In the Elevator with Don

 Posted by on July 1, 2013 at 7:54 am  Characters, Mad Men, Season 6  Add comments
Jul 012013
 

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 8.44.29 PMI could tell the minute she knew who I really was, she never wanted to look at me again. – Don to Anna Draper, ‘The Good News’

I suppose he has no one else to blame. No one went and got the key from his bathrobe this time. In that Hershey pitch, Don Draper sat there and opened the Whitman’s Sampler on himself, on purpose and alone. 

I was an orphan. I grew up in Pennsylvania, in a whorehouse. I read about Milton Hershey … I read that some orphans had a different life. – Don Draper, ‘In Care Of’

Should Don be surprised? That they looked at him the way Betty had, when he told her? That they can’t stand the sight of him? That they’re not sure they ever should have let him in the club in the first place?

Jim Cutler, Roger, Ted, and Bert have all led a certain kind of life. They are upper-class white men in one of the last moments in history when unexceptional men like them can enter that class with no effort. They were simply born in the right place, to the right white people; in their era, that’s enough.

These men are fortunate, but they can’t feel their good fortune at all. To most of the “partners” at Sterling Cooper & Partners (and their contemporaries), life at the top is so mundane that the discomfort of an unexpected narrative feels to them like an outrage.

Getting drunk on a workday? Not an offense worthy of suspension. Arranging a merger with another firm in a bar, without notifying Legal or Accounting? Ditto. Celebrating Take Your Doctor To Work Day by getting your employees and partners high? See above. Yet somehow, telling the truth of your life is “the only unpardonable sin.”

You shit the bed in there.

I don’t care.

Was any of that true?

Yes.

- Roger and Don, ‘In Care Of’

Roger never fails to make me laugh. Joanie is my perennial girl crush. Jim Cutler is creepy, Bert’s seen better days, and I don’t know what the hell to think of Ted Chaough. But I was still surprised when it hit me, as those elevator doors closed on Don Draper, that I was right in there with him. I was breaking up with those people. All of them.

Even Joanie.

Those “partners,” of Sterling Cooper and Partners? They can go. If I never see any of them again, I think I’ll be good. Matt Weiner and company can turn Season 7 into the Peggy-vs.-California show: we’ll see Pete and Don struggle with Peggy’s direction, Harry will bumble around some more, and Ken will drop in from time to time. Maybe all the other partners will let Ted fly them up to Hershey, and the plane will crash.

Bye.

Bye.

What bothers me most about those people: they are of a piece with the worst of the stuff I see every day. Their casual cruelty is as contemporary as the guy who bankrupts a city as he redesigns a sporting event to suit his preferences … and then wants to buy another airline for his personal island. Those assholes are as modern as the guy who decides he doesn’t need permits before holding a lavish wedding in an environmentally-fragile forest. Sterling Cooper and Partners are five hoodies and a paintball game away from being the worst employer in the country.

No matter how many posterior inoculations of speed Cutler’s doctor administers in the office, no matter how often Ted drops “groovy” into his rap sessions, those people represent something I don’t want in my life. They are judgmental, closed-minded people who have proven they have no right to judge anyone else, for anything, ever.

Try to see it from our side. – Roger to Don, ‘In Care Of’

You know what’s funny about that line, Roger Sterling? Don Draper has seen it from your side. For decades. I’m surprised he’s waited this long to drop the bomb. I only wish he’d taken the time to fly out to Detroit and drop it on the Chevy guys too.

I hope Don Draper is done seeing things from the partners’ side. I know I am.

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  98 Responses to “In the Elevator with Don”

  1. Anne,

    Do you remember when Pete was returning the ‘Chip and Dip’ at the department store?
    He runs into Matherton, a past acquaintance.

    Matherton in real life is David Ellison, son of Larry Ellison.

  2. Funny, I could care less for Don. I never truly grasped what was so fascinating about him, found him despicable from day one, season one. What makes me tune in are the other characters, the (sub)plots, the history, the costumes. But Don? Couldn’t care less about him and if he didn’t turn up in the final season it would be just as well with me.

    • I can see where someone wouldn’t like Don, or not be interested because he’s such a douche. But…….
      The Don Draper Show without Dick Whitman is what?
      A coupla haircuts, and an office. A NETWORK show.
      No, thanks.

      • The most interesting character on the show is Peggy. Probably because she is the only one who changes, constantly. Don Draper is just boring.

    • Hm, I wonder what the haters been watching this whole time. The show is about Don. If they don’t get what his character is up against, they are wasting their time being annoyed or bored by his road to self-understanding. Personally, I’m bored by people who watch the show only to fall hook, line and sinker for the obvious reasons to dislike Don because they are judging him by today’s standards. These are the people who notice that doctors smoke during examinations as do pregnant women and love Peggy but are able to overlook her abandonment of her child. Bored by the crucial flashbacks that do the heavy lifting? Just another sign they aren’t paying attention. They should do themselves a favor and find another fashion show.
      Oh, and Sean, the expression is “I couldn’t care less.”

  3. Just saw “Man With A Plan” again: the final scene with the Partners’ Meeting is very telling.

    It’s following the merger, when they’re combining the two firms and down-sizing personnel. The scene is memorable because Joan save’s Bob’s bacon. But Jim Cutler’s overall attitude at the meeting is a good example of exactly what this article is talking about.

    Cutler is not upset about having to fire people (even people from his old firm, whom he knows well) — he’s just bugged by how long the whole process is taking. [No doubt, that meeting is cutting into his extensive leering and checker-playing schedule...] What struck me about the scene is how utterly self-absorbed and cavalier these people are over the whole process.

    Over the course of the show, we’ve seen people getting fired before a few times, often from the perspective of those doing the firing (for ex, the original Petersen firing scene at SC).

    Now we witness a firing scene (or at least a “leave of absence” one) from the perspective of the one getting the ax… which bluntly reminds us of just how coldly impersonal and Machiavellian these people really are.

    • Roger barely knew the names of any of the employees at Sterling Cooper or SCDP. Remember him commenting when SCDP was downsizing that he had to go learn the names of the people who was going to fire.

    • Freddy Rumsen, anyone? He was also a drinker and he wet himself. Don “shit the bed” symbolically, so his buddy/rival Roger (I could easily see a collection of their sparring throughout the series.) gets to “notice” out loud in the open. I keep thinking about Season 3′s “My Old Kentucky Home” when Don tells Roger (and I paraphrase) that people think he’s a fool. Bang! Spotted an easy opening, Roge! Just like the bearded writer who got tired of your pithy insults in front of his friends.

