Apr 072014
 

Mad Men Season 7-Don Draper & airplane

Following is a spoiler-free review of the Season 7 premiere of Mad Men: Time Zones. Very minor events that occur during the course of the episode are mentioned below, and I feel free to reveal things that Matthew Weiner has revealed in recent interviews. If that’s too much for you, be warned.

At one point during Time Zones, Don and Megan Draper nod off in front of the TV. As Megan sleeps, Don watches the opening of the 1937 movie, Lost Horizon, and the opening text appears on screen:

In these days of wars and rumors of wars – - haven’t you ever dreamed of a place where there was peace and security, where living was not a struggle but a lasting delight?

Yes, Don has dreamed of those days, is dreaming of those days, days the text goes on to call “Utopia.” Megan wakes briefly and asks “What is this.” Don ignores the question as if it’s nothing, when clearly it’s everything.

The characters in Time Zones are all desperately isolated. Even those in relationships, even those sleeping together and talking and reaching across barriers are aware more of the loneliness than the connection; more of the barriers than the reach. The connections all seem artificial; a forced expression of love, a stilted offer of forgiveness. Sexuality is a mess in this episode; couples don’t connect, or don’t care, and a simple negotiation is mistaken for a pass. In one scene, nudity that could be erotic is seen as exhausting. People would rather just sleep, y’know?

Inside all of it is that longing for Utopia, which, Rachel Menken told us in Season 1, is the place that cannot be. Our characters are seeking “the good place,” and it just isn’t there; not where they can get at it anyway.

Matt Weiner has been talking about Season 7 as being about “consequences.” To a great extent, every season of Mad Men is about consequences. It’s ironic that a lot of early fans of the show were attracted to its smokin’ and drinkin’ and cheatin’ cool, when Matt always intended to show us the alcoholism, heart disease, and broken hearts.

And sure, isolation is a consequence of a series of decisions; that’s true for everyone here: Peggy, Roger, Don, Megan, and others, all feeling their own piece of that. I feel like the episode is more about that isolation than “consequences,” maybe because the experience is more felt than rationalized. People feel lonely, and somewhere in their heads can know its cause. By the final scenes, we’re left more with deep feelings than anything. There’s a couple of shots at the end that are callbacks to earlier shots—I won’t describe them. But they remind us that these characters have been journeying down their respective roads for years.

I think we’re in for a very heavy season.

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  98 Responses to “Mad Men Season 7 Premiere: Spoiler-Free Review of “Time Zones””

  1. Thanks Deborah! I guess the big question is…did you like it? Were you entertained?

    • It was beautiful and difficult and thematically sound. There were some incredibly touching scenes. But it’s hard to say “entertained” about Mad Men, except for the rare “Shut the Door, Have a Seat,” it is too often dark to have fun.

  2. Megan and Don asleep in front of the TV…didn’t take long. My gift to Megan this season would be a flashback to “Tomorrowland”. Dump him Megan! You can do better. Maman stayed married to a drunk, you don’t need to.

    • Errr…. Maman is something of a drunk herself!

    • Wiener PLEASE dump Megan.
      Don proposed in Tomorrowland, and MM went down the rabbit hole.

      The idea of odd coupling stiff-ass Don, with a hip, inappropriately young (classic 2nd marriage babe), groovy chick is very thick with storyline possibilities. A dull character like “Megan” just decades the show, and has all the sizzle of a wet fart.

    • I’m a man, yes I am and I can’t help but love you so.

      While sexually complicated, at least Mad Men harkens a time when there were 3 sexual identities…not 122 as revealed in our ‘Facebook Era’.

      T-Minus 100 hours!

  3. ‘decades’? Sorry. I meant deadens.

