Apr 052015
Mad Men episode 7.08: Severance, Don, Roger, 3 girls in a diner


A year ago, Mad Men Season 7.1 closed with Peggy giving a pitch about connection. We’re “starving” she said, hungry for connection, and then she tied Burger Chef into assuaging that hunger. And now? Now the people of SC&P are ravenous. Severance is an episode very much about getting everything you want, and having it be nothing at all. No one here is satisfied. No one connects. If they do connect, as Peggy does, they can’t trust the connection.

Don’s intense, compulsive womanizing, which requires an answering service to keep up with, is the same thing, in spirit, as Joan’s shopping. Joan is so utterly insulted, so demeaned, that she must soothe herself with “the boots, and the tan heels, the chiffon, the red,” and the De La Renta.

Earlier in Season 7, Joan told Bob Benson she wants love, but she may want respect even more. The shop girl at Bonwit Teller seems to remember Joan (or someone else did and told her) from when she worked there in Season 3. But the offer of a discount ruins the experience of shopping for Joan. Her argument with Peggy ended with a reminder that, after all, Joan is filthy rich. If she can’t spend full price, and never think about the cost, then she can’t soothe the pain of being so disrespected. She may not be able to make Dennis Ford of McCann respect her, but she can make a shop girl zip unzip her up and pretend she never had to do anything so low.

Don, of course, has no idea what he wants. He wants it to stop hurting. He wants to be soothed. At first it seems remarkable how honest Don has come to be about his past, to the point where Roger teases him that he won’t shut up about how poor he once was. But it seem to me that the honesty is itself a compulsion. It’s as if he believes that his inner pain came from all of the hiding he once did. Now these stories of Abigail and Uncle Mack are a new way of trying to ease the pain.

The familiar-looking waitress (Elizabeth Reaser) is part of Don’s hunger, his longing for connection. So is his dreaming of Rachel. He longs for her, dreams of her, all the time, as the waitress intuited. (And yeah, Jon Hamm, Roberta totally called that one.) He can’t long for Betty, because she knows him too well, and he sees her too often, and it’s too mixed in with anger. He can’t long for Megan, because they’re divorcing right now, and it’s too fresh. So he longs for someone in the past, someone whom he loved and felt safe with, but who didn’t really know him. And when department stores come up in the course of business, she’s the perfect person to fulfill a fantasy.

Until she isn’t.

Rachel had everything she wanted, was fulfilled and happy, and died very young. That isn’t merely senseless, it’s a slap in the face to Don’s longing. How can all his “if only”s end with “and then she dies of leukemia”?

The saddest, the most tragic story of getting what you want and not wanting it? That’s Kenny’s. He has the money, love, support, and opportunity to fulfill all his dreams, and he’d rather squander it to spend his life being vengeful. That’s heartbreaking.

Some bullet points to wrap up:

  • Continuity Watch: Peggy says “I once quit a job because I wanted to go to Paris.” I thought Sterling Cooper was her first job, and that the only job she’d ever quit was when she went from SCDP to CGC. If I do the math, she graduated from high school in 1957, and secretarial school doesn’t take three years, so I’m guessing she worked between high school and Miss Deever’s. CORRECTION: Smart Basketcases (Karl was first) point out that Peggy was referring to quitting SCDP over the Chevalier campaign.
  • Quote of the Week: Not the wittiest episode, and I’d rather avoid the waitresses advice at the end as too on-the-nose. My choice, while still on the nose, is pretty gut-wrenching given how the episode ended. It’s Cynthia Cosgrove, “You gave them your eye, don’t give them the rest of your life!”
  • Don still can’t be 100% honest. In his story about the toaster, he refers to the “boarders” who tripped over the  wire; in fact, it must have been the whores.
  • Please hit me on the head. I saw the episode three times before I realized that Rachel in the fur was a dream. Blame the several waking hallucinations Don has experienced in the course of Mad Men. I only recently rewatched Waterloo; if Don can see a Bert Cooper musical number while awake, why not Rachel In Furs?
  • Speaking of which, that Wilkinson ad casting is certainly a callback to Don’s humble beginnings as the in-house writer at a fur company, first mentioned in Season 1’s The Wheel and revisited in Season 4’s Waldorf Stories. He knows the difference between chinchilla and mink.
  • And speaking of callbacks, Don saying to Kenny, “Don’t do anything rash, it’s just a job” is surely Don remembering Lane.
  • Glitch #1: On Tuesday, Mathis invites Peggy to dinner without saying when. On Wednesday, she says she’ll take him up on dinner “tomorrow”. Say what?
  • Glitch #2: Not so much a glitch as an acting problem? At home and without the eyepatch, Aaron Staton uses a lot of body language to look over and around the missing or damaged eye. But Kenny lost that eye two years ago. One-eyed people adapt; he should not be “acting like” the eye is a problem after two years.
  • Look at the face of the model in the first fur. Between 1969 and 1970, fashions in makeup changed a lot. The 1969 face has heavy eyeliner, often a liquid cat-eye, bold shadows, and a pale lip. The 1970 face is the start of a “natural” look; baby-pink lipstick, softer eyes.
  • The two waitresses in the diner are Violet and Diana. They call each other “Vi” and “Di”.
  • I wonder if we’ll see that wine stain on Don’s rug again, or a replacement rug. I really do imagine six more episodes with a red streak across his bedroom every time.
  • The speech by Richard Nixon that we saw was delivered on April 30, 1970. The episode therefore takes place on five consecutive weekdays, Monday, April 27, through Friday, May 1.


  302 Responses to “Mad Men Recap: Severance–Second is very far from first”

  1. Alternatively, Peggy is thinking that Don vetoing her Paris trip for Chevalier cologne pushed her to leave SCDP.

  2. His dream of Rachel in the fur reminds me of his visitation from Anna the night she died.

    • So this is weird: I got home from a road trip at bat 10:30, and thought to myself, I’ll watch the 11:00 showing of Mad Men. I switched on the tv at 11 sharp, put on AMC, and the tail end of an ad was showing, then Mad Men. Because this episode ran long, though, I wasn’t watching the beginning of the new season’s first episode, but rather, the end of it! (I realized that after the credits rolled). I saw that final scene, when Don says to the diner waitress that a woman had appeared in his dreams and then he learned, shortly thereafter, that she had died.

      And I thought, Anna, of course–he still hasn’t gotten over losing Anna.

      It wasn’t until I watched the entire episode and saw that final scene the second time that I knew it was Rachel he was referring to–although Anna, too.

  3. After the Rachel illusion in the furs, I was primed for Don seeing the recently deceased – Anna and his brother were two he saw before Bert. What really shook me up was that I didn’t think of Diana (the waitress) in terms of Rachel – my first view of her reminded me very much of Anna, but with dark hair.

    I was very hopeful about Stevie. I’d like to see Peggy happier and wiser than she’d been – I’m afraid I have no such hopes for Don, but the show has never gone where I thought it would.

    For me, the key line of the episode was Rachel’s sister saying firmly to Don, “She lived the life she wanted to live.” I think that’s what Don has always hoped for and never got anywhere near. (Optimism makes me add “yet.”)

  4. So he longs for someone in the past, someone whom he loved and felt safe with, but who didn’t really know him.

    I felt like she did though. Maybe she didn’t know everything, but she was one of the first people (maybe even the first?) who he told some details about his past.

    • She was also pointedly aware that he was an outsider, just as she was. She may not have known the details, but I think she knew him well, in her way.

      • She knew him very well, knew he was looking to run away (like a coward, she said, I think) and knew an affair with him wouldn’t lead anywhere she wanted to go. She figured him out long before anyone else did.

    • She both knew and did not know him. Don loves to be known and hates it at the same time. Rachel heard some of his stories, but not enough for him to really wallow in the self-hatred.

  5. Don throws the blanket over the spilled wine on the rug–hiding it/covering over the problem but not really cleaning it up. It’s still there right below the surface.

    • Yes.

      it is like blood, a gash, a wound, or a path….big and red, can’t be missed, but he ‘covers it up’ like he does so many other things.

    • The covering of the wine stain reminded me of how Uncle Mac tried to fix the toaster. Basically covering things up in a way that makes the actual problem worse.

      • The copper wire, the blanket, the shopping, the stewardess, the trip to Paris, it’s all quick temporary fixes. Pete’s temporary band-aid on a permanent wound. It doesn’t solve the underlying problem, which is the starving for connection. I saw an interview with ML where he said the show has been about loneliness and overcoming that with love. I think the characters will move in that direction towards the end.

    • For me, this was a callback to when he had the violent fever dream. The red wine was similar to the blood from the woman he dreamed killing.

    • When that happened, I immediately thought of the birthday party Megan threw for Don, and how the following day–after the saucy make-up sex–Megan mentioned that they would probably have to replace the now-ruined white carpet, and how it hadn’t been a good idea.

      Don keeps doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. Running and returning.

    • These are all good observations! I thought it was interesting that Don’s stewardess friend said something like “It’s your fault, you scared me” after the wine hits the floor (great catch on that being the same actress as before BTW). A moment later Don pulls the bed cover off with an almost violent or sinister motion. It was a bit unnerving.

  6. You are correct Karl. Peggy had just pitched the new campaign over speaker phone with Ken and Harry. The next scene as all three visit Don’s office to share. Don asks Peg “so you want to go to Paris
    “? Don proceeds to pull out all cash he is holding and starts flipping money at Peggy.

  7. I’m not sure if Don ever knew what he wanted. Maybe it’s the difference between what he wanted and what he needed.

    • Great observation! Don pursues what he wants but is usually oblivious to what he needs.

    • Chicken soup? Oatmeal? ” she knows what you need”

      He seeks out the waitress, the food server for guidance and consoling mixed with illicit sex…

  8. Everything about the Rachel story line broke my heart. Don’s face when he saw her children made me cry.

    Peggy’s Paris comment was about the fact that she quit SCDP after Don threw money in her face when she wanted to go to Paris to do the shoot for Chevalier Blanc.