  4. From my point of view, it was necessary. Don has always done a good job of compartmentalizing. He is imploding at the seams, frequently absent when needed, drunk, and is scaring the hell out of clients and potential ones. I can see it from their point of view…

    • Yep, Don has pushed people to their limit, both family, friends and strangers, over and over.

    • Well, his only true confidant is deceased. Who else is selfless enough to notice what’s happening and talk to him honestly? No one. Don’t know why I’m saying this, I imagine people have pretty much chosen teams by now and have a laundry list of reasons why – mainly because they correspond to issues they are concerned about in their own lives. As enlightened as men and women are expected to be, sadly people are still just as judgmental as they were half a century ago.

  5. They are upper-class white men in one of the last moments in history when unexceptional men like them can enter that class with no effort. They were simply born in the right place, to the right white people; in their era, that’s enough.

    Actually, I have to disagree here – we are back in that era again now. All the statistics support that.

    I tend to think of this show as being partly about the brief (1-2 generations) window that opened and allowed men like Don to achieve that status by virtue of talent, hard work, and yes, a little deception.

    • There was an episode in S1 where they were considering taking on the Nixon campaign, and Don said something to the effect of “when I see Kennedy, I see privilege; when I see Nixon, I see myself”. This brought to mind Nixon’s “Checkers” speech, where he goes into his humble beginnings:

      http://watergate.info/1952/09/23/nixon-checkers-speech.html

      it includes this famous quote:
      “I should say this—that Pat doesn’t have a mink coat. But she does have a respectable Republican cloth coat. And I always tell her that she’d look good in anything.”

      Was this Don’s “Checkers” speech? Hmmm. If it was, it had the opposite effect of the original.

      • And LBJ did fine with proud humble origins. There are lots of other examples from 60s America including Conrad Hilton, I think. But in order to pull this off, you have to manage the message carefully. Even if it’s all true, it has to be presented with the audience in mind. The Checkers Speech was not off the cuff; it was carefully crafted. It’s an image, like any other image, that has to packaged the right way.

        I think if Don ever wants to be a businessman again, he’s going to have to take his truth and package it a little. We all do that; it’s not unhealthy. Very few people practice radical honesty.

    • All the statistics support that (unexceptional men can enter the upper class with no effort)

      What statistics? How does one measure effort/no effort? How does one measure exceptionality – or its lack?

      And if it can be done – is it really done on a regular basis?

      • Back in the 90s The Economist did a shorthand history of American Business in the 70s and 80s – basically saying that old-guard management fell prey to corporate takeovers/raiders/mergers, etc.

        Said another way, those old-school, unexceptional, upper-class, took-over-from-Dad managers were shoved aside (with parachutes-of-gold in most cases, I imagine).

    • Good point, CraigH.

      I got a direct message on Twitter a few weeks ago from an old friend I worked with years ago (pre-2000). One of our former managers was looking for information on a woman who’d worked on our team when I was hired, and for a few months afterward. It seems this woman, who has since died and left a small estate, was living and working under an assumed identity for years. The person we knew then never officially existed: all her personal data tracks to a child who died in a house fire in the 1970s.

      This was possible because of when the woman we knew changed her identity: in the late 1980′s. In fact, it was easy for her: all she had to do at that time was apply for an official name change, and that took care of it. For those of you old enough to remember, many of us were issued our Social Security numbers as teenagers. I remember looking forward to getting mine so that I could start working; I started my first part-time job at 15.

      It was easier for my former colleague to change her identity than it was for even the fictional Dick Whitman/Don Draper. A member of any branch of the Armed Forces would have needed to provide a service number for identification, even in the 1950′s. My former colleague was careful to choose the identity of a child who was born in one state and died in another. If she’d ever been challenged to prove her identity, she could have simply said that her parents had failed to claim her as a dependent in one of those states. Until the mid-80′s, that was the SSN trigger.

      In this one way, the old days were great: you could change your identity without much effort. And it seems people did — even mild-mannered white girls with good office skills.

      • Wow, thank you, Anne! This is exactly the kind of insightful observation and fact-sharing that makes this site worth coming to. My dad started over without changing his name, but he concealed a great deal about his former life to my mom. It was only shortly before having the stroke that killed him that he told me the first part of it. The rest came out in the wash when I contacted the first family (there were two) years later. So the “new start” storyline makes anything else Don does pretty much pale in comparison. The more we learn about how screwed up his childhood was, the more I want him to reach a place of peace that isn’t a cemetery.

  6. Don earned his firing but it still, after everything, broke my heart a little. Joan is in that group of partners by the thinnest of threads. I understand why she took part in the firing, she needs to take care of herself and her future. I was wondering what was going on in her head in that scene. I wonder what she was told. How did they frame the story of the Hershey’s meltdown? Were they laughing at him? Were they disgusted by him? I really wish I knew what Joan thought about Don after learning about all of that.

    • I wonder if Joan even knew exactly what he said. She wasn’t in the Hershey meeting, so the other partners might not have felt the need to tell her the exact details. They could have just said “Don had a breakdown and sabotaged the meeting” or something to that effect.

      I have to assume that the partners in the Hershey meeting felt ambushed. It’s not as if Don sat them down privately and said, “Listen, I have something to tell you.” He did it in front of a potential client. The confession, if you can call it that, wasn’t even to his partners–it was to the Hershey executives. His partners just happened to be witnesses, or a captive audience.

  7. It’ll be interesting to see what the premiere for S7 will be. While I was shocked to see the partners tell Don to take a leave of absence, it felt somehow to be natural progression for his character. I’d like to see the backstory that lead to it though; each of the partners thoughts on this. I don’t have the Joan love that others do; or Peggy for that matter; I enjoy the men’s storylines more, but I do find it interesting to see where this will take us in the final season. I didn’t think I’d be so wrought with emotion after this finale. For Don, Sally, Peggy, even Pete and Joan. The rest, not so much.

  8. In a Faulkner novel, one truly despicable character is never held accountable for his reprehensible crimes but we learn later that he is put to death a couple of towns away for a crime he did not commit in a case of mistaken identity.