  4. Would you guys indulge me a little while I make a few predictions?
    By the end of the show:
    Don finds out Peggy had Pete’s baby.
    Everybody finds out about Roger and Joan’s baby.
    Burt suspects why Lane hung himself and asks Don why Lane’s money troubles wasn’t brought to the partner’s attention. He states help would have been arranged.
    Megan cheats on sad old drunkin’ Don.
    Roger finds out Don is a wartime deserter and turns him in to the authorities annonymously.
    Henry helps Don with a powerful defense attorney at Betty’s request. Conrad Hilton stands up for Don and the case is dropped after community service to veteran’s hospitals and a hefty fine.
    In the meantime,
    Roger has a stroke. Joan vigilantly cares for him with Kevin looking adorable. We discover that his daughter has always known Joan was his side dish! She fears where the money will go when Roger goes.
    Sally is a beautiful smart secretive teen. She is independent and keeps a separate life from the family until she comes out.
    Betty and Henry are happily married. Henry becomes a Nixon soldier and their is talk of D.C. Shades of Watergate.
    Peggy buys Ma a place in Miami and she and sis visit her often. Ma doesn’t miss Bay Ridge too much because half the neighborhood is down there!
    Peggy and Stan finally hit the hay and it is a friends with benefits thing that grows into a true love. But Stan has developed a drug addiction that ruins their relationship. Eventually, Peggy has a long term relationship with a married man who gives her enough but doesn’t give her what she needs…the career takes up the rest of her time and energy. She owns and operates a Madison Ave firm staffed with ALL women!
    Pete remarries a carbon copy of Trudy but continues to worship Peggy from a far.
    Harry Crane runs into Sal at a swinging party in the Hollywood Hills and we discover Harry swings both ways.
    Bert Cooper retires to a comfortable life of lunches at the club and secret reports of the company’s doings from Ginsberg who unburdens his worries about the business to Burt. They form a significant bond that serves them both well.
    After Dow Chemical is signed and GM has shot him in the eye whatshisname leaves the business to return to Vermont to write Science Fiction like Ray Bradbury!!!
    Since half the show is in the can, how many of my predictions do you think will come true? HA!

    • Let me predict the last line of the series:
      “This never happened”

      • Oh, that’s good!

      • “This never happened” would be great if it referred to everything from “Tomorrowland” onwards. I’ve been hoping since that jumping of the shark that everything afterwards was an “It’s a Wonderful Life”/”Inception” dream.

        At this point I’ve given up, the decline of the show is real. But I do cling to a sliver of hope. The promo photos and second trailer for S7 all take place on planes or in LAX, especially at baggage claim. Which is basically the end of “Inception.”

        Here is the end of “Inception.” The beginning of the clip shows Sato’s palace, which reminds me of the restaurant at the end of S5. Then it moves on to a plane and then LAX.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnsahVaa_0Q

        Here is the second trailer for MM S7

        http://www.amctv.com/mad-men/videos/trailer-mad-men-takes-off-mad-men-season-7-premiere

        I won’t list the promo photos from LAX baggage claim, but there are plenty.

        Interestingly, the title of the music at the end of “Inception” may tie into the S7 premiere title. Which could be a reason the MM promo is in slow motion, a type of reference.

        Anyways, wishful thinking. But if true at least Deb won’t have to figure out all the chronological mistakes of S6, as per dreams they’re expected.

        • Celina I do feel very strongly that Tomorrowland was the end point since Don proposed.
          Although I would propose to you Celina.
          Weiner created an uninteresting character and placed that character at the very center of the plot. Recipe for irrelevance.
          What is the hold that “Megan” has on MW?
          I am somewhat optimistic that MM can regain some footing and have a good to very good season.
          Greatness is out of the question, at this point.
          Sorry.

          • What is the hold? Two words–Jessica Pare. “She looks just like a French movie star of the period.” (MW comments Season 4 or 5).

          • I would not go so far as to say Don and Megan’s marriage ruined the show for me. Not at all. But I was disappointed when Don proposed to Megan. If I recall correctly, he was dealing with a lot of issues at the time and I felt he proposed to Megan to distract himself from them. For her part, Megan was only too happy to have a meal ticket, a sugar daddy, etc. So they’ve been using each other their entire marriage and the only real thing they had going for them was their sexual energy. When that died away, there was nothing left but the struggles they were dealing with before they got married.