    Pete’s suits have gotten much more expensive.

  9. The other way the dream sequence stood out was that the fact they they got someone who resembled that actress but it was not her. I watched the episode twice just to make sure. Very creepy lookalike though.

    • No, it’s Maggie Siff, who played Rachel in the earlier seasons. Same actor.

      • Yeah Rachel was Rachel. But I thought the waitress was cast to look very much like Midge (Rosemary DeWitt).

        • To me, she looked like a mixture of the two. In truth, during the second and third seasons I got the two faces confused when I thought back to the women with whom Don was doing most of his cheating (on Betty) in the first season. Perhaps that was intended in casting Elizabeth Reaser. In either case, she casts a serious, world-weary expression that has been a source of attraction to Don. One can see it in Linda Cardinelli. One sees it reflected in the faces of a number of women in his childhood flashbacks

    • As Dog says, it’s the original Rachel, Maggie Siff, and she gets a “special appearance by” nod in the credits.

    • My mistake!!! Her face just seemed so much harder and angular than before. Sorry.

  10. “Rachel In Furs”
    Nicely played!

  11. Not really on point at all, just a thought that occurred to me while reading the recap:

    The name of the episode is “Severance,” but there could be another way of reading that word: as a stand-in (if grammatically incorrect) for “severity.” A recurring theme here seems to be different people experiencing intense consequences– severe backlashes– sometimes without even realizing it. Don, in the middle of his second divorce (technically his third), has wasted little time lapsing into his old playboy lifestyle, in a huge way– although (as my wife pointed out) he’s older and sadder and can’t quite keep up like he once did; hence the appointment manager. And then, that waitress… well, I’ll get back to the waitress.

    The tawdry comments Peggy and Joan had to sit through from the suits at McCann while trying to conduct business on behalf of Topaz made us all blanche– the utter cheek of it!– but of course this sort of thing went on all the time in 1970, even those who were tapping against (if not actually breaking through) the glass ceiling. At least Peggy is able to shrug it off and keep trying to redirect the pigs to the trough; Joan’s been through enough to know when Too Much is Too Much, and nearly ruins the whole Marshall Fields strategy by calling them on it. Peggy, onetime copywriter for the product that became Virginia Slims on CGC, recognized that women ;have come a long way, baby”– but back then they still had a long, long way to go. And, we are subtly reminded, they still do.

    And then there’s Kenny. You remember Kenny. The guys at McCann sure do: it may have been six years ago, back when he “came with the furniture,” but old grudges die hard. A retirement gift for his father-in-law puts enough noses out of joint to get him fired, which is drastic enough; to add insult to injury, they expect him to hand-deliver his accounts to Pete Campbell and shepherd him through the takeover. Turnabout is fair play, though: by the end of the week, Cosgrove’s beaten his ploughshare into a sword and plans to butcher his former employers for all they’re worth. Revenge, as Roger and Pete are about to discover, is a dish best served in orange. (Dow Chemical made a certain defoliant for the US Army, widely used in Vietnam.)

    That defoliant, of course, was responsible for many soldiers’ deaths after the war, typically from leukemia, which brings us to Rachel Katz (née Menken), one of the two hallucinations Don experiences. In real life, it’s just another fur model he meets in casting– one of a hundred colors in a box– but the seeming resemblance unnerves him enough to try and seek her out. Meredith’s revelation that, in fact, it’s absolutely *impossible* that model could have been Rachel really gets to him; he’s so in denial that he actually shows up at her apartment, and breaks down a little when the reality of the situation finally hits home. You can see him thinking: if THIS is reality, then where does that put the world *he* lives in…?

    It puts him in pursuit of a waitress who reminds him of an old friend, of course. Is she Anna Draper? Of course not. Don knows that. But for one fleeting moment, he is happy to pretend, and in that same moment he finds an unexpectedly accomodating partner in that crime. We have no reason to think Don and Anna ever slept together, but perhaps that’s really.who he’d been chasing all his post-war life, even when he started courting Betty Hofstadter. He’s so far gone that he’s revisiting ghosts that do and say things their corporeal selves would have never done. Roger’s hallucinations are caused by LSD; for Don, understanding the causes might require the DSM. (Hopefully soon, for his sake.)

    It’s nine months after Bert Cooper passed away. Cambodia is spiraling out of control. So is Don Draper. And so, if something isn’t changed soon, will what remains of Sterling Cooper.

    • Technically, the Rachel-as-fur model was a dream and not a hallucination.

    • Your comment regarding the firing of Ken Cosgrove reminded me of Season One when Bert Cooper effectively talked Don and Roger out of firing Pete Campbell because of his connections in society, and how it might make the agency look to the people that matter within those circles. Bert was able to think of the unintended consequences to actions that others couldn’t, which is something I don’t think Roger has picked up on. Considering the job of the account man is his relationship with the clients, they misjudged just how much Dow valued Ken and allowed a personal grievance to get in the way. We don’t know if Roger fought to keep Ken, but we can assume he didn’t put in much of an effort and allowed McCann to have their way. Which will now be to their detriment. If Bert Cooper had been alive, he might have handled things differently.

      • Good catch. And let’s not forget– because the McCann boys sure haven’t– that Roger’s living on borrowed time, too. One more heart attack oughta about do it. After that, there IS no more Sterling Cooper; just four principals of a subsidiary company that can barely stand each other. They already have their cash, and have been spending it like water; the parent company doesn’t owe them another dime, and at least one of them (Don) would likely rather not take it.

      • Yes – Bert was always able to see the big picture – it was a strength he had and I think it was always meant to be a generational signpost to make him distinctive – that his generation was less ruled by emotions and feeling good. Though, to be fair to Roger, he understood that playing the fool for Lucky Strike had to be done, no matter how humiliating.

        • Not always so. He had a racist streak ( e.g. get Dawn away from the front desk ).

          • As distasteful as it may seem to us, Bert may have seen having her there as a business liability. And at that time, it may indeed have been one.

          • Bert had no problem sharing a sofa with his black housekeeper to watch the moon landing.

      • And the thing about Dow, is how the company came to be a SC&P client to begin with.

        Don essentially goaded Roger into seeking them out. If I recall correctly, he had initially been going after a tire account (Firestone, I think). Roger does, then Don has a couple days to work out some kind of pitch. On the day of the meeting, Don and Roger are made to cool their heels for an hour or more in the Dow waiting room. When they finally get with the Dow people, Don turns on the bluster and bombast, full tilt boogie.

        Along the way, Kenny told anyone who’d listen, that he didn’t wish to work with his father-in-law, mixing business with his personal life and/or be required to capitalize on a relationship that was created though his marriage. (Ken has always struck me as being the anti-Pete. And not just regarding business. He was the naturally gifted writer, while Pete was a pale imitator. Pete was the accounts man who handled client’s problems, while Ken made clients feel as if they hadn’t any problems). And of course, when all was said and done, SC&P snagged Dow as a client and the ever stoic One-Eyed Cosgrove, made the best of what transpired.

        Now, we’ve seen how things have ultimately played out with Dow and Ken and the agency. I’d be tempted at this point, to agree that Ken has become vengeful as a result of being jettisoned, but I really can’t. I think he’ll now simply serve to remind SC&P: “You wanted the Dow account and you sure got it. Now let’s just see how happy it’s making you.”

  12. I’ve always believed ‘too on-the-nose’ to be fundamentally a subjective term of art.

    However, submitted for your approval — Tuxedo-ed Americans leaving c-notes in the Olympia diner. John Dos Passos. Homophonic hired help Vie And Die. Then send us out waiting for the chorus of “Is that all there is?”

    No punches pulled tonight.

    • Dos Passos is significant for a number of reasons. He was both a novelist and a chronicler of America and its wars. He changes his political views in the course of his lifetime from socialism in his youth to support for Barry Goldwater and, yes, Richard Nixon prior to his own death in September of 1970. Finally, like Kenny, he lost vision in one eye due to an accident.

      • This is an awesome catch and reference to Kenny! Dos Passos makes perfect sense as Diana’s reading material. As you say, he was a chronicler of the American landscape whose views take a cynical hard right turn by the end of his life. Not Hemmingway but plenty well known enough for even shallow Rodger to poke fun at. The diner and the waitress scene was Edward Hopper all over the place – almost too much. Hopper also documenting the American experience and nowhere more famously than in his diner painting. The waitress plays multiple roles for Don starting as a nostalgic symbol, later a participant in the story and finally a guide who imparts a bit of wisdom.

        If I remember correctly Hopper and Dos Passos were not only contemporaries, they were neighbors and friends for a long time.

      • Introducing Dos Passos may also be a hint that the narrative structure may be played with a little more. The Rachel dream seemingly out of sequence seems to fit the style this episode.

    • “I am impressed that you knew …or figured out that the diner was the Olympia Diner. I had to watch 6 times before I deciphered the writing on the window. But the tip off was the picture of the parthenon on the wall. Only then could I fill in the missing letters. How did you do it?” LOL


  13. Great recap Deborah!

    So when is it a sign and when is it just Déjà vu? One thing I liked about this first of the last MM episodes is the blending of past and present, lots of nostalgic references. Mad Men is so much about repeating past behaviors, mistakes – symbols and images but it strikes me that this episode fine tunes this idea a bit. We start with furs and Don’s classic womanizing and a diner – each calling back to earlier times but this time Rachel Menken is in the furs – wow!

    Rachel is a Basket favorite and I was thrilled to see her and I think I felt almost as badly as Don when we learned that Rachel was gone and we won’t see her again. In essence, Don is again lonely and has a dream of a woman he has not seen in years and learns when he tries to reconnect that she has very recently and tragically died of Leukemia,

    Classically we also see Don with a striking blond stewardess-type (was she actually a stewardess?) and see that awful red wine stain. So who among the Basket cases didn’t go back to Don’s fever dream of murder on that same carpet? Spooky but not unusual for MM.