    It is a core irony in MadMen. Don can’t be who he is and succeed – not in a conventional way anyhow. The crime of deception is handsomely rewarded with status and things even as it poisons Don’s soul. Meanwhile, acknowledging your past if you happen to be Dick Whitman is an unpardonable crime. We may be surprised by the reception committee waiting to fire Don for telling the truth but Don isn’t. He knows instinctively and from experience with Betty that he is toast from the moment he “shit the bed” with Hershey (pun intended? Well, probably. . ; )

    Joan can do everything right but she can’t make a material gain without selling herself. Don can thrive with a stolen identify and made up persona but has to cash it all in to go back and fix himself because faking it is killing him. Like Raskolnikov he has to go to the crossroads to start the healing process. So S6 ends with the guy whose very motto is “move forward” staring at the house from his past – the one he swore to leave behind forever. Boats against the current indeed!

    Tough to watch but really great writing.

    • Thank you thank you thank you, Trip D! The injustice is stunning but the rules remain the rules, made by those who stand to gain most from them until someone with more clout steps in. Remember how impotent they all were when the English fellows showed up? Only way to get rid of them was to get physical. Oh, man, what an episode that was.

  9. Casual cruelty in modernity — great way to put it. I think we’re seeing something like this in the recent Paula Deen stir-up. Among the partners of Mad Men and between Paula and her brother, I see a mental removal, so to speak, from day-to-day life among people who don’t have the privilege of certain rights at birth.

    As d davies denver says, it is most certainly tough to watch. I want to shake awake all the parties involved.

    • Among the partners of Mad Men and between Paula and her brother, I see a mental removal, so to speak, from day-to-day life among people who don’t have the privilege of certain rights at birth.

      Well said, k. I agree.

  10. Don’s suspension was in no way a result of what he revealed about himself in The Hershey Confession. His suspension was the result of his behavior all season long that was damaging to the agency, such as his impulsively firing Jaguar, going to war with his partner Ted, and the many incidents of his being late to or absent from meetings. If his confession had anything to do with his suspension, it wasn’t what he confessed, but the inappropriateness of it in that meeting. Even then, it was merely the finaly straw of everything he’s done this season.

    • You are right of course that Don’s past crimes against the interest of the agency are part of the literal reason that Don is suspended and justify that action.

      Yet none of these other crimes result in any consequences until the Hershey confession. Don certainly does many damaging things to the agency (and has for years) but not until he has the audacity to reveal the lowly circumstances of his early life and humiliating childhood do the chickens come home to roost. The last straw – yes but this last straw is very intentionally written into the finale to symbolically parallel Don’s previous confession to Betty. As Anne B points out, it is significant that Don does this one on his own. He has to go back and own up before he can move forward.

      • Symbolic readings of movies/TV have never been my thing, but I do agree that there could be a symbolic connection between what Don revealed about himself and his suspension. I interpreted this article differently, however. To me, it seemed to have been claiming that there was a more substantial connection, that these men of a priviledged background simply will not be in business with a man of such a lowly origin. Such a notion is overly simplistic, cliched, and consequently, below Mad Men’s standards. If my interpretation of the article is wrong, I apologize.

        • There are lots of legitimate interpretations going on with MadMen which is one of the reasons it is so much fun to watch, rewatch and discuss. Personally I do see the message that “origin matters” as a predominant theme of the show. Recall how Don’s father treats the hobo back in S1. There is a pecking order and while it is perfectly ok for Don to be “Batman” he can’t be Dick Whitman. When confronted with Don’s unknown origin in S1 Bert says “who cares?” but confronted with the gory details in the Hershey confession suddenly Bert and the others care very much.

          • Like I said before, they weren’t so concerned about the “gory details” of the confession so much as that it was the wrong time and place to make such a confession.

    • i too thought that Don’s suspension was a result of months of erratic, unreliable behaviour that wasn’t delivering results. The way Ted goes ‘Again!’ implies there have been a lot of missed meetings. And we hadn’t seen Don pitch anything successful. Ted was doing all the ‘heavylifting.’

      Then he started telling this really random story, that’s apparently his childhood – but since no one heard this before how do they know that’s the true story? – in a pitch and essentially telling the client not to do business with them.

      Some people may have no idea if that story is true, but they can sure as hell see that he is imploding.

  11. I think the partners did what they had to do and were well within their rights. The other things Don did this season were different and most could be justified. You mentioned the merger, for instance. We didn’t get to see everyone’s reaction (except for Jim Cutler and Roger) but we have to assume that they were on board, once they heard it was for the greater good and could ensure them more accounts.

    What Don did in the Hershey meeting was not for the greater good.

    As I said above (in reply to another post), it’s not as if Don pulled his partners aside and said, “Listen, I have something really personal to tell you.” He ambushed them. They aren’t rejecting him because they learned the truth about his life or because he’s not a typical club member. They’re rejecting him because he betrayed their trust, much as he did in the dinner meeting where Vietnam was discussed (although that wasn’t quite as bad). They count on Don to be able to dazzle clients, to win them over. Not to sabotage things. Not to ruin relationships (or potential relationships).

    When Jim Cutler wanted to get rid of Ginsberg, Ted stopped him, persuading Jim that Ginsberg has the goods. “He’s lightning in a bottle!” Don is something different, right now. He’s not lightning in a bottle–he’s a ticking bomb, and they can’t keep putting him in important rooms when they have no idea if he’s going to go off or not.

    • There were so many valid reasons for firing Don (in addition to ambushing them in the Hershey’s meeting) that it is impossible to know if his background had much if anything to do with it. But the coldness of the firing leads me to think that it was a big part of it. There were no second chances offered, no if you get your shit together we can discuss you’re coming back, no possibility of a return date. I don’t think the timing of the arrival of Don’s replacement was accidental, they could have scheduled him for later that day or another day. However justified they were in firing him, it did still feel sort of like they were banishing him from the club.

      • Matt Weiner spoke extensively in recent interviews as to the reasons for Don’s suspension. Not one of the reasons he gave were regarding the content of Don’s confession. They all had to do with Don’s behaviour throughout the season.

      • Keep in mind that it’s not actually a “firing”–from what I have heard, since he’s a partner they can’t technically fire him (unless he had done something illegal like embezzling). However, they can buy him out.

      • The coldness of the scene is probably to express Don’s perspective. “Being banished from the club” is perhaps what Don was feeling, which would make sense given his low self-esteem. He has always been sensitive about his background. When he was with Betty, he felt he didn’t deserve her. In The Gypsy and the Hobo, he said he was surprised that someone like Betty could ever love someone like him.

      • I didn’t think the scene was particularly cold. It’s business and it’s 1968. Were they supposed to be warm and fuzzy, hug him and suggest therapy?