          • TK,

            Thanks for the comment!

            Did you mean “Although I would propose to you, Celina. Weiner created an uninteresting character” or “ Although I would propose to you Celina, Weiner created an uninteresting character.” Either way, clever.

            I agree that creating character which seems out of synch with the rest of the story and then giving that character center stage was a problem in S5 and to a lesser level S6. Add to that, by giving Megan more importance in storylines it took form other characters, main (Peggy), secondary (Ken, Stan) and favorite guests (Freddy, Mona).

            What recently struck me is the balance of the series as a whole. S1 – S3 were magnificence. S4 was genius in how it took MM out of the early 60’s and Don’s “perfect” life to the grittier mid 60’s and Don’s self evaluation.

            And then came S5 and S6, which were metaphorically dense, but below the previous seasons plotwise. Which makes 4 good seasons and 2 mediocre, thus only 2/3 of the series could be called great. Which is not so great.

            Hopefully S7 will reach the former heights and the season premiere looks promising.

    • I think Megan cheating is very possible. I think Pete remarrying is very possible. Peggy and Stan hooking up, also possible. Most of the rest of this is wishful thinking. :)

      • Deb,

        I know you’re right but I have so much fun day dreaming about the possibilities.

        Thanks again for having this place.

        Susan

        • I’m actually not all that convinced that Megan hasn’t cheated. I keep thinking about The Crash and the fact that when Betty snarked about Megan being “away on the casting couch,” Megan didn’t deny it. I just have a hard time buying Megan as being the goody-two-shoes she appears to be.

          • Agreed that Megan is no innocent – recall her after-hours training and tryst with Draper before the Disneyland whirlwind.

            But – One doesn’t dignify that “casting couch” crack with a denial, either.

    • I think people know already about Kevin being Roger’s son. I hope they wrap things up with Lane though, Don shouldn’t get away with that.

      • Don didn’t do anything to Lane except force him to resign for embezzlement/forgery-am I missing something??

        • It’s all been discussed quite a bit so you may want to look back at prior entries. People have different opinions about the ethics of Don’s actions.

          • I haven’t checked, but the most credible, faithful to the time and the transgression, viewpoint was that Don did the best possible thing for Lane. As he told Lane: “you’d rather I get a professional in here?”

            • That is your viewpoint. Everyone else’s is also credible.

            • Hi Annabelle,

              As you noted, this was discussed exhaustively right after Lane did the deed. But it’s worth discussing again – what would have been more ethical – considering the gravity of Lane’s transgression, Don’s duty to his partners*, etc.?

              * (I know, Don sure doesn’t “do his duty” consistently)

            • My thoughts re: Lane’s suicide echo jahnghalt’s. Don was confronted with criminal activity (yes, I know Lane would have replaced the money as soon as he could but still embezzlement is a crime). Don acted in his decisive, alpha-male way. He could not have known how fragile Lane’s emotional state was and if he could have predicted Lane would commit suicide, there’s no doubt Don would have handled the situation differently. To those who might say “Well, he should have known more about what Lane was going through …”: Remember: Don was only one who was at all friendly to Lane (remember their night of drinking and carousing together?).

              Ultimately to say who is responsible for someone else’s suicide is an unanswerable question.

              Lane was one of my favorite characters and I was sad to see him go but from a storyline point of view, his suicide served to remind Don of his step-brother’s suicide and, again from purely a storytelling POV, this was more important than Lane staying on the show.

            • One correction: Joan was very friendly with Lane. I should have said Don was the only man at the agency who was friendly to Lane.

          • I’m well familiar with the discussion on this topic. The prevailing and thematically substantiated one was that while it was ironic and hypocritical that Don forced his resignation over a forgery and theft (that goes for most of what Don does), that Lane’s suicide was yet another punch in the gut to the psyche of Don Draper/Dick Whitman. He’s not getting away with anything. It is yet another thing that tortures Don. Sadly, Lane had several chances to come clean to the partners and his family over the course of the season. Don could not have known that he would kill himself. I too wish he had given Lane a second chance, but I also wish Lane had just asked for a personal loan at some point. I know everyone has their own opinions, but on the scale of Don Draper’s sins, this one was unintentional.