    Ken thinks that it is a sign that his wife tries to get him to give up advertising a day before he get fired. Is it? I think part of this episode is telling us to beware reading too much into the seemingly symbolic coincidence. They say Déjà vu is actually just our brains messing up how we sort memories making us think that something happing in real time happened long ago.

    Ted cracks out a tag line for Wilkinson – something about “There are three women in every man’s life” and when questioned admits that he didn’t just make it up – he has had the line in his head for years just waiting for the right client. Sometimes we think the universe is telling us something profound when in fact maybe it is just us telling us something and we just don’t listen very well.

    The mysterious well-read waitress closes by telling Don to pay attention to when the dream of Rachel occurred – he may have been dreaming of her for years and only now thinks it is especially significant. Our brains try very hard to make sense out of things and never more so than in the face of a tragic death.

    Hamm’s facial expressions and acting in the Shiva scene was especially good and all in all not a bad start for the end of S7. Looking forward to the rest but will be sad when its all over!

    • She was actually a stewardess, on layover. The answering service said so.

      • She was actually the stewardess on the plane Don took to “surprise” Megan when he learned from her agent that she was sabotaging her career. The stewardess said “I hate your wife.” Same actress (I just rewatched that episode).

        • Good catch!!

          • Thanks. She’s also a reminder (along with the wine on Megan’s white rug) of why Don’s marriage failed–he only knew how to support Megan by controlling her.

            • That’s brilliant. I forgot (and you are SO right): thise white rugs were a part of Megan’s interior design choice. The support-by-control paradigm also applies to his connection with Peggy–and why she’s most interesting when she battles against it.

        • Yup, I caught that–will be making it a filler post. Took me forever to verify because I kept thinking it was Time Zones but it wasn’t.

      • The Stewardesses name is Tricia, a @TWA_Airline employee. Right on the phone call Deborah. Here is were I confirmed it

        I am having trouble matching her face to the girl Don is sitting by in the Olympia Diner. Yet, It goes to the idea it is Tricia also. Thoughts?

    • Indeed, Rachel as Don’s life not lived woman was devastating. All too personal for this viewer. That damn MW. Beautifully done.

  14. Speaking of dreams, I surmised that the CA office went bye-bye with the merger — Don’s back in his corner office — as if nothing ever happened.

    But where’s Dawn?

  15. “I am here and loving reading you column along with the late @RachelMenkenNY”


  16. Did anyone else notice that Joan didn’t have much to say during the meeting? I’m surprised that she’s not spouting all of the facts and rejoinders that Peggy does. She did fine in the earlier meeting.

    When Don was talking to Barbara (Rachel’s sister), her reaction made me wonder if Rachel had told her about her time with Don. It’s as if she thought, “You almost ruined her life, and now you show up here? Everything worked out fine, in spite of you.” Don definitely looked like his world was falling apart.

    • Didn’t seem so much “almost ruined her life” but more “oh, you were her regrettable dalliance with a married guy” recognition. But yes, certainly a stomach punch moment for Don and a “she did fine without you” vibe from the surviving sister.

      • Agreed and she was excellent. Rachel’s kids were much younger than I expected…
        Donations to a ‘a Denver Hospital?’ seemed off at the time. Surely it was have been to support whatever disease she died of. Better left out in IMO.

        The alley tryst left me confused. Other than his (Roger’s of course) $100’s worth, I have no understanding of her motivation. It felt off to me.

        All in all, since I spent the weekend on tender hooks in anticipation of last night I thought the episode was a bit dull and choppy. Oh and who please was that women with Ken’s Father in Law?

        • Right…the reference to a donation to National Jewish Hospital was way off — National Jewish Hospital was, and still is, well-know for treating respiratory diseases (e.g., Tuberculois patients were sent to Denver from the east coast), not leukemia, which Rachel was said to have died from.

          Why not donations to Mount Zion Hospital in NYC?

          • I don’t know, directing donations to National Jewish in Denver makes sense to me. Even in 1970 they were doing treatment and research on a lot more than TB – including cancer and cardio research. It had and still has a worldwide reputation as a treatment and research leader not affiliated with a medical school. The other thing that occurs to me is that even as late as 1970 lots of people had loved ones impacted by TB. We don’t think about it as much today because of all the work to eradicate TB but for Don and Rachel’s parents’ generation TB was an active killer and that may account for the connection.

          • We know now that the extreme deficiency in iron(anemia) can be the precursor to cancer (leukemia specifically) and it will create symptoms that are very similar to asthma and tuberculosis. It’s telling that, in traditional chinese medicine, the lungs are where the body “stores” grief and sadness, particularly that kind that is never expressed. I don’t believe Rachel’s sister when she says Rachel lived as she wanted to, and had everything she needed and wanted. I think Rachel also suffered from the silent grief of knowing Don was who she wanted to be with (but he wasn’t deserving of her).

            • I also had the pretty strong impression that Rachel’s sister wasn’t truthful when she said that Rachel had lived the life she wanted.

            • That’s a very romantic notion, but in real life, most of us move on from the blazing love that is no good for us, and find the less blazing but much better love, and don’t grieve forever, and are grateful we made the right choice.

            • Unforgettable love is the main reason people stay alive.
              To settle into a, ‘better’ cause it’s the right thing is, something people who are very healthy do.
              I haven’t known too many folks who do the healthy thing more often, than not. NYC, is the neurotic capital of the world.
              Pining, even if silently, for that amour fou, is the norm.
              I will remember and regret, the girl I loved most until my last breath.
              Who cares about what the right thing is, when you’re heart is involved?

            • Too True, TK.

              The pining may diminish and become less frequent – but one does not forget (a lovely Black Irish lass in my case).

          • Something that just occurred to me: Don, whose solution to most problems is to give money, did NOT give money in this case.

            He brought cake.

            This is progress.

            • This is an excellent point Melville. Also hard to picture the old Don being so honest admitting two divorces and being “in advertising.” It seemed like the sister Barbara softened a bit at the cake. There are some small bits of progress here!

            • Yes, Don definitely softer, and his softness informed Rachel’s sister.

              I remember Rachel calling her sister on the phone and asking her about Don….and the two of them talking together in one scene, as well…or did I dream that? ;O)

            • Rachel did indeed talk to her sister about Don. Her sister was well aware of Don, and I think it is fair to assume there were other conversations after the split. Rachel didn’t strike me as someone who is comfortable with emotions and vulnerability, so when she was hurt by Don, it was ever-so more painful. I think it is reasonable to think that processing of pain happened with the aid of her sister.

    • Joan was largely silent during the meeting because of the depth and manner of the disrespect shown by the “frat-boy” males. She was singled out as the “pornographer’s dream” (hat tip to Suzanne Vega) work-of-art that preoccupied the frat-boy-in-charge. (He was the one who instructed the other fratboys to read the material that Joan and Peggy had prepared and provided.) His particular style and specie of objectification took her by surprise. In that moment, her wealth and authority within SC&P did not matter one bit. It left her feeling speechless. And empty.

      Rachel’s sister CERTAINLY knew who Don Draper was. That was fully communicated.

    • On thinking about it overnight, I was stunned to realize how much Joan has changed in this regard. Season 1/1960 Joan would have laughed seductively at the frat-boy-pigs comments, using them to her advantage, taking it all as part of the game she had perfectly wired. Even the Season 4 Joan who berated Peggy for firing Joey )of the pornographic cartoon) would have handled it coolly and calmly. But Joan 1970 explodes in the elevator at the treatment that Peggy takes in stride. After all she’s been through, Joan has learned to be a feminist, or at least a proto-feminist. She doesn’t want to play the old game anymore. It’s a new game and she wants the respect she’s earned.

      • I think the behaviour change we’re seeing is because of the fact that Joan is no longer acting as the “embassador” for the account men, and part of the team that must charm the client. That was a big part of her job in the past. She’s now an actual account manager and a partner in the firm, she’s the one paid to solve the problems for the client and deliver the marketing results they’re paying for. So she’s not going to respond to their insults as if she were ” taking it in her stride” (and really, in the past, she didn’t respond well to that kind of insult with anything other than stern silence either). And it hasn’t gone past her that they’re not listening to Peggy, either, even though Peggy’s had a lot of experience with that kind of porkiness in the past. Of course, Peggy’s also had the benefit of approaching clients as part of a team, with other men on her side–so porks don’t act that way around women when the women have witnesses they actually respect.

      • I thought the same thing. I also thought that the whole Jag thing damaged her much more than she realized. Which reflected in her face as the salesgirl was unzipping her new dress. She stuffed those feelings down and never processed them at all. Of course the discount offer hurt in ways the salesgirl couldn’t possibly understand, the look on Joan’s face briefly read “I am nothing but a glorified whore. This isn’t making me feel better.” It was easier to like Joan when she liked herself better.

        • You PERFECTLY described my feelings upon seeing Joan in the Bonwit scene.

          Her decision to take (be?) the Jaguar bait, while it paid off in financial security, will always haunt her. THAT was the look behind Christina Hendricks’ masterful eyes.

      • I have a half-baked theory about Joan. I don’t like it because Joan has been a real favorite of mine but I see material wealth and power coming like a black cloud and a real destructive force for our Joanie.

        As the partner most in need of money she made $ a top priority in S7. We saw her put money over loyalty when she betrays Don in the first part of the season. Of course it is Bert who points this out as we know loyalty was a prime value of his but Joan threw it out the window with frightening indifference. Pete, Roger and even Don have been wealthy for a while but this is new territory for Joan. She now has the power to try to buy her way out of her professional and personal distress just as the guys have tried to do unsuccessfully for years.

        As idiosyncratic as Bert could be he put his code and values ahead of money – it probably took a long time to get that wisdom too. Anyway, I think Joan is on the front end of this long journey and it will get worse before it gets better.