        Consultants used to recommend that you take the person out to a restaurant to avoid a Burt Peterson scene in the workplace.

    • wasn’t it actually Ted who wanted/needed the merger, he just pushed it into being Don’s idea because Don would never have accepted it if it had been done over his head.

      Gleason was dying, so Ted and Cutler needed a new partner, while also struggling with their small size.

  12. Anne I was the first one that wrote that I instantly fell in hate with the partners when they did that to Don.
    So glad, you concurred. Of course, the insightfulness of your reactions, and the lovely words you put behind the thoughts are so beyond anything in my philosophy.
    My exact words were: fuck them.
    I hope S7 is nothing but D. Whitman in Cali, or wherever with Sally, Peggy, and Pete thrown in.
    DO NOT WANT TO SEE STERLING COOPER………..EVER……….AGAIN.

    • Not see Sterling Cooper again? Including Joan?! A season without Joan is a long season!

    • Roger: “Should we fire him before he cashes that cheque?”

      There is a vindictiveness in that throwaway comment when Harry asked for a partnership

      Yep sayonara f**kers! Don get outathere

    • The idea of never seeing Joan again does hurt a little. But only a little. It’s the first time in my experience of the show that I can say that.

      Practically speaking, I think Joan is now more of a recurring character than a lead story on Mad Men. She’s receded so much from the first season (in keeping with the lives of real women in the workplace, her home life often dominates her story). And her participation in Don’s suspension indicates something chilling: that she is the kind of corporate woman who sides with the corporation over the humans involved in it.

      I’ve met a lot of those women in my professional life. They protect their male superiors’ worst behavior from exposure and consequences. They know very well what goes on, and they lie about it. I know that they do this to protect themselves and their families; but the people who suffer at the hands of their bosses have families too.

      A woman like Joan might reason that her decision to suspend Don only affects him and his family. Still, in an episode where Stan called out the reporting relationship between Don and his secretary, is that even true? Is Dawn Chambers now suspended too?

      I know better than to worry about Don; but about Dawn, I worry.

      • Maybe Joan will finally promote Dawn to office manager. I want good things for them both.

        Don, on the other hand, has been Teflon for too long and finally got the comeuppance he deserved. For the past couple of seasons, I’ve been actively rooting for his downfall, so I actually cheered when he got kicked out.

  13. ……………..And yes, I am Don’s biggest fan.

  14. Don had a breakdown in front of prospective clients. While Don’s transgressions were legendary, his actions had not previously jeopardized the professional standing of the firm. Keeping Don would make SC&P damaged goods. It was a convenient, but real reason. I have no doubt that the other partners had planned to confront Don and possibly remove him from day to day operations. Don’s confession gave them the opportunity.

    That said, I see next season as a resurrection for Don. I can foresee Bert extending invitation to return to SC&P by telling Don that they know who he is and it doesn’t matter. That simple gesture will give Don the acceptance he has craved all of his life.

    • Without Don, Sterling Coo is a taco stand. How much value that he put into that dink firm?
      He also doubled their size with his presumptious action.
      Let Don tell em to stick it, when they come crawling back to him.

      • I like tacos.

      • Tilden–
        It’s telling that the storyline arranged for Ted to go to California. If Ted was staying in NYC, then Sterling Cooper & Partners could get along without Don for a while, since Ted seems to also be very creative (and a good team leader, when he’s not being swayed by “beautiful eyes”). Without Don *or* Ted, they need a Creative Director, and presumably there are other good Creative Directors out there in the advertising world. However, as someone said on another forum, the Dancer Fitzgerald guy that Duck brought in doesn’t look to be the right fit. There could be more to him than meets the eye, of course, but methinks he will turn out to be too conservative and not creative enough.

  15. Don was never a part of the old money, i.e. Roger crowd. He never felt comfortable in that atmosphere as seen in My Old Kentucky Home, where he and another outsider hang out in the bar (Hilton). He dressed the part and was creative in his work, but stiff in his mannerisms. As Megan’s father noted, his manners were studied. Like most work situations, he was a part of the firm as long as he was producing and even when he was not, his success in previous years carried him along. The confession during the presentation seemed like he almost had no control over what he was saying. He knew that wasn’t going to fly, why did he feel compelled to tell total strangers the real story? It reminded me of someone vomiting after swallowing something toxic,,,it just had to come out regardless of place or time,, kinda like the oysters. Don can read people very well, one of the reasons he has been so successful. I have no doubt on some level he knew exactally what he was doing. He precipatated a crises so he would be forced to deal with his issues. And in 1968 no one talked about personal issues like that, even today when everyone talks about everything to everyone, that wouldn’t be acceptable in a work setting. Also, the physical stress is something to consider. Don is not in good shape mentally or physically. Could he really continue to work? Would you want to work with someone who may or may not show up for work and if they do show up will probably screw up more things than they will fix? I have been in that situation and believe me the answer is a big NO. While the scene was cold, almost like he was being judged as in Dante’s Inferno, it was not a big surprise to Don, I suspect. So, do I think was an example of privileged white men kicking someone to the curb because he broke the unspoken rules of “how we act” ? No. Did Don make everyone in that room uncomfortable? Yes. Was that a final cry for help? yes, I think it was.

    • I agree that it was a final cry for help. And none of them offered to help him. Given his behavior over the years, it’s kind of understandable. But still, even Freddy at least got a night on the town.

      • The last thing Don needs is a night out on the town. I think they are aware Don has resources and can seek out the help he needs. remember too, in 1968 therapy was not discussed like it is now. A startling fact, in 1968 it was almost impossible to have a child removed from an abusive home situation. There was no understanding of trauma, PTSD, or even rape. No woman reported a rape because it was assumed she had asked for it by dressing in a short skirt or something equally stupid. And she was then “marked” . We had little kids in traction for broken bones after being beat by one or both parents. When those broken bones healed, the doctor had a stern talk with the parents, and the kids went home. No follow up, although I did personally call the lawyers when the kids were readmitted with more broken bones. There was no help offered because no one knew what to offer.

      • Precisely.
        Even Freddy.

  16. Anne, why lump Ted in with this group?

    Yes, he hurt Peggy. He was unfaithful to his wife. His satorial sense/slang are laughable.

    Still, when I saw one of his boys on his shoulders…I dunno. I like the guy. At least he’s aware and he *tries*. Ted has demonstrated more integrity than most of the cast. He treats people fairly and courteously. He has a sense of humor and a sense of loyalty, to his family and to Gleason…

    Plus, he has adorable eyes. What’s not to like?