        • MadManda, (cute name)

          Don got all high and mighty with Lane about the 8 day loan. He was wrong to forge the check but Don could have handled the situation without demanding a resignation. The humiliation was unbearable for Lane.

          It is ironic that when Pete goes to Bert in season 1 and tells that Don Draper is not who he appears to be Bert gives Don a pass. He uses the information when he needs a signed contract from Don because of Hilton.

          Therefore, the high and mighty attitude toward Lane is over the forged check makes Don someone who should not throw stones, if you know what I mean. Others have expressed it better than me but that’s the reason Don is factor in Lanes’ suicide.

          • Don was a hypocrite and a major factor in Lane’s suicide, but I think the idea of Bert the objectivist helping Lane after he embezzled is out of character. Bert chose to ignore the Dick Whitman information because, as he said, there was more profit in ignoring it. When Bert brought the check to Don, as I recall, he berated Don for being a soft touch for (he thought) letting Lane have his Xmas bonus. Bert would not have been sympathetic about Lane stealing from the company, let alone arrange help for him.

            • I think Bert would chosen to ignore what Lane did for the same reasons he chose to ignore what Don did, useful information to have.

            • Bert is all about self-interest. Bert chose to ignore what Don did because it didn’t affect Bert personally, and Don was still capable of making him money. Bert only used that information against him in order to make Don sign a contract to keep making Bert money. Once Don cost him money, Don was out. Lane stole money from the company, thus he stole from Bert. There is no way Bert would let Lane keep his job handling the company’s finances.

            • Agreed. There was a benefit to keeping Don, but what is the benefit to keep an accounant who embezzled?

          • You expressed it much better than I could, Susan F! Glad this board is going again.

            • Thanks for that compliment.
              I’m thinking Don may still be sliding downward. Remember how he was haunted by Adam…Now he could be haunted by Lane.
              Would love to see him back!
              Along with:
              Sal
              Bobbie
              Menkin chick
              Dog Food Lady (Horse Meat-Calducaught Farms)
              Hilton from the moon!
              Sally with Grandpa Gene by using out-takes or some footage.
              Mrs. Bishop
              Henry’s mother
              Aluminum Sliding Twins
              The Priest who knows Peggy’s story (thanks to sister who blabbed in confession)
              Suzanne and her brother
              Who else?

            • Dog Food Lady! that’s me! (I was Anna B on the board but there was already an Anne B so I changed it to Annabelle and someone remembered that there was an Annabelle)

              She was a great character and showed something interesting about Roger’s taste in women. He is capable of relationships with elegant older women like Mona and Marie–he didn’t actually get together with Annabelle Mathis as adults because he had just gotten together with Jane (maybe that was why…) but they flirted. I hope Mona makes an appearance. I love how MM portrays older women as sexy. Bobbie, Mona, Marie…Midge was not an ingenue and neither was Carla. They aren’t shying away from Joan being close to 40 and she is as sexy as ever!

            • Henry’s mother! I adore her.

            • Carla – would like to know she’s moved on from some family’s housekeeper to something better for her.

            • Francine! I miss her!

          • Thanks :)
            I am not denying that Don was a factor in Lanes suicide, but merely that he can’t be held responsible. Don rarely has the moral high ground (ahem-never) but that doesn’t mean that he’s not right. Its just hard to take. I’m sure if Lane had been more forthcoming about his financial needs that the partners could have helped him. Also, if Don were smarter, he would have found a way to personally cover the expense (which was a lot of money back then, but he has a lot so…) and consider it a personal loan. He could have made something up to Bert about running it through the business for taxes or WHATEVER and then Lane would have been in
            his debt, like he was in Bert’s. But anyhow, he couldn’t have known what
            was to come.

