hints at this) and so were the 70's (The "Me Generation"). Women's Lib hit the "glass ceiling." This could go on through the 80's, with its conservative repudiation of the 60's and 70's.

TBDSNITL: The best damn screen name in the land!

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McGrind's picture

The dicotomy is always real vs iamge. Don (image)  vs Dick (real). The image of smoking (sexy) vs the reality (lung cancer). Don better than most understands the difference... and in the end chooses the image over reality. And in the end creates an epic marketing con job..that you can find peace and happiness in a can of sugar water. 

Justice delayed is justice denied....#FTP

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joebuckeye's picture

I thought it was a great ending.

HS