    • My inclusion of Ted comes more from his character over previous seasons than his role in this one.

      I don’t trust Ted. I don’t. He’s the guy who was the ruthless scourge of Sterling Cooper Darper Pryce as an entity, and of Don Draper as an individual. He’s the guy who can profess his desire to change his life to his girlfriend, then go home and slip into bed with his wife — and then change his tune with his girlfriend the next day, expecting (and suffering!) no consequences.

      The inconsistency of Ted’s character tells me that I don’t know what he’ll do next. If Joan was right, and Ted agreed with the partners’ decision, that indicates the Ted of previous seasons is still very much alive, still actively working against Don — and someone to be feared, not trusted.

      • We don’t know how much Ted knows or if he was consulted. We do know that they lied to Don, and said Ted said he could supervise Peggy from California, when in reality they had hired a headhunter and brought in Don’s possible replacent to come in just as he was leaving.

        tBH, there’s a lot I don’t like about Ted, but something tells me they didn’t discuss the no return date if they did, and that Ted would have been on Don’s side, just as Don was on Freddy’s.

        Don just sacrificed to let Ted go. Ted’s father was an alcoholic and Yed nay have sympathized with Don. Ted may have been a weak link in the partners’ plans, so I feel like his nor being present is key. For all we know they told him Don asked to take a short leave.

        Same with Joan. Joan witnessed Don’s sheer cruelty in the previous meeting with St Joseph’s and she’s been reeling all year from Don’s acting out on impulse without asking/talking to people. I was soooo upset by her coldness to Don. But then I remembered who her husband was, and how he made hurtful decisions in her life that she had to live with. Not to mention the rape, which took her a long time to stand up to him. It *almost* parallels Joan, Don and Jaguar.

        Who knows what they told Joan. What’s sad is that she was in his position just a few episodes earlier, but had a friend in Peggy to help her.

        On the other hand Joan has spent her career protecting the men. And everything you write has been true since day one. These are callous, priveleged assholes, who only *sometimes* rise above it, but mostly act in horrible ways.

        But I agree, that his confession, done publicly is the really crucial detail. Like Trudy, it’d all be okay, if it was discrete and private and not close to home.

        • [S]he’s been reeling all year from Don’s acting out on impulse without asking/talking to people. I was soooo upset by her coldness to Don. But then I remembered who her husband was, and how he made hurtful decisions in her life that she had to live with.

          This is an excellent point. Thanks, Peggy Oh!

        • and besides, people, this is FICTION with a capital F! If people did what we thought was right all the time we would not be watching this show. No friction, no contrast, no development. Reset your bean counters, you’re watching TE-LE-VI-SION.

  17. S7.1 Opening Scene

    Monday after Thanksgiving weekend. The partners are gathered in the conference room for a 9:00 am meeting. Ken Cosgrove interrupts, out of breath.

    Ken Cosgrove: “The Hershey guys are in the lobby and want to meet with us!”
    Jim Cutler: “Well, bring them in.”
    Tall Hershey Exec: “We met with all of the major agencies in New York. They all told us what we wanted to hear.”
    Short Hershey Exec: “Only one of told us the truth. We’d like to work with your firm.”
    Roger Sterling: “Looks like Christmas came early this year.”
    Short Hershey Exec: “One thing you need to know is that like Don, I’m an orphan too. I didn’t grow up in a brothel – I was one of the lucky ones. Hershey chocolate is a reminder what is good about this country and Lord knows, our country needs to be reminded. People like us know only too well how important it is. And that’s why I have devoted my career to this company.”
    Jim Cutler: “That’s quite statement. Our creative is ready to share your belief with the rest of the world.”
    Tall Hershey Exec: “Great. We can’t wait to work with Don.”

    • I do actually see something like this happening as well.

      • It would be ironic, and would be a delicious irony. Also the bit about Ken has me seeing how S&P pushes people to the brink – and doesn’t particularly care at what cost the service to the company comes at. If everyone – especially the more creative staff – is just an instantly replaceable figure brought in by Duck, heck, why have allegiance to anyone…

    • I have to admit, I was mesmerized for a couple beats after Don made his confession – thought that his honesty would set the hook, hit the home run.

      That was before all the discomfort that immediately followed.

  18. Old tradition in firing squads: select one or more of the rifles at random, load it with blanks. Gave the condemned at least an illusory hope of survival (as if the squad members weren’t all expert marksmen); also allowed individual members to believe their shot might not have been the one to deliver the fatal blow (sometimes called conscience rounds for that reason).

    Joan only has a 5% stake. That’s enough to get her in the room. She knows she should be there, for her own sake and for Kevin’s, and the other partners know they can’t keep her out. But she doesn’t really WANT to be there. Whatever she might personally think of Don, it hurts her to have to do this– maybe on more than one level. All through the series, we’ve gotten little glimmers of hints at the interplay between Don and Joan. There’s clearly some kind of connection there; Joan wouldn’t have had to force herself to look away and not meet Don’s searching gaze, were the air between them otherwise totally sterile.

    I don’t know if Don is done with advertising at this point; he’s been knocked off of a very large pedestal, and it might take him years to claw his way back to the top– if he even wants that. His place in Madison Avenue history is secure; some time around S7E12 he’ll totter up to the podium to accept his lifetime achievement award, or whatever the Clio equivalent is, during their 1982 ceremony. Maybe in his new-found liberty he pulls some freelance work, at last giving Connie Hilton the moon he sought for so long, against the heady backdrop of Apollo 11. And maybe, just maybe, he parlays that freelance into a consultancy, and walks right back into SC&P like he never left. Or drops acid with Sally and Glen at Woodstock. (Okay, that’s probably going a bit too far, though it’s hard not to imagine S7 without a trip to Bethel.)

    In the meantime, though, he’s going to need a friend, and Joan just might be the only one from that crowd he can still stand the sight of. And who knows? Maybe she’ll need someone to lean on as well, with Bob Benson in Detroit and her ex-hubby standing every chance of coming back from ‘Nam wrapped in plastic. The guilt from that alone might just be enough for her to seek Don out. (Yeah, not Roger. Time for him to hang it up already.) And then maybe we’ll get some answers about that kiss they shared at the Clios a few years ago, etc., etc.

  19. So SCDP lost it’s D, just before Don had to leave the agency, at least for some time. A coincidence or were MW and co sending us some hints a few eoisodes ago?