        • Bert could comfortably afford his values, having enjoyed wealth, station, and power for decades when we first met him in 1960.

          It’s nitpicking, but Joan’s ‘indifference’ was more like ‘passion’.

          At the time she threw Don under the bus, Joan was relatively new to her status. As 5% non-silent partner her vote was strictly rhetorical – and it’s not so clear her fellow partners (save Cutler as manipulator) took any cue her – so her influence was doubtful.

          • That is fair enough about Bert and I admired Joan’s decision not to compromise with Bob Benson. She has also always protectively looked after her son.

            Still I see our Joan – the ultimate unflappable and reliable fixer as a bit of a fish out of water in her new role with new wealth as a material advantage but also a challenge. we saw Peggy attack Joan both for her appearance and her wealth – ouch!

            • Peggy and Joan have long had a respectful rivalry occasionally with some bare-knuckle repartee – i.e. when Joan damned Peggy for firing Joey – and would not have if Don had done it.

              They air it out and go back to being allies (and not really ‘friends’).

              What surprised me was when Ken mirrored Peggy’s resentment over Pete’s “millions” – his usual unflappability wavered. That resentment further manifested in his shot across the bow from his new station at Dow – another surprise. I wonder if Ken will resume his usual easy-goingness?

            • I fear happy-go-lucky Kenny is just as gone forever as his right eye.

            • Interesting all this talk about Joan and her attitude. I actually was rather peeved with Peggy for starting the argument with Joan in the elevator. They had both just been through a difficult client meeting: Time to bond, not tear each other apart.

    • I remember there being a scene between the sisters when that story line was being played. She was against the relationship.

    • I had the same thought of Rachel’s sister’s comment. She did know of the affair because Rachel told her about it. I thought, though, as I watched the scene, that maybe Rachel’s sister knew who Don was and maybe lied about Rachel’s life being exactly what Rachel wanted. Rachel once lovingly referred to her sister as a “bitch.” Deb. Did you have that thought?

      • That was a complicated little scene (Does Mad Men have any other kind?). On realizing who Don was, Barbara bristles at first, clearly thinking “this is the guy who almost wrecked her life. Screw him!” Then, on seeing his genuine pain, she seems to relent a bit. That “her life was everything she wanted” was a oddly double-edged. Was she telling Don “her life was great without you in it,” or “don’t feel bad, she was happy”?

        • She took a very long trip to get over him. That requires arranging stepping away from running a business. Her sister had been in the know; we’d seen that. With the trip there was some Basketcase-conjecture that perhaps she’d gotten pregnant, but that never emerged–it was simply a trip to get good and over and away from him.

        • She was difficult to read. She was also, let’s face it, not quite herself. Her sister is dead. Her niece and nephew are right there. Her brother-in-law is right there, and none of them should see Don.

          What we saw in S1 was that Rachel confessed to seeing a gentile man, but not that he was married. Ultimately, though, I think she must have told Barbara the whole story.

          • I thought Rachel did tell her sister he was married. I think they were in a restaurant at the time, and the sister said something like “It’s not like it is in the movies” (but my memory is a bit hazy on this).

          • I think she confides he’s married the time that they are at lunch or dinner. (A restaurant scene)

            Previously, iirc, her sister encouraged her. Or unwittingly encouraged her. The phone call where she tells Rachel that Rachel is a ‘modern woman’ and that she herself would take romance over marriage at this point. But I think all she knew about Don at that point was that he was “a goy”

            But I haven’t rewatched in a while so I could be wrong.

        • It was a really interesting, complicated scene and very well acted I thought. I agree 100% that the sister knew everything as the primary confidant to Rachel. To me it seemed that the sister’s reactions waffled back and forth from anger “I know who you are, now what are you doing here?” to some real sympathy given Don’s very apparent pain and probable good intentions. I think the sister’s final reactions sort of a combination of “look, you are clearly here more for your needs and we are grieving and busy so please just go.” I need to watch again, but whatever it was the scene was a real highlight.

          • I do think the feelings were mixed on the sister’s part. On the one hand, she knew exactly what Don meant to her sister, and she could see he was actually in mourning, too. But, we see that Rachel’s husband and children are still alive and present at the Shiva. It wouldn’t do for people to start asking about who Don could be, and what is he doing there. That’s why Don is not invited in, but asked to leave.

    • Rachel’s sister has been shown before, in season 1. Yes, Rachel spoke to her about Don, and about his being married. The sister did not approve.

      • Sorry, this is a very deep set of replies and discussions, and I hadn’t seen Deborah’s definitive reply, just above, that Rachel and her sister had not spoken on-screen of Don’s being married, just being Gentile. I’m pretty sure she must have learned “all about [him]”, as she says, in due course, though, as Deborah also surmises.

      • Rachael told her sister that he was not Jewish and that he was married but she also said that she had not slept with him yet (that part was a lie because her sister did not approve.)

    • The line that struck me was after Don told Barbara he was divorced she exclaims, “You left your wife for her!?” Makes me wonder if Rachel still had feelings for Don and Barbara’s way of consoling her was, “He’ll never leave his wife, you should marry Tilden.” And now if Barbara finds out that Don was capable of leaving his wife, may be Rachel could have given Don another shot and been with the man she truly wanted to be with.

    • Yes. The sisters did talk about Don. Remember their lunch at the restaurant where Sis was so disapproving.

  17. Joan’s reticence in the meeting makes sense in this context. The fellows from Topaz respect her input and ideas. The McCann Erickson guys not only don’t, they went out of their way to be sexist and rude to her. I think she sized them up quickly and decided to take a “cast no pearls before swine” approach.

    Peggy tried to keep things on a professional level, but those pigs were having none of it.

    On a side note, Last season, in the episode called “Waterloo,” Roger pitched the partners on the notion that after being bought by McCann Erickson, SC&P would retain their independence. You couldn’t tell it from this episode! First they fire Kenny, then they’re completely unprofessional toward both the SC&P copy chief and a partner in the firm! If what we saw tonight is any indication of things to come, I don’t think the future will be too rosy.

    • Roger’s enthusiasm for the buyout was, I believe, built upon a hope for a return to the old days of “Sterling Cooper”–that is, with a feeling for advertising as a mixture of marketing and maxim. Without that move toward the McCann buyout, the advertising firm would have been been most profitable in the vision of Cutler and Harry/Mr. Potatohead (whose partnership no one was excited about but whose computer seemed poised to serve the new customer base most profitably. The buyout put “creative” back into the spotlight and, as well, made Roger relevant as a source of accounts.

      But the buyout was, of course, going to be a new source of power and manipulation and, as well, personal “accounts” that had come due. I never saw Kenny Cosgrove’s storyline headed in this arc, but it seems to make sense as the dust now is beginning to settle on the takeover.

    • Agree 100% on SC&P not retaining much if any independence under the new arrangement. In the end whatever the understanding, McCann owns SC&P and any assurance of independence is based on an unenforceable gentleman’s agreement. Also agree that Rodger was hoping for a return to the old Sterling Coo days but that is totally unrealistic.

      Bert’s final words to Rodger really got to him. It is sort of ironic that Rodger put together the McCann acquisition to assert himself in direct response to Bert’s assessment that Roger is not a real leader and to scuttle Cutler’s plans. Roger is wearing rose colored glasses on a deal where Bert would have seen the real implications 1,000 miles away.

      Any expectation of real independence is utterly naïve. McCann will control every move it wants to and SC&P has no grounds for complaint because they were already compensated. Or to quote Don, “That’s what the money is for!!”

      • Roger’s deal was more more about keeping Don than anything else – secondary to kicking Cutler in the nuts or even to Cooper’s last act of leadership.

        Don agreed over the same objections – but as he said to Ted: “you wouldn’t like it outside”.

        Much better to go through the motions inside than to sleep in and try to claw back in – after all ‘even Napolean didn’t come back from leave’.

        All this within the shorthand of twenty minutes onscreen – good stuff.

  18. Obviously the opening scene was awesome for the textual and sub-textual slow reveal. I was however distracted by the color blue.

    Can this really be the first time we’ve seen Donald in anything other than a solid white dress shirt when he wears a tie at the office?

    • I noticed the blue too! I like the blue.

      • And I think he has a striped shirt on later?

      • I did not notice the blue shirt, but I do remember that deep blue shirts were popular for men. I was in the 7th grade in 1970 and had a crush on a certain boy who had one of those shirts. BTW, my father thought they were ghastly and lumped them in with long hair and “boys looking like girls. In my day, we would….” Funny how this shows triggers memories!

    • I believe I have seen other color shirts but that teal suit he wore to casting was definitely different. Have we ever seen Don wear any color suit other than brown and grey?

      There were a lot of shades of blue in this episode. What is the meaning of all that blue?

  19. Deb – the shop girl ‘unzips’ her and we get a brief few frames of Joan’s folorn face. My take is that this action only further humiliates her (along the Ford’s comments, the shop girls comments etc)

    In fact, has a man unzipped a magnificent dress that has enveloped the strikingly curvaceous Joan since Herb Rennet…:( 🙁 🙁


    • My mind went immediately back to the Herb episode, taken there by the bleak look on Joan’s face.

    • Right. Unzip, not zip. I still contend that it was servitude that Joan was demanding.

      • Agreed. Joan wanted to put that girl in her place for suggesting she would need/benefit from a discount.

      • I agree, she WAS demanding servitude from the shopgirl that unwittingly demeaned her, but I think there was more. I also saw shadows of Herb Rennet unzipping her…
        Just what I took from the scene, FWIW

  20. Quote of the week (x2)

    Ted Chough:

    “There are three women in everyman’s life”

    He deliver’s that humdinger of line a few scenes after he has introduced Rachel as “this is another girl” (channeling his inner Jacob Marley?!?) for the Wilkinson Sword casting. In which Rachel then says:

    Rachel Katz:

    “Im supposed to tell you, you missed your flight”


    (Don a polite ‘thank you’ – totally confused?)