            • How many people in real life would let embezzlement/ forgery slide, either out of generalized niceness or a fear of possible suicide on the part of the criminal?

      • About Joan being open about Kevin being Roger’s kid: She told Roger, right in front of Bob, that “I’m inviting you into Kevin’s life, not mine.” (In other words, “yeah, I have a gay best friend, shut up.”) So presumably Bob knows, and if Bob knows, it can’t be that well kept a secret.

        • Joan lives in a very old NYC apartment building. Those walls were incredibly thick. Bob was 2 rooms away. NO WAY did Joan speak loudly enough for Bob to hear.

          If you’re not familiar with those old buildings, you’re looking at that scene from the point of view of modern acoustics. But I’m telling you, she would have had to shout for Bob to hear her.

          • She would have had to explain something to Bob about why Roger was there. Roger had also made that scene with Bob after he brought Kevin a toy from Chicago so Bob knew there was something unusual. And Bob is just good at figuring things out.

            • Hmmm.

              OK, so Bob suspects. He doesn’t KNOW, however.

              He could bluff Roger – or less likely, Joan – if it suits his purposes.

          • I just rewatched In Care Of. Roger and Joan have the “I’m inviting you into Kevin’s life, not mine” conversation, right near the front door, with Bob in the dining area adjacent to it about to carve a turkey. No wall separates them from Bob, who is standing about 30 feet away at most, and they don’t lower their voices. Also, Kevin is in his highchair maybe 10 feet at most away from Bob, when Roger plunks his hat on Kevin’s head and kneels down to very meaningfully interact with the kid. Even if Joan didn’t tell him, Bob can’t possibly not have figured it out; the man is a master manipulator.

    • Susan,

      I love these “indulgences”:

      Spontaneously conceived babies: too deep and dark – why would Peggy or Joan spill?

      Bert COULD unwrap the Lane mystery – but that seems unlikely. There are too many fresh consequences to unravel.

      Outside Bert, Pete, and Pete’s DOD contact no one knows Draper’s secret. Bert’s above it. Pete feels shaky at SC&P, so needs Don as an ally.

      (Oh – and Betty knows, therefore, perhaps Henry does too – maybe a leak there)

      Megan may have already slept with a co-worker

      Roger’s brat “knows”, in general, that Daddy philanders– but, nothing specifically – outside of her ex-step-mother whom she tried to nuptially freeze out

      Roger has already been incapacitated – plus he’s too good with the best lines on the show and now too vital as an account man to strike down again

      Sally has yet to show interest in boys – expect to go along with her horny classmate in dishing on Sylvia’s college-man son – so that sort of secret is not completely implausible. But her arc and motivation is plenty rich with no boy-trouble at all

      Peggy and Stan – you know you want it.

      I’d don’t suppose Trudy has an identical twin? Then we could get more Alison Bree!! And of course Pete holds a torch for Peggy – he’ll never spit that hook out.

      Harry seems too much of a hetero-horndog (“ooh la la” post-birthday-party) to swing that direction.

      Bert doesn’t want to retire and die – remember his misgivings over the PP&L offer.

      Imagine how bittersweet it will be for the players to watch the upcoming seven as they make the final seven?

      • I’ve wanted Peggy and Stan to be a couple since the night at the Waldorf. In my imagination, that’s where they spend thier wedding night.

        Sally did flirt with Glen, so I’d call that showing an interest in boys.

        • At the Park Ave penthouse she said to Glen, “I don’t think of you that way”.

          That was a whole season ago, has she flirted since?