  20. Your point about who did the firing, and why, is well-taken, but I think there’s even more at work here. Certainly Bert Cooper, personal friend of Ayn Rand, would have no qualms about pushing out someone who not only cost the firm money, but who, as he did so, questioned the value and rationale of the business itself, telling the client they were wrong to even advertise. Don is questioning the power structure and that can’t be forgiven. That, too, is why I think Joan is on the side of the senior partners. Joan is no revolutionary. She believes in the way things are set up, adapting herself over the years to use it and manuver through it to her best advantage, even at the cost of her own personal dignity (Four words: Herb the Jaguar salesman). She will never question it. That’s why, though she can’t meet Don’s eyes, she won’t defend hem either.And certainly Roger and Jim Cutler (“I’m totally against this unless it works.”) will never support anything that goes against their pursuing their own interests.

    That leaves the two partners not in the room: Pete and Ted. Pete’s a man who looks after his own interests, too, but he’s also angry at the system that he sees as blocking him. He may have voted for keeping Don just because he resents the senior partners. Ted, I think, wanted to keep Don. Not just because he owes Don for saving his marriage, but because I think he understands him at some level. Remember when he helped Don with Dr. Rosen’s son he said “You probabaly don’t have many friends.” And there was something in his expression when Don made his confession, an understanding that it was something more than a breakdown. He knows there’s something more to Don ,and wants to help him.

    “I hope Don Draper is done seeing things from the partners’ side. I know I am.”

    That is the big question now, isn’t it? I’m wondering if Don will be back at SC&P when Season 7 begins. If so, how will he be able to function? He has made a declaration of independence and can’t take it back. Can he believe in what he does now? He’s “growing bullshit” to quote his father’s ghost, and how can he reconcile that with declaring himself to be Dick Whitman?

    I can see an opening episode where we don’t see Don at all for the first 55 minutes. SC&P’s creative is floundering under the new idiot that Duck brought in. Ted can’t leave California, and Peggy is vainly trying to get the senior partners to bring Don back. But where is he? On the road, maybe, though I can’t think he’d be far from his kids. Finally, they find him and convince him to return, but he insists on different terms. How he negotiates them and they play out would be the substance of Season 7. Can Don/Dick be a mad man now? Maybe he realizes he can’t, and the series ends with him leaving the game for good, ‘lighting out for the territory’ like Huck Finn.

  21. Ann B, you put the dilemma of Don’s past and the consequences of revealing it to the partners so eloquently. One of the major reasons I’ve so enjoyed Mad Men is its depiction of violence. It’s not the blood-and-guts violence of many TV dramas, including The Sopranos, but the type of polite and decidedly cruel violence we’ve seen in Mad Men, on different registers throughout it’s run – and this exiling of Don as you’ve described it is the latest. (and lest we forget, Don himself has been extremely violent, especially to people who love him – so he’s not off the hook either).

    We can blame Don for all the transgressions of the season that led to the moment of his firing, many justifiable, but there was a calculated cruelty to this that was all the more chilling because it was so unexpected yet ‘civil’ – no bombs, bullets or outbursts.

    To a degree, part of the reason for letting Don go now was that he cost them big money – they lost the Hershey’s account. As someone here posted, he could be as personally transgressive as he pleased and they’d put up with him but once money was involved, and a public embarrassment, it was reason enough to let Don go. But, watching that segment of Mad Men several times, you could see how uncomfortable the men were – except for Ted who’s emotions were different but unreadable – as Don told the story of his childhood.

    I agree with you that it was the revelation and the discomfort others felt that was the turning point. In that regard, Roger was the worst. He and Don have been in the trenches for years and that’s how Roger responded? I noticed that Don gave a last glance at every person before he turned around and left – he looked at Roger the longest, I thought, and with the contempt that Roger deserved.

  22. On first viewing, I had a small hallucination. As Roger asked Don “Is that even true?”, Don answers yes, says goodbye to Dawn and walks on down the hall as Roger looks on. I could have sworn I saw Don fade away for a second, like a ghost, with something like a spring in his step, as though he were somehow lighter.

    • kturk, funny you would write this because I thought Don walked down the hall differently, too, with a kind of skip, or spring as you say, a slight spring or hop, barely noticeable. I didn’t sense any fading, though, that’s an interesting visual, hallucination or not.

    • I thought I noticed that something seemed different about Don’s walk at that moment, as well. This was in stark contrast to his gait shortly after Sally found her dad and Sylvia together in “Favors.” Don walked like he’d suddenly aged thirty or forty years.

      • As Dr Rosen noted, people will do anything to alleviate their anxiety. Even expose their deepest secrets to people in a meeting.

  23. I remember one of Matt’s comments about Don, and he mentioned that he thought he was still great as ad man, and that the audience tends to look at his pitches through the eyes of the client. I know I did. I loved the the truthful hershey pitch Don gave the clients, And Matt goes on to say that Don isn’t a faddist while Ted is, and that makes me wonder what if the company is running successfully without him, with Peggy at the helm? I am one of Don’s biggest fans, and I wonder if we’re going to see some competition. Or maybe Don just won’t care.

  24. Thank you for this Anne. Something about that ‘verdict’ really disturbed me. Don may – like most of the main characters – have done questionable things, but that wasn’t the way for the partners to handle it. Nowhere in that ‘Come to Jesus’ meeting was there a ‘pull yourself together – you’re talented, but you’re off track’ sense of compassion. It was more like “damnit, we resent that you’re a partner… if you had been an employee you’d have been out on your ass already, but geez, it’s complicated here with you as a partner…although we sure wish we didn’t have to deal with you…’

    In particular, Bert Cooper’s coldness shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did – if there’s anyone who has casual cruelty baked into his DNA it would be him. Also not sure if anyone brought it up, but didn’t Don note that Hersey’s wasn’t looking at their agency in particular – that theirs was a longshot out of 30 other episodes? Obviously don’t bomb a meeting with a client on purpose, but still – I think Don had an accurate assessment of the situation, and on some level he’s right – Hersey’s doesn’t need to advertise, does it? And who is any adman to tell a kid about the brand? The irony is of course that Don did understand the value of their brand, but puritans just heard ‘whorehouse’ and ran around panicking after that. In the end, Pete was right – there was something rotten coming down the pipe (obviously with a merger like that), and Don was the first real casualty of it. The irony is both characters are obviously flawed and troubled, but professionally have their eye on where it needs to be for the good of the firm. I suspect

    • Oooooo, Rachel!