    Please Note (Deduction?):

    Ted has left his wife back in California (Nan loves it out here…) and is now living the bachelor’s life (Vogue is throwing a party in the village, cocktails at his place which is right around the corner, apparently hemlines are going up…hmmm who else lived in the village after he divorced his wife??) I’m tipping this banter between Ted and Don has made them ‘connect’ of late? Ted’s had that line for ‘years’……mmmm

    Ted: Nan and Peggy, who could be his third? Or was Peggy his third?

    More importantly

    Don: Anna, Rachel and…

    • Rachel Katz:

      “I’m supposed to tell you, you missed your flight”

      Her only line. All about The Life Unlived, The Path Not Taken.


    • I never for one minute thought that Ted really had thought of that line years earlier. I think it came to him right there, and he could see that Don was very skeptical about that. My feeling was that Ted gave Don what would make him drop and forget about the issue. Ted has a tendency to give people what they want because he’s an appeaser by nature. (It’s why he had to get physically away from Peggy – in order not to be the “nice” guy and keep seeing her, risking his marriage.) Ted wants to avoid confrontation and keep the people around him happy. Telling Don that he’d had the line for years was his way of keeping Don happy. I don’t think it was true.

    • Three women in a mans life:

      Your mother

      Your wife

      Your mistress


      And all those are completely convoluted in Don…

  21. I wonder why we didn’t see Cutler in this episode…

    • He’s probably gone. McCann didn’t want him. He may have voted, in the end, for the takeover, and will have been paid his buyout, but wasn’t taken into the reconstructed firm. Or that’s what was supposed to happen. I guess McCann would have had to buy him out fully, not just 51%.

      • Roger said he wanted to run the company “without Cutler and all that baggage from CGC” when he pitched the sale in Waterloo

  22. There was a serious theme with fur. I’d posted something about fur symbolizing disillusionment and foreboding which may tie in.


    Interestingly, Don dreams of Rachel in a fur coat and then later hears of her passing.

    • That is great. And for some reason it also takes me back to Teddy the in house adman at the Fur company and Nostalgia…

      This episode was the pain of an old wouldn’t alright!

      I also didn’t think about it until I read your linked comment: the red wine on the rug was like half of the red painted x that Joan made at the end of s5 to mark the staircase…

      • Thanks! Yes, there definitely was a reference to Teddy with Don doing the fur casting.

        I liked your reference to “pain from an old wound.” It really described Don’s expression at Rachel’s shiva, something in his heart stronger than memory alone. Rachel was the other person who told Don the meaning of a Greek word, utopia.

        The carousel ad was about going back to a place in the past. But at Rachel’s shiva Don gets a brutal dose of the linear aspect of life, there’s no going back with Rachel.

        • Oh good catch with Utopia. That describes Dons life. He searched for the “good place” but seems to have found “the place that can never be.”

          I just realized (and maybe someone else caught this already) that death or near death is what ultimately lowered Rachel’s guard with Don.

          He came to her after Roger’s heart attack. He says “is this all there is?”

          He also talks that night about “moving up a notch” the first time he was allowed to be a pallbearer at his aunts funeral.

          And then shares about his mother and some of his past…

  23. After rewatching this episode, without being so caught up in the overwhelming tripiness of it, I got around to noticing that Don looks absolutely horrible!

    Haggard. Shagged out. Bags under both eyes. Profoundly unwell.

    Prior to last night’s premiere, over the course of several weeks I watched all of the episodes that have aired thus far. I was struck by a recurring image: The logo of the Lucky Strike pack that can be discerned through the fabric of the pocket of his white dress shirt. It looks for all the world, exactly like a target on his chest,

    Back at the start of S-2, one episode opened with his visit to a doctor’s office. The doctor writ him a script for meds for stress and high blood pressure. Given his appearance in last night’s premiere, I really do wonder if perhaps, his years of smoking might well catch up with him, before we see the last of Mad Men.

    My review of all the episodes also left me with another nagging thought. Is is remotely possible that the hobo we met in “Hobo Code” grew up to become Jim Hobart?

    We first saw the hobo, when he arrived at the Whitman farm during the Great Depression in the 1930s. He looked to be a young man in his 20s then, when Don/Dick was just a youngster. While the roles of the hobo & Jim Hobart are played by different actors, there is a striking resemblance, to my eyes anyway. The hobo sure looks as if he could’ve aged into the Hobart character & if he was, say, 25 when he drifted by the Whitman farm, he’d likely be in his early 60s by 1970, the right age for his professional position at McCann. It sure would make for a helluva reveal in the show, for Hobart & the hobo to be one in the same.

    • Great insight on the Lucky Strike target on Don’s chest!

    • RE: Hobo/Hobart connection

      Here’s a link with some photos of the hobo and Hobart, so you can compare and decide …


      • I noticed when rewatching previous season, upon Don’s return Stan asks, “Been ridin’ the rails?”

        My very favorite episode (and that’s saying something ,with such an embarrassment of riches from which to choose)…my very favorite MM episode. “The Hobo Code”.

        • It’s not entirely inconceivable that a young man of that era, could have spent time as a gentleman of the road and then gone on to other things, later in life. I believe that singer Burl Ives did and I think I read that Supreme Court Justice William O Douglas did also. Certainly singer and activist Woody Guthrie knew the hobo life firsthand.

          Here’s a link to see a PBS documentary, Riding the Rails, that explores such adventures …

    • It sounded as if Jon Hamm had a cold while shooting this episode. That may have been the reason why he looked haggard.

      • Even looking haggard, Jon Hamm (and Don/Dick for that matter) still looks better than 99.9% of humans, IMHO

    • Wow. Very interesting to see all of the thoughts this is provoking. I keep feeling something is missing. What I mean is, there feels like a gap between 7/7 and 7/8. Too much time went by which is unusual for the series. We end at the moon landing 1969 then all of a sudden 1972 or beyond? Something is missing and I’m begining to worry that what we’ve seen so far in the second half is not real…it’s freaking me out. I think Don is dead already then poof and that notion goes bye bye.

      • It’s 1970. Not 1972. I have not been reading this thread. Just don’t have time. But I’m wondering: Has anyone mentioned the mysterious waitress looks similar to Ted’s former office manager? I am going to look up the episode(s) she was in when I have a moment.

        • Okay, I found the character I am thinking about: Moira. She was in several scenes from season 6 I believe but I am specifically thinking about her cameo in Season 6, episode 8 (The Crash): Don, after having received the mysterious vitamin shot from Jim Cutler’s doctor, is descending the SCDP/CGC staircase, locks his gaze onto Moira who happens to be in his line of vision and asks her if he knows her from somewhere.

          Because S06e08 is shot through with flashbacks from his childhood at the whorehouse, I felt at the time perhaps Moira (or someone who looked a lot like her) had some connection to the whorehouse.

          In “Severance” when Don sees the diner waitress and asks her the same thing, I had a deja-vu moment and felt the two things were somehow connected. Not necessarily that the two women are connected but Don’s recurring feeling of meeting people he thinks he knows but can’t quite place.

          My apologies if I am repeating some points someone has already made. I have fallen so behind in my BoK reading, I have given up trying to catch up.

          • Also, it can work the other way around: People remembering Don he thinks are strangers. In Episode 7.03: Don meets with guys from Wells Rich Greene when a woman no one has seen before shows up at the table and claims she and Don know each other even though he doesn’t know her from Adam’s off ox.

            I detect a theme here.

            Again, apologies if this has been discussed already elsewhere on BoK.

  24. The beginning sequence at at the diner seemed like a warped inverted version of Don and Peggy’s dinner in “The Suitcase.” Both are in a Greek diner (this one the Olympus Cafe which has a picture of the Acropolis behind the counter), Don tells stories about Uncle Mac, Don mentions a birthday (“The Suitcase” was Peggy’s bday), and there’s even mention of large roaches. The glaring difference is in “Suitcase” Don is in a healthy and genuine situation with a woman and in “Severance” he’s in a superficial situation with the girl of the day.

    Also, Don perpetually asking the waitress if he knows her reminded me of how he first interacted with Adam when Adam came to SC (asking Adam if he knew him). Don and Adam had another important diner scene in MM, again with the idea of forgetting someone with “this never happened.” Another allusion to Adam is Ken’s firing and severance offer. Don did something similar to Adam, cut him out of his life and offered a huge amount of money in return.

    And there’s how Don was reminded of Adam once he saw the contents of the shoebox, called Adam, and found out he’d died only a short while ago. Similarly, Don remembers Rachel due to his dream, has Meredith call under the guise of business to see how Rachel is doing, and finds out she dies a few days before.

    • And the coffee cup Don was holding while looking at the fur models, into which he tossed his cigarette butt with an audible hiss, had a Greek motif on the design. I understand it’s a popular cup in New York, but it still stood out, especially tied to the cigarette. And Anna and Rachel both died of forms of cancer which, as Roger said in a different episode, is what Sterling Cooper was selling for years. The cancer theme (Betty thought she had it, too) has been making me uneasy for a number of seasons now.

      • Great catches, the coffee cup adds to the whole Greek motif of the episode and both “Suitcase” and “Severance” deal with a death from cancer, although Anna was expected and Rachel was a shock.

    • Also with the Adam/Ken parallel, Don tells Ken not to do anything rash after getting fired, a conscious reference to Lane but perhaps a subconscious reference to Adam.

      And when Ken was offered a severance package, he could have used it to further his own dreams. Instead he chose to do something self destructive (go back to a career field he hates) just for the sake of vengeance and to haunt SCDP from the outside even though he was kicked out.

      Similarly, Adam got his “severance” package from Don (the 5K) and could have used it to further his own life. Instead he decided to do something self destructive (suicide) and be a part of Don’s life through haunting him with guilt, even though Don had rejected him.