      • Johnghalt,

        You could write a soap!
        Love your comments…Now let’s see, Peggy and Joan won’t spill about their babes but Pete and Roger would!! Especially since the marriage to Trudy is over. Now, he can address that loss. Maybe even try to search for the child. Remember, his family is powerful. Doors could be open especially if it was a Catholic adoption. Sad.
        And that Roger, he is lost. He is aging. That little son may stir stuff up in him. Perhaps he would tell Bert. That would be a hell of a scene.
        I always thought Bert and Don knew about the love affair with Joanie. Remember when he came back from the heart attack for the Lucky Strike meeting and Don and Bert left them alone. I got the vibe they were being discrete.
        And John, for gawds sake, you forgot Megan KNOWS about Dick Whitman!
        If she gets pissed, and wives have been known to…especially ones who quit their high profile acting job only to end up not going to Hollywood!
        She has motive.
        Also John, what about ANNA’s family?!?! They called him Dick but the niece called the office and left a message with Mrs. Blanketshit… or whatever her name was. (Loved Her). So, there is an untold story there, John.
        Finally, Peg and Stan doing the horizontal mambo is EXACTLY what I want to see. I will repeat what I have often written. I can hear him call her Peaches and totally fitting in with Ma.
        Love this stuff!

        • I could see Pete trying to hook up with Peggy again, they had that moment at the bar before flying back on Ted’s plane. Also Pete really seems sad to lose Tammy (didn’t seem like he’d be getting much visitation) so that could make him want to track down that child, especially since it’s a boy. Pete was happy to have a daughter but he is very traditional and could want a son to carry his name.

        • Thanks sF. I have a hard time writing the *very occasional* article for BoK (the standards here are intimidating). – I imagine that soaps are not nearly so demanding.

          Just like life, Mad Men is replete with loose ends and unresolved subplots – which makes a rich bed for these kinds of speculations.

          I hadn’t forgotten Megan saying: “Poor Dick Whitman” (before his big birthday party?) – but always figured that Dick/Don heavily edited that story. He never told Betty that he deserted (though the G Men interview must have raised questions). Why burden Megan with too much information? Only Faye and the late Anna Draper know about the desertion (and Pete – not sure how much Bert knows). No one knows his entire secret – not even himself, I suspect (and Anna’s sister and niece only know a little, I’ll bet).

          (“Who is Don Draper?” – “I was raised that it was impolite to talk about yourself”)

          Hellcat (“she’s an astronaut”) Blankenship – what a fabulous comic turn she had in S4 (the best season…. thus far).

          I’ll have to go back for that post-cardiac Joan/Roger scene.

          Yes – about Roger and Pete. I wonder if Momma Holloway can do the math? In theory, Dr. Harris could do the math – but ego might overwhelm (has overwhelmed?) that. Preppie Pete will mostly be 3000 miles away – which will limit the paternal and A$$#0LE triggers.

          Roger is still adrift (post-premiere – smells like incense). I was very pleased to see Roger get some mojo back last year – the GM Vega Project was probably the biggest fish he ever reeled in. But Weiner and Co. have too much integrity to “transform” him.

          A zipless Peggy/Stan affair – I can get behind that. What would that be for Stan – four years of unrequited fantasies since the Friday Night Smackdown?

          (“it’s INVOLUNTARY”)

          Abe softened things up with Ma for future boyfriends – so if Peggy got serious, Ma would be more likely to look past the illicitness of it all. She’d like him, even without a shave and haircut.

      • Harry could be a “protesteth too much” hetero horndog. I would love to see Harry with his kids, he speaks about them very lovingly and we only see the boorish, selfish aspects of his character at work.

        • He could be closeted, but it seems unlikely. I was reminded, in S6 Finale, Peggy in stockings and cleveage. Crane had a reflexive response quite unlike Sal’s more studied reactions in past years.

          One other thing, Remember Paul’s Hare Krishna love interest? In S5 she came to see Harry, locked his office door, and bent over his desk. I can’t imagine a closeted gay man “rising to the occasion” with no foreplay whatever.

          (but then Kinsey, MAsters, and Johnson all found out about that multi-variant sexual spectrum)

          Bi-Horn-Dog?

      • Ya know? Susan may have something there with Harry. He makes SOOOO many sexual comments about women, me thinks el douchebag doth protests too much. Remember how Sal used to do that? Or Harry might just be one of those straight guys who really doesn’t like women for anything other than sex.

      • As far as Don’s getting community service is concerned, it didin’t exist.