      I never thought of that – that Don was the first casualty of the merger. And the merger was his idea! Never saw it coming, in quite that way – thanks.

    • Bert was cold – but not cruel. When you declare a breakup, it’s more cruel to be ambivalent than to be firm and unyielding.

      He’s always been something of an oracle on the show – not necessarily predictive but as a truth-teller.

  25. Even Joanie

    Joan bootstrapped herself from modest circumstances – Don’s were more so, but still…

    We weren’t privy to the Partners-sans-Draper-Meeting, but she’s seen enough Draper recklessness. He already cost her a cool million, now he drove away a potentially huge candy account.

    telling the truth of your life is “the only unpardonable sin.”

    Try to see it from our side.

    I didn’t get that Don’s forced sabbatical was motivated by or even tinged with class-snobbishness – no more so than Don’s immediate firing of Lane (reverse snobbishness).

    The verdict was self-preservation – that simple. Roger was telling Don: “imagine if you had seen yourself do that – even a few months ago”.

    • Hope the italics work this time:

      “Even Joanie”

      Joan bootstrapped herself from modest circumstances – Don’s were more so, but still…

      We weren’t privy to the Partners-sans-Draper-Meeting, but she’s seen enough Draper recklessness. He already cost her a cool million, now he drove away a potentially huge candy account.

      “telling the truth of your life is ‘the only unpardonable sin.’ ”

      “Try to see it from our side.”

      I didn’t get that Don’s forced sabbatical was motivated by or even tinged with class-snobbishness – no more so than Don’s immediate firing of Lane (reverse snobbishness).

      The verdict was self-preservation – that simple. Roger was telling Don: “imagine if you had seen yourself do that – even a few months ago”.

  26. I believe that the decision of the partners to give Don “leave” was not precursor to a full dismissal. Other than Cutler, Bert, Roger and Joan had done the equivalent of following Don into war. Even given the depths to which Don had descended, they could not deny the he is at the center of the firm’s success. They tolerated Don’s idiosyncrasies… his drinking, disappearances, erratic behavior, because they knew that he was the unique individual that provided a strong path forward. They still believe that Don is a man worth following, and their intervention was meant to force Don to realize that his behavior had become damaging to the future of what they created.

    My feeling is that S7 will be a season of rebirth and resurrection. Don will begin to heal and Don will return to SC&P. The key will be California as it will both start Don’s return and play a role in creating a situation in which he can legitimately return. I can foresee the following scenes as being logical given how the show works and the dynamics of the characters. Here are my predictions for key scenes that will motivate the story arc for S7.

    The premiere begins in the summer of 1969, with Don and Megan in California. Don is there temporarily and the kids are with him. No mention is made of what Don has been doing or how he is. He does look tanned and relaxed. Megan’s career has benefited from the move. They make small talk regarding game shows she has appeared on and a B-Movie she has been cast into. Don and Megan are preparing to attend an industry event at the behest of her agent, who wants to introduce her to casting and production people. At the event, Don runs into Harry Crane and Ted Chaough. After pleasantries, Don blows off Harry, but Ted finds Don in a quiet corner.

    So, Don. How are you ?
    I’m fine. What brings you to this ?
    Harry wants to schmooze and thinks he needs me to dazzle TV people.
    (Both laugh) Ted notices that Don is not drinking.
    Don- how are you? Really? I haven’t seen you, well since….
    I joined a smaller shop in NY. It’s great to be able to do what I want without interference.
    That’s not what I meant. I want you to know that I was not in favor of bringing in Lou Avery. I agreed that you needed some time, but I wanted you to come back when you were ready. The other partners felt that we needed a Creative Director in the NY office.
    Don cuts him off. Well, I thought about what I wanted to do and realized that I needed more space. How are things in CA?
    OK- Sunkist is happy. (Both laugh). I mean my wife and kids are happy too and have enjoyed life out here. For them every day is like a vacation. I like the freedom of a small office with the support of a big office behind me. I like the autonomy….but….. (voice trails off and both pause for a moment).
    How is Peggy?
    She is fine and holding down the fort in NY. We don’t talk much. She has done some amazing work.
    I know, I’ve seen it.
    Scene dissolves

    Later in the season, Don runs into Roger and Lou Avery after a prospect pitch meeting.

    Roger tells Avery he will meet him back at the office. Roger turns to Don.

    Don- aren’t you a sight for sore eyes !
    Hello Roger.
    I’ve heard you were back in town and I’ve seen some of your work…I mean I’ve lost to some of your work.
    Roger….I’m late for a….(Roger interrupts him).
    Don, I want to you know that we care about you. We–I wanted you to take some time and clear your head. I mean you shit the bed, we had to do something. We always thought you would return. We want you back. Our work has suffered.
    You have Peggy, Ginsberg and Avery.
    Come- on. Peggy’s good but her ideas don’t captivate like yours do. You can’t put Ginsberg in front of clients and Avery is so old he thinks cars still have tail fins. Don, we need you.
    Roger holds out his hand, as if offering a tacit agreement to proceed.
    Don does not accept the offered hand, but instead puts his hand on Roger’s shoulder.
    Roger, for the first time in a long time, I’m happy. I enjoy working for a small shop.
    Scene dissolves.

    Ending of the show

    Bert Cooper knocks on Don’s apartment door. Don answers.
    Hello Don.
    Hello Bert. (Don holds the door open for Bert to enter)
    Even though it is Don’s house, Don invites Bert to remove his shoes and does the same. They both sit down.
    Don, I have followed your progress since you returned. Your work is amazing.
    Thank you.
    I am glad to see that you have gotten your life in order.
    (silence for a moment).
    Don, I am sure you know that our firm is changing. Our Ca office has done well and we have decided to expand. Jim Cutler has agreed to move to CA to lead our accounts team on the west coast.
    (Don is silent). Don, you are responsible for our success in CA. Sunkist….(voice trails off)
    I know. I ran into Ted a few months ago.
    Ted likes you, which surprises me, but he does.
    (silence)
    Don, in some ways we grew up together. We nurtured your talent and gave you an environment in which to succeed. We followed you into battle. We also tolerated certain behavior because we trusted you and believed that your behavior would not affect clients. When you confessed your sins…well it affected clients and we believed…in fact we still believe that you had to face what you had become. We also knew that you would not take that step voluntarily… Sometimes a parent has to turn his back on a child in order for the child to grow.
    (silence)
    Don, we want you to come back. We want you to come back as full Creative Director and a Senior Partner.

    Is everyone on board with this?