      Also, there is a reference to suicide in the song “Is That All There Is?” which could allude to Adam.

    • I just realized it’s also such a disappointing reversal of the a Happy Chef meal with Don, Peggy and Pete…

  25. Has there ever been a MM episode that starts and ends with the same song?

    Also, has there ever been a scene where a song plays over a scene the way it does during the initial model casting? The closest I can recall is Betty descending the staircase in “For Those Who Think Young,” but that was instrumental.

    • That was an instrumental of Song of India by Mr. Carbonara.
      “Betty” also had music playing over her scene at the bar in L.A. in The Jet Set.
      Don ‘sees’ Betts with a friend, then the actual girl. Betty again, finally the other one.

      A beautiful surreal scene.

      • Oh, that fabulous music that played when Betty hallucinates as she’s having Gene, in “The Fog”…

        “Me Voy a Morir de Tanto Amor”….absoutely fruitin’ heart-breakingly gorgeous music.

      • The scene with Betty coming down the staircase was amazing. In a way it was similar to the fur model scene in how the men were transfixed by the model. I think the music is actually “Song of the Indian Guest/Song of India” from the Rimsky-Korsakov opera “Sadko.”


        Upon reading the BoK info, the episode also closed with the same music, just like in “Severance.”

        In “Severance” the song “Is That All There Is?” continues uninterrupted into the diner scene and plays throughout the scene. The use of the song repeatedly may be a reference to the dreamlike nature of the episode and use of dreams, specifically a nod to “Inception.” In “Inception,” whenever the characters need to know they need to exit a dream they will here Edith Piaf’s “‘Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” (No, I regret nothing). Which is interesting since “Severance” is all about regret. Also the lyrics start with

        No, absolutely nothing,
        No, I regret nothing.

        and end with

        No, I regret nothing,
        cause my life, cause my happiness…
        today, they get started with you!

        Which is along the lines of Don always trying to make a “fresh start.” Also, “Inception” has an underlying story of the hero’s wife’s death and how her memory haunts his dreams, which could echo in Don’s dream and loss of Rachel.

    • Here’s an interesting article on music, dreams, and how they influenced “Severance.” Specifically how Nancy Sinatra’s “You Only Live Twice” which ended S5 influenced the structure of “Severance.”

      “The one scene that explains the Mad Men premiere”


    • S2E1: For Those Who Think Young…Chubby Checker’s “Let’s Twist Again” plays over the opening montage of the main characters getting dressed, doing make-up, hair, generally getting ready for work.

      But that’s the only other episode I can think where a song plays at the beginning over the opening action directly following the title credits.

      • Thanks! There’s also “The Infanta” in “Maidenform” and “I’m a Man” in the S7.1 premiere.

  26. The diner waitress as Rachel substitute wasn’t completely convincing to me, but I’ll accept it. I’m reminded of our reactions here every week during Season 2. A lot of us were looking for references to Rachel, convinced there were constant signs she was still on Don’s mind (I’m especially reminded of the beautiful waitress/hostess who comes on to Don in the Japanese restaurant).

    • Felt the same about the waitress as substitute, and yes always loved that quiet little scene involving the hostess at the Japanese restaurant. It was also one of the few times Don politely declined the opportunity to sleep with a beautiful woman. There was a hint of chivalry in it.

    • I’m with you on this Melville. And I think I’ll go a step further – I think the waitress is intended to be more of an analogue for Midge, the first woman we ever see Don get Whitman-ish with.

      At the time he was creatively blocked, really worried about failure with Lucky Strike, didn’t want ‘to go to school’. She understands this fearfulness and the cognitive side of him that stirs it. They swim in the same pool, advertising; swapping ideas for money. A milieu where Don’s big brain will find an inventive way to “lead the sheep to the slaughterhouse” and Midge creates “nine different ways to say ‘I love you Grandma’.” (There are at least nine different ways I love that line) They are both profoundly cynical about how the world works and how they are thus compelled to work in it.

      Maybe Weiner is teasing us here. In the last scene, the waitress asks Don directly if she reminds him of the woman that died and he firmly, I thought convincingly, says no. I understand the general over all Menken love. Rachel may have been a solid emotional, romantic match for Don in a lot of ways but perhaps Midge was his real psychological soul mate, if such a thing exists.

      And as Di(e) is in sight and on his mind maybe so is Midge. He just doesn’t realize it yet.

      Any thoughts about other callback cameos in this homestretch run?

    • Another aspect of it, his question “Do I know you?”

      He was obsessively interested in this stranger, and whether he “knew her” yet is oblivious to:

      Knowing himself

      Knowing the people closest to him

      Or even inquiring of himself or them in order to get closer…

  27. I never realize how much I missed Mad Men until it comes back and there’s a new premiere! Welcome back MM!

  28. I always felt that one reason why Don connected to Rachel is that they both grew up without a mother and they both were able to talk to each other about that experiencet. At that time, Don never spoke about his mother to anyone. When Don was talking to Rachel’s sister and then inquired about the young children, I thought his sadness was not necessarily for himself but for Rachel’s children, because they too would be growing up without a mother.

    • Great point! The whole storyline with Rachel’s death was so heartbreaking 🙁

      • Rachel was one of the few women in Don’s life who had real depth. I DID like Suzanne, who also had depth (go on, shoot me!)…

        Anna D., of course, graciousness personified.

        But Rachel. So special. Ugh, When I compare her to some of Don’s other amours (Bobby Barrett, for instance)…she shines even further.

        No need to mention…uh, what’s her name, the Zou Bi doo be doo gal? ;O)

      • Another “bullet point” I find an element of uncharacteristic plot/writing, that the death of Rachael Menken ( so prominent as a family owner/ manager of a leading department store ( and a possible marketing partner for Topaz ) would not have been in the papers/news and noticed by Don or at least someone in the company. How could Don have been unaware?

  29. Thanks Lipp Sisters for giving us this wonderful place to share and learn!

    I might be out in left field here, but is the found earing under the bed belong to Megan or Betty?

    Wouldn’t that be a twist if Betty is the new secret love?

    • There will be a post about that earring. Watch this space.

    • A twist, yes – but I’d almost think that if Betty were taking “shopping trips to the City” – that Don might not be so ravenous about those models and “stews” (to use the term from “Coffee, Tea, or Me”). But I’ll never quite understand Draperian yearnings and appetites.

    • She might be the secret love, she just may have competition for the role. lol

  30. Just re watched and noticed a few details I missed the first time.

    Don tells the model to make it look as though she isn’t wearing anything under the fur–a call back to when Roger gave Joan the fur in the hotel room (the start of Don’s career).

    The stewardess mentions that on every flight there’s a urine soaked blanket–call back to Freddy

    The red wine spilled on Megan’s pristine white rug is simply covered up with a blanket rather than cleaned up. How Don deals with most problems. (This never happened.)

    Megan’s earring is a reminder that this was once a room and home created as a “love nest” filled with such hope for a “second chance” Now he doesn’t even have to sneak around as he did with Sylvia–he can blatantly screw around right in their bedroom because nobody is there to care.

    Sex on the floor in the bedroom is a call back to Don’s fever dream/murder hid under his bed.

    Diner is a callback to the diner scene with Peggy in the Suitcase where there was a roach in the picture–except that was a meal shared with two people with a genuine relationship and this was just a dinner that was shallow and meaningless. Don has become like Roger.

    The discussion about Leggs having a cute/clever package with poor quality product inside–kind of like Don and the rest of them–on the outside they seem to have it all but on the inside–poor quality.

    Peggy doesn’t “recommend imitation as a strategy” even though she is imitating Don as her personal
    strategy. Even down to the way she treats Mathis and suspects he’s just “asking for a raise” a call back to how Don treated her all the times she asked for a raise.

    Joan sitting on the couch waiting waiting for Don next to the beautiful young sexy models–she looks so much older and more matronly than the sex bomb she was back in season 1.

    Don’s solution to the Topez problem–change their name! That’s been done before! (Dick/Don)

    “Plastics”–reference to The Graduate (episode dedicated to Mike Nichols)

    Kind of sad that the person who seems to genuinely care about Don the most is Meredith.

    Don at first declines sending money to a charity for Rachael in lieu of flowers. Don usually uses money to fix problems but not this time.

    The waitress’ name is Di/(die)) ? He tells her his name is Don (confirmation he’s still not Dick to the world)

    Rachael is “the life not lived” and now that’s dead.

    Ken will write Mad Men (Pete says “this life is boring!)

    The mourners praying at Rachael’s Shiva/memorial praying for the life that he and Rachael never lived or would live. A symbolic funeral for Don?

    • You had me until those last two.

      • A little too much brainstorming maybe/?

      • Just referring to when Ken said maybe he will leave and write about his time in advertising–which turns out to be the show Mad Men. Maybe this is all Ken’s book.

        And when the men were praying at Rachael’s memorial (Shiva) it had a feel of a funeral and Don looked so sad, like the possibility of the life he could have had with Rachael (who he never stopped thinking/dreaming about is now forever gone/dead. It had the sound and feel of a funeral service. Also, I’m sure he felt a connection with her motherless kids–so sad and such great acting! Anyway, I’m glad I “had you!” for a few of them!

        • At first I thought Pete was reacting naturally to Ken’s proposed book. On reflection, that may have been Pete contriving to quash the notion of the SC/SCDP/SC&P/SC&P-Mick-Cann drama getting played out in print.

          Don was smooth (‘I’ve lived in NY a long time….I brought cake’), dignified, and respectful even as he openly teared up with Rachel’s grieving Sis who left no doubt that she remembered him as an ultimately unreliable lover.

          I noted that widower-Tilden-Katz got a notice in rolling credits – but did he get any lines?