    • I keep forgetting to mention this little observation.
      You know those cute Progressive Insurance commercials with that chick Flo. She always wears white and a headband.
      Well, she was a secretary at the old Sterling Coo!
      She took Peggy’s adult beverage the night of the Nixon Kennedy party, when Peg was sick of all the shenanigans. That was the night we found out Alison wore blue unmentionables.

  5. Can’t wait! Does Sally go to Woodstock? ;-)

    • Maybe, but I doubt it. The show tends to avoid the “Forrest Gump”-let’s put our characters at major events. I think it’s possible that there may be a mention of Woodstock.

    • No, she’s too young (15 at the time of Woodstock) and too much like Betty. This is a girl who asked to be sent away to boarding school! Rolling around in the mud is not likely to be something that appeals to her. If they do send someone there, it has to be someone no one would ever suspect (like Pete or Roger), but I’m betting no character from the show actually goes.

      • What a great road trip it would be if Stan, Ginsberg and Roger get high and do Woodstock!
        Ha!

      • No one actually *knew* they’d be rolling around in the mud. Bethel is 98 miles from Rye.

        I think the likelihood is that, say, Glen would go and tell Sally about it, or Sally would mention that Glen was there.

        • Glen would be exactly the kind of person who’d go. He’d be 18, and seems quite comfortable with the counterculture already, to judge from the company he keeps. Sally just seems a little too conservative for that, especially knowing she’d have to sneak out of the house and then back in to do it (no boarding school in August).

      • I’ll bet Glen goes.

    • I say yes. Like Sally I was born in ’54. I lived 4 hours from Woodstock and a friends older brother invited us to ride up with him. Of course my parents wouldn’t let me go and I was too good to run away. Sally will run away in a heartbeat . Maybe Don will go up there to find her. Btw, no one knew or suspected ahead of time that Woodstock would be a mud rolling mad house – it was supposed to be kind of a lawn party.

    • I can’t find the link, but read MW saying in a recent pre season interview that Sally will not be going to Woodstock.

      • That answers that question. However, it does not rule out another character going to Woodstock, nor does it rule out a character mentioning Woodstock.

  6. Deb,

    Thanks for the review! Anything which even obliquely references Rachel Menken sound good.

  7. Trudy was in the Promo pictures which I was happy about, love her!

  8. […] The Mad Men Season 7 premiere is just days away… did you see Deborah’s spoiler-free review? […]

  9. Allison! please come back and embarrass Don by your poise and indifference to him. Come back as a potential client.

  10. Don is the template for Peggy. If he was not such a prodigious drunk, she would only want him or a substitute. That look she gave Don in Tomorrowland when told of his engagement, that means somethin. When Don is at his best, he is the most competent worker she has known. That is beloved Pegs’ sweet spot.
    Don gave her, her big chance………and she did her sincere best.
    That means something.
    Every time DD would berate her, she’d go into someone else’s arms, from Episode 1 on.

    Peggy IS Don, in ways that really matter.
    Peggy either marries Don, or his clone, or no one.

    The beating heart of this show is the relationship, or non-existent relationship between those two people.

    • Tilden,
      You are a wonderful writer and synthesizer of the character’s motives.
      This posting reminded me of the episode, The Suitcase. Remember how much was unearthed by their argument and messy night in the office? When Don learns of Anna’s death and breaks down and she comforts him…beautiful acting. They are deeply close but are both a mess. They share a past that binds them forever. The Suitcase was so brilliantly written and satisfying to watch. Was that written by Matt?

      They have no sexual chemistry from my view. I can see them always being important to each other but no marriage. She has always been more of a spirit guide. Remember bail money when he totals the car with Bobbie Barrett?

      • Aww, thanks susan. I’m very flattered to receive such encouragement from one of the smart kids in this room.

    • My opinion, for what it’s worth, Peggy will never marry. My fantasy for Peggy is that Joan and she will run the agency after everyone else is either dead or has drunk away all of his brain cells.