    Roger suggested it. Ted agrees. Jim is moving to CA.
    Don…we know who you are. You belong with us.

    Both shake hands.
    Fade to music

    Alternate ending that takes place a few months after the previous scene.

    Don is in the SC&P conference room and in the middle of a client pitch that surpasses “The Wheel”. Client all but hands over their checkbook. After the pitch, everyone congratulates each other, and everyone except Don has a drink. Everyone is happy.

    A few hours later, it is dark, everyone else has left. Don is alone in his office, his face and body illuminated only by his desk lamp. He is partially turned away from the viewer. Don is deep in thought and unlocks a lower drawer in his desk. He pulls out a bottle of liquor and pours himself a drink. Still seated, he turns towards the window and the viewer sees the back of Don’s head. His reflection is shown in the window. His expression is of devilish pleasure.

    Fade to music.

    • Fun Comment.

      I’ve occasionally wondered if Matt Weiner comments under cover to Mad Men blogs – not that you are Matt, RL.

      I woudn’t mind some happiness in Mad Men – at least a happy ending.

      Weiner would give it to us – well blended with a full spectrum of emotion and implication.

  27. I think that Don’s forced sabbatical was entirely a business decision. Don was no longer able to perform on the job. Don’s behavior cost them any chance to get the Hershey account or anything else. They had no other choice. Don(Dick) is burned out and has hit bottom during the pitch to Hershey.Bert Cooper still wields tremendous power and most certainly initiated this. Joan especially is very loyal to Bert Cooper. She and Bert began contacting clients late at night when Roger had his heart attack. Joan’s vote was never in doubt. Joan knows her future is at stake.

    Don(Dick) is not a victim. He clearly has to decide whether he wants to remain in advertising. He knows that his life cannot continue as is.

  28. I’m surprised no one has mentioned Season 4 Episode 1, “Public Relations.” This is soon after Don and Betty’s divorce. He’s being interviewed by a guy from Ad Age and clams up because he won’t lie but also won’t tell the truth about himself. Gets in big trouble with Roger (and Bert) for blowing off a great bit of PR. By the end of the episode, Don is back in control of his work vs. personal life, spinning a great tale to a contact of Bert’s at the Wall St. Journal about instigating the coup d’etat at the old SC. And that only took one hour of TV time. Don is nothing if not mercurial (and devilish). He’s not down yet! A nice business cliffhanger for us to chew over all summer, leading to many of the things all of you have noted so well above . . .

  29. I’m wondering if we’ll even see Don continue in advertising in S-7. Maybe in the first few episodes, but after that, I’m not so sure.

    Thinking back to A Tale of Two Cities, he was disgusted by the police riot against the antiwar demonstrators in Chicago during the Democratic Convention in 1968. Two months earlier, Bobby Kennedy was killed. Two months before that, Martin Luther King Jr was killed, triggering destruction and deaths in urban areas across the land.

    America was undergoing a dramatic and traumatic change. Hunter S Thompson summed up the state of things: “I witnessed at least ten beatings in Chicago that were worse than anything I ever saw the Hells Angels do. I left in a state of hysterical angst, convinced by what I’d seen that the American Dream was clubbing itself to death.”

    How does Don engage clients and creatively present their products or services to consumers within this context? In his ill-fated pitch to Hershey, we saw him shift from his typical “Kodak moment” kind of product storytelling, to an ugly, personal and brutally honest description of just how much bullshit it all was.

    History has shown us that the national dissatisfaction and unrest gets worse. I just can’t see how he can continue with the facade for much longer. I don’t know exactly how it will play out or what he’ll actually be doing after he leaves advertising, but I think 1968 marked a turning point for Don.

    • Joanie, the agency “whore”. (Or at least she fears that being forever branded on her) *has* to stck with the anti-whore faction. But Don wasn’t upset about the police beatings. He said those protesters knew what they were doing…essentially blaming them. That’s how disconnected Don had become.

      But your Hunter S. Thompson quote is exactly apt! If Don represents the Anerican Dream, as he has in so many ways, or at the very least fully pursued its aspirations, he just clubbed himself to death in the finale.

      Since they are basically telling the history and the times through personal stories, the question is then which way does Don go? The country splits in two: law and order silent majority and disillusioned idealists. The firm has split in two. I think the partners could stand in for the former… What will Don do?

      • I mean clubbed his “American Dream” to death. With that, he’s gained some measure of “real”

      • Oops. Forget the first part of the first post. It was from an earlier response I didn’t submit :/

      • In ’68, much was made of “The New Nixon.” H. R. (Bob) Haldeman, who went on to become Nixon’s Chief of Staff, had worked at the J. Walter Thompson ad agency. Ron Ziegler, who became his Press Secretary, had also worked there. Much credit was given to the ad types for the repackaging of Nixon for the ’68 campaign. One pundit called his election “the greatest comeback since Lazarus.”

        Don seemed taken by Nixon’s story in 1960 – poor boy makes good – but he’ll likely begin to see right through the facade early on, as his ill-fated administration begins to unfold/unravel.

        You’re right about the other partners probably siding with Nixon and his law & order message. Nothing thrills an ad man more than a tired old product that has been cosmetically tweaked in some minor way, with a “new & improved” label slapped onto it. Maybe not all of the partners and associates in the firm, but certainly the older, establishment types. Bert, Roger and Cutler for sure. There’s probably hope for Ted, Peggy, Stan and Pete. I’m not sure about Joan. She wants security and we’ve already seen her willingness to plumb the depths to grab it. And, if the S-6 finale is any indication, loyalty doesn’t seem to enter the equation for her.

        As for Don – I don’t exactly see him growing a beard and long hair and going all counterculture, but he’ll at least have the good sense to come down on the right side, when it comes to Nixon and/or the establishment values and approach, personally and professionally.

  30. Great comments and analysis, esp. from rl1856 — I thik that Mad Men, if it is in it’s final season, will end much as it began: As the story of Don Draper and Peggy Olsen, showing the two archetypes of the changing ’60s. The “Man in the Grey Flannel Suit” and his metamorphasis, and the young ingenue from the early 60s and all the changes due for women of that generation. They are the two, strongest characters in the show, the ones with the most following, and backstory, that we often reference in their behaviors…
    Don will be back, probably in ad biz, along with Peggy, and one of the two will be in California, where the focus shifts for most media. I predict Megan and Don will stay together, and Betty and Henry will find their place in NY politics…and likely, Roger or Bert is a dead man. Go Don, Go Peggy!

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