          • Poor Tilden said he was going to knock on neighbor’s doors looking for a tenth man for a minyan. According to Jewish law, there needs to be at least 10 adult Jewish men for formal prayer–minyan. Don didn’t qualify because he isn’t Jewish and Rachael’s sister seemed to know that fact very well as I’m sure the two sisters spoke about him often. “Are you still seeing that ‘goy’? (Jewish expression for a non Jew.)

            • That gorgeous Rebecca Creskoff played Barbara then, and now.
              The highlight of my night.

          • Yes, he asked Don to join the minyan, then said he would speak to his neighbors.

          • Yes, wasn’t it Tilden who came up to ask Don if he’d participate in the prayer, and then Barbara said something like, “He can’t; he’s not Jewish.” And then Tilden went to find a neighbor, and when Barbara offered to do it, he said something like, “These are MY neighbors” or “This is my place” or something like that. Great job by that actor, just keeping it together in the wake of his wife’s death.

            • Yes, we had the same thought, Deborah! This is what I get for running out to grab lunch, coming back and not hitting “refresh” on my page 🙂

            • Dr. Tilden Katz.
              The guy who married Don’s wife.
              He is the one who lived the life unlived.
              Also, he has a nice name. 🙂

        • With Ken writing Mad Men, I’d posted something before that

          Ken + eye patch (half blind) + feeling like he’s a slave in S7.1 premeire = Homer to Dick Whitman’s Odyssey to Don Draper and back to Dick Whitman.

          Pete’s comment that Ken should write and adventure goes along those lines.

    • Mike Nichols. Good catch! I didn’t know who’s he was and assumed he had worked on the show. Clever, thar Matt Weiner is! Clever!

    • Also changed the name of the canned dog food that used to be horse meat.

    • And Don immediately turns the lights off after turning them on recalls how Megan did that when we first see her new place in LA. Of course it’s because Don doesn’t want to see where he lives.

      But I was also thinking about the slang meaning of lights out-dead or death.

  31. Fun fact: the day of that Nixon broadcast was Mr Potato Head’s 18th birthday. Someone referred to Harry as Mr PH and it was the first toy advertised on tv and direct to children.

    Otherwise a very thought-provoking episode that felt and looked fundamentally different in ways I can’t really explain – lighting? Colors? Sound?

  32. Hi Everybody, long time, no comments from me! But great to see all these as our favorite show slowly comes to its close. This was a splendid episode. Some thoughts:

    Peggy wanted to run off with Stevie to Paris. Didn’t Don say to Midge in the first episode ‘We should go to Paris” and later “We’re going to Paris” (when she was expecting her beatnik friends) Callbacks — Peggy is Don, but I hope will be happier. I think everyone on show can solve their problem in Paris! I hope Peggy and sweet Stevie can be happy, but what about Stan?

    Rachel’s Funeral — Devastating. Don’s eyes were welling as he realizes she’s really gone, and yeah, he totally missed that plane (didn’t he want to take her to Paris too?)

    Ken! Damn! I really want Ken to be a free lance writer, I’m still hoping his wife will convince him to leave. Ken seemed to be the only character with humanity who could extract himself from SCDP — but now he’ll be their client — and a nasty one to boot. I still hope he won’t become an a-hole.

    Joan — Oh Joan. Her wealth makes her only superficially happy. She is so sick of men. Oddly, when the sales girl zipped her up, it reminded me not only of disgusting Herb, but of when Carol zipped her up in her apartment and declared her undying love. There’s a part of me that wonders if Joan might be Bi- and may act upon in in these last episodee. Men (aside from her son) have brought her little joy.

    Took me a minute to realize that Rachael was a dream, but when he used the waitress in the alleyway, that almost seemed unreal too!

    Is is okay for me to say I enjoyed this episode because MEGAN wasn’t in it? Nope, don’t miss her at all, but I guess we’ll have to see her soon.

    • I like Megan; sorry.
      I’ll say yes, it might be interesting and definitely valid if one of our presumed-heterosexual characters discovers they are something else in these last episodes. However I will never promote the notion of one gender letting you down as a reason to “go gay”. It’s certainly happened, but that ain’t “born this way”. On the other hand, the disappointment with one gender might lead you to try something else and OH BOY turns out you had it wrong the whole time! (Hope that distinction is clear.)
      Glad you’re back!

  33. A good show for Easter Sunday — it was PACKED with Easter eggs. Many, many plot lines were dangled before us. Not every one will get played out, because that’s the way Mad Men works.

    The dream sequence haunted me. I actually didn’t get that it was a dream until the second viewing. And what a minute — why did Kenny open the door for Rachel, and then Pete closed it? Well, it’s a dream sequence. Her message, “You’ve missed your flight,” is the one haunts anybody who feels they let a prized lover get away — which includes most of us.

    Don seems attracted to savvy, no-nonsense women, but then he marries the model. Before he impulsively proposed to Megan, he was in an interesting relationship with Dr. Faye (Cara Buono, who I’ve missed ever since). Didn’t want the combat? Is that what happened? I can’t remember now why it all ended, but I remember thinking at the time she was worth fighting for. We keep getting intimations that Don is a kingly philosopher who reads Dante’s Inferno on the beach and recognizes the cosmic truths sequestered inside a slide projector. Then he acts like any other panting dog.

    When he has the shock of recognition moment with the waitress, Di, my first thought was that she might have been one of those hookers he was hiring in a past season to sock him in the face. But she’s reading Dos Passos? Maybe a Greenwich Village hookup! Anyway, Di is a promising lead to ragged romance, which of course is what Don thrives on.

    Was intrigued that Kenny was getting more attention, after having largely disappeared in the early part of this “season.” When he makes his return after getting fired, and letting them all know he’s in a position to cause a lot of grief, that was a promise for all this new wealth perhaps being a brief high.

    • The waitress resembled Don’s preferred lady-he-pays-who-slaps-him. And Rachel. And Midge. And Sally’s teacher-who-jogs-at-night. Even Megan. Wonder how long it took to cast her (thank goodness for photos and makeup).

  34. I hope that Kenny decides to keep Dow/SC&P relations professional even cordial. Nothing about his demeanor since 1960 suggests that he will hold a grudge – rather that he will be “the client who makes the account man feel he has no needs”. “Difficult to please” may have been just a shot to turn the tables on (especially) Pete who (when Lane Pryce escorted Kenny to the conference) told him “I need to know that you’ll do as told”.

    Plus, the idea that Kenny hasn’t been writing doesn’t really feel right (except for his GM/XP/Detroit tap dance and subsequent New York grind post-Pete-move-to-CA – which “seems like a dream” to Pete). In any case, he’s now getting paid more for doing less. More time to write. Exerting revenge would take up energy that he’d rather spend positively.

    In any case, the denoument of his shot across the bow will take at most two or three scenes. It may even be that we’ve seen the last of Kenny Cosgrove.

    Of course we will see much more of Peggy. She is already foreshadowing that she’ll second-guess her new attraction – she was drunk because she likes her new man not the converse (and Lizzy Moss dropped a faintly spoilery hint last in an interview).

    Its clear that the table has been set for Joan. She has much account work to do and she will do it. Those A$$#%les at the conference table constitute lemons and by now Joan knows how to make lemonade (may even force the frat boys to drink it).

    I thought that perhaps Ted had divorced – but PJ is probably right that Nan loves it out their (not to mention the boys).

    • Someone said Ted was divorced, but maybe he’s just bi-coastal? With a pad in NY and home in LA?

      • Matthew Weiner said it in an interview I recently read: that Ted was newly single with a bachelor pad.

      • He was not wearing a wedding ring and invited Don to his place for a social gathering where the hemlines have gotten shorter. He is clearly working and living in NYC

    • I got the feeling that life is grinding Kenny down and that is why he is less Mr. Bright-side more likely to hold a grudge, or at least make them squirm for awhile. And they richly deserve it, at least Roger does. That was really, really cold. I

  35. I keep going back to one of our first peeks into Don’s defensive, cynical worldview: Love is just a slogan sell nylons. He doesn’t really believe that, or at least he doesn’t want to. This episode put a fine line around that struggle, with all the wistful longing and Don trying to use Rachel’s store — her passion, her love — to sell nylons.

  36. I had a random observation but I need someone with sharper hearing/memory than me.

    When Ken and Pete were going over the client files and Peggy’s former secretary came in (blanking on her name) to drop more off, Pete asked about Clara. Clara was Pete’s secretary for many years, memorably when she read him the telegram that his mother had fallen off of the cruise ship. Then when Ken was promoted and Pete moved to California, Clara worked for Ken and was visibly pregnant. To answer Pete’s question, Ken said, “She was as big as a house.” Pete then asked, “Did ___ ever marry her?” I never could understand or recognize the name he mentioned and Ken’s response was something like, “Everyone just turns their heads.” Did anybody catch who they were talking about or what that meant.

    Sorry, I know that is so random but I always enjoyed seeing Clara. I thought she was so stylish and it was unusual to see a pregnant woman working at that time.

    • Torkelson

    • It was Torkeson, best I could make out. Torkeson got her pregnant and didn’t marry her.

      • OK, I had to Google that name. Sounds like it’s an account guy that’s occasionally named but never seen. Thanks!

    • Clara was always a favorite of mine as well. If Torkeson doesn’t marry her, I will.

    • When Ken talks to Pete about Clara being pregnant (big as a house) and how everyone just looks away– it was a call back to when Peggy was pregnant (and big as a house) and everyone, including Pete and Peggy herself looked away (pretended it wasn’t really happening.) In fact Peggy literally looked away when the nurse brought her the baby and asked if she wanted to hold it.

  37. The main theme of this episode–“Is that all there is” brings to mind the book of Ecclesiastes written by Kind Solomon (a King with power, material wealth and a harem even larger than Don’s) apparently the human condition has not changed in thousands of years. 🙁 (I’m afraid that I have nobody and I haven’t done anything.–Don to Peggy in the Strategy)

    I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
    I refused my heart no pleasure.
    My heart took delight in all my labor,
    and this was the reward for all my toil.
    11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
    and what I had toiled to achieve,
    everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
    nothing was gained under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 2:11)

    • Superb deployment of Old Testament existentialism! Nicely played.