      • If it wasn’t for YodaBert, our Joanie would be completely running the day to day by herself, now that Lane has been gone for almost 2 years.
        Coop still keeps his hand steady at the wheel for the big picture things.

        Roger is on perpetual lunch, and Don swings from to vine to vine, whenever he is actually motivated.
        Beloved Pegs, is still a few bones away from being made, and sitting in her work husband’s chair on a permanent basis.
        She will.

        • …sitting in her work husband’s chair on a permanent basis….
          She physically sat in it, true, but wasn’t Duck shepperding in Don’s replacement at the same time?

    • I agree. Don and Peggy are two people who, if not “in love” with each other, do respect one another are are “devoted” to each other in the truest sense of the word. They set the table for everybody else.

    • They are not only similar but they are also going through a very bad period. It should be interesting if they end up gravitating towards eachother to fix what is broken with them professionally.

  11. Is the first episode 2 hours long like these last years?

    • No, it is one hour. However, we get a 14 hour “season” — 7 episodes this year and 7 next.

      • Next year? So really it’s like a season 8 but they’re saying it’s a continuation of season 7. Just a matter of semantics. I’ll be so bereft when it all ends.

        • Yes. All the regulars – cast, crew, Weiner, writers, Bryant – will all go mourn the end one year before the rest of us.

          I hope at least some of them will postone their grief and add commentaries to Season Six (and seven) and really punch up (add to) the extras for the Mega-Release.

          A victory of sorts last night: After watching Eps 613 and 701 an old, non-Mad-Men friend asked if I had Season One (I’ve given out at least four over the years). I pointed to a bookshelf and he walked away with a shrink-wrapped copy.

  12. I am looking forward to the new season and finding out about Pete. It was really never explained why he was moving to California. He was not at the partner’s meeting when Don was fired. So is he going to Cali with Ted as an SC employee? Or does he not have a job with SC and is going to Cali to start afresh? I am very unclear on his status.

    • Pete’s looming divorce from Trudy has made it easier for him to leave for the Left Coast, and work the Accounts side while Chaough handles Creative ‘out there’ in La-La Land.
      He is still very much a partner in SC&P.
      He was conspicuously absent from the meeting at which Don was fired, perhaps as a protest, for he probably was the lone dissenting voice in the matter.

    • It is strange that Pete was not at the partners meeting where Don was let go. His share of the company is larger than Joan’s…. Pete knows better than anyone how low Don’s character is: Don bulllied him into giving up North American Aviation…Don disappearing in California… I know Don paid Pete’s share of the company bailout because of NAA but Don thinks money solves everthing (thanks Grandpa Gene)

      • Ted and Pete were both missing, seemingly because they were going to be heading to California. Maybe they were both preparing for their move (as we know was the case with Pete), and since they weren’t going to be present for the day to day in NY, the other partners felt it was best they weren’t there?

  13. At the beginning of tonight’s episode, is Don back at the firm that bears his initial or not? He was bounced indefinitely from SCDP at the end of the last episode of Season Six.

  14. My predictions:
    Megan will not be murdered by the Manson Family.
    Bob will not turn out to be an F.B. I. agent investigating Don, Peggy’s time-traveling son, Death or any kind of supernatural being.
    Don will not be revealed as a K.G.B. agent.
    The gang will not all go to Woodstock.
    No one will fall down the elevator shaft.
    Don will not literally jump out a window.
    Pete will not shoot anyone with Chekov’s gun.

  15. One loose thread, was her name Sandy? The girl that stayed with the Francis family? Sold her axe to some snotty hippie and ran off to Cali. Poof-gone. I feel somehow she’s not done, not with so many storylines moving west. Or, she fell into that black hole in space where Sgt. Hooseyface’s lighter went. McGuffin, Ca.

    • Henry visits California with Betty, for political reasons, and she runs into Sandy. She meets Megan and sends her to rescue Sandy from the hippie commune she’s living at and….

  16. Freddy will bring Don and Peggy together.

  17. What is the name of the song that plays when Don gets off the plane and gets into the Porsche with Megan? Thank you.

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