      The short story ‘Disillusionment’ by Thomas Mann comes up when I went looking for details of “Is that all there is?” Molly Lambert, who waxes philosophically on MM at Grantland, linked to the text and I will pay it forward.

      The two work together well; depressingly well.

  38. Matt Weiner knew what he was doing with the love affair of Don and Rachel. Don never got over her; neither did we. It was always Rachel, for Don. If we know him, we know this is true.

    I always hoped we’d see Rachel again before the show’s end — just not like this. Matt has such a knack for making me sorry for wanting the things I’ve wanted.

    I always loved Rachel, and I’ll always miss her. This is grief. 🙁

    • I have never agreed with any comment more than this one.
      There is a line in Citizen Kane about remembering a girl Kane’s right hand man saw in 1896, for only just a moment. And decades later he admits that not a week goes by that he hasn’t thought of that girl.

      The longing is beautiful. It’s also ultimately destructive.
      Don has had that longing severed by the Mrs. Katz’s passing.

      So we beat on. Boats against the current. Relentless receding into the past.

      • Ceaselessly.
        I’ve only read that book about 9 times.

      • I’m just going to throw an idea out. We’re all going on the theory that Rachael is/was the true love of Don’s life and represents the life not lived/the life he missed out on–his one chance at true love and happiness, etc. There was a time when Don was madly in love with Betty and madly (insanely) in love with Sylvia and we all remember not that long ago, he was madly in love with Megan (Sylvia even reminds him of this fact in a phone call when he was begging her to take him back. The one difference between these women and Rachael is that it was cut off at the beginning before it really got started and never had the chance to run its course and get old as the others had. It is extremely likely that if he had left Betty and run off with Rachael he would sooner or later have gotten bored, cheated, etc. when the inevitable reality of life with a fallible human happens. Now Rachael is forever frozen in time (kind of like Marilyn Monroe or JFK or James Dean)i as perfect, young, beautiful in that great “beginning part” of a relationship when everyone is at their best and you don’t really know each other yet. Idealized. The fact is that Don is a flawed damaged person who can’t make it work with anyone until and if he deals with his “pain from his old wounds.” Just the way he said to Megan, “I’m being good” when she accused him of cheating. That’s how people sound when they are struggling to stay on a diet or stop drinking..it’s a struggle that doesn’t come easily and I suspect it would be just as difficult to “be good” with Rachael if he has chosen differently, but now that choice and possibility is gone forever.

        • I agree. People have kind of idealized their relationship based on the fact that their relationship never have time to dissolve into the mess that all of Don’s relationships succumb to eventually. There is no reason to believe, given Don’s inability to love himself, that he would have been any more successful with Rachel than with any other person at that time.

  39. I’m not sure if this is a glitch or not but I remember when Kenny and Pete were with their wives and Trudy was encouraging them to move into Manhattan. Kenny’s wife said that they don’t have the (financial) help that Trudy and Pete have so they couldn’t move out of Brooklyn or Jackson Heights (or wherever they were living). Do they now have the money because her father has retired and gets a retirement package and would be generous with them? Do they now have the money because she and Kenny have done well for themselves? Kenny is not that old to have saved that amount of money where he could basically retire to write books. Even best selling authors are not necessarily wealthy.

    I agree that it is heartbreaking that Kenny is squandering the opportunity. I just don’t understand how he has the opportunity.
    One last thought – wondering if the pact still holds with Peggy. She was miserable at work but may not be now that she seems to be over Ted and is on better terms with Don. If Kenny needs someone in his department, will he offer it to Pegs?

    • Good point. I had entirely forgotten that conversation. Is Ed wealthy? Did Cynthia’s mother leave her a huge inheritance? Or did Cynthia mean, in the earlier conversation, that her parents weren’t willing to help, not that they didn’t have the money? I would have to re-view that episode.

      • Cynthia said “my parents aren’t like Trudy’s, help comes with strings attached” Not true at all about Trudy’s parents, there were plenty of strings attached. That relationship might have succeeded if Pete had stuck to his guns about buying a place they could afford on their own.


          • It’s a testament to Weiner that Pete, bitchface and all, spoiled his new love (California Bonnie) just to bitch at Trudy for having a date during his visit.

            Pride goeth before The Fall.

        • Annabelle, a comment of yours has been deleted. Please re-read the comment policy: http://www.lippsisters.com/about-2/#comment

    • I think Cynthia said she refused her parents help so that’s why they lived in Jackson Heights, in Signal 30.
      Last night Cynthia said something to the effect that she has the dough to set Kenny up in a farm, free to write, and live happily ever after.
      Don’t know if Ed’s wife was independently wealthy on hero own.
      But Ed must be really on easy street now.

    • In the pajama scene, Cynthia says something to the effect: “We can stop pretending I wasn’t born with plenty.” Their apartment looks quite elegant– they seem to have come a ways from Jackson Heights.

      • Are they still in Jackson Heights or did I miss out on where they currently live?

        I love that JH got a shout out! I was born and raised there! If you Google JH, you’ll see that its known for its huge gardens (almost European-like) behind the apartment buildings. The apartments are actually very luxurious looking, had a cousin and her husband live in them. Perhaps Ken & Cynthia rented one of them? They’re actually very expensive now!

    • I noticed that too. I remembered that conversation at Pete and Trudy’s dinner party very clearly because Cynthia was so mature and happy compared to the other two women. Maybe her father gave them money after she had the baby.

    • She could have inherited money from her mother’s estate, assuming she had financial means of her own, or Cynthia could have come into a trust fund, which often don’t become fully available to the beneficiary until they reach a certain age – as old as 30 or 35 – it all depends on the terms of the trust. It’s a way for wealthy people to ensure their offspring don’t blow all the money at once when they’re young.

  40. It’s funny how Mad Men seeps into your brain and, after watching an episode, things come to you, float to you and then make sense (or not).

    I had had high hopes for Kenny. Maybe someone who would leave and succeed and here was his wife practically begging him to do so. Nope.

    Rachel. I always liked her; she was so, so different from all the other women. She loved Don but when he got all “let’s run away” crazy, she realized who he was. Did Rachel really get all she wanted? Maybe she did but only to have it taken from her (my husband just died of cancer two months ago so I know what that feels like).

    Joan. You can see my name is Loveya, Joan and I hope she rises up. Joan deserves some happiness; she’s one of the hardest-working characters on the show (along with Peggy). I like her new and softer hairstyle.

    Peggy. I love Peggy as well but I think it’s time to step out of Don’s shadow (that gets ever smaller as his issues overtake his talent) and forge her own name in advertising. Not sure what to make of her date. Still see her with Stan – he seems to know her well.

    Don’t miss Megan and apparently she doesn’t get eaten by the wolves in the Hollywood Hills.

    Roger or Don. One of them will be dead by the end. Will Roger’s hard-living life take him down or Don’s demons?

    • The falling man is a MacGuffin.
      There I said it.
      Don will not be killed off in the end like Walter White.
      His end has to be more ambiguous.
      Roger is only on the 4th of his nine lives, so forget that.
      Peggy called Stan’s bluff in Waldorf Stories, and no man can ever come back from such a humiliation.
      Can not see a, woman in that way, EVER, after something like that.
      Stan is cool, and I love him. Even more than Sal.
      But Peggy and him as a couple is SUCH a non-starter.
      Pete is the character most likely to die.
      He has felt slighted since Day 1.
      He would really have the self-fulfilling prophecy………fulfilled dying in his 30’s.

      • Re Peggy/Stan:

        They may be a “non-starter” for all kinds of reasons but Pegs’ “dressing-down” is not one of them.

        If Pegs had come on to him anytime in private during the following month he would have been stew-in-the-pot.

        Plus, my sense is that Stan is a secure man who can take it as well as dish it. He got over it – even if “it’ included dipping his “pen” into an inkwell.

    • I believe that the worst fate that could befall Don would be long life. This is also the fate he deserves. He should outlive the usefulness of every last lie (“I told you, I was with Hilton”), every last slight (“I don’t think about you at all”), his legendary beauty and virility, even the name he stole.

      I’m not one of those people who thinks of death as the end of a TV series. It’s certainly not the end of anyone’s life story: a good man lives on for a very long time, in the hearts and minds of those who loved him.

      You’d know this better than anyone, LJ. I am so sorry for your great loss.

      • The one essay I’ve always wanted to see here is an over-simplified question: Is Don Draper A Good Man?

        I’m such a Don fanboy that hoping, BEGGING, that the answer to this is yes, that it is the actual reason I stay watching MM.
        Does my infatuation with DD mean that I’m an asshole deep down? I definitely wouldn’t be friends with Don, but I would like aspects of him.
        I can’t get this guy out of my head. Ever.

  41. Does anyone know the significance of the scene where Peggy’s date got the wrong meal and decided to just eat it anyway. At first it seemed to bother Peggy and then she said “I love you” and gave him her dinner. Has anyone discussed this? Also, was it a call back to a Peggy blind date with a truck driver many seasons back (maybe season 1) where Peggy was trying to act like she was so important and better than him and then she walked out in the middle. On this date she freely admitted that she never went to college and started out as a secretary and that wasn’t very exciting. Now she has achieved real success and doesn’t have to put on airs as she did earlier and this later date went much better because of it

    • He ordered lasagna. She ordered cannolini, which is, she pointed out, similar to lasagna. The waiter brought him veal.

      Once he called her fearless, she warmed to him and said “I love veal,” handing him her plate to trade. (Apparently, several people felt “I love veal” sounded a lot like “I love you.”)

    • I did think about the truck driver blind date but also about Mark, the boyfriend that Peggy stood up in order to babysit Don in “The Suitcase”

    • I think Peggy put her date through several tests all of which he had to pass to get any traction going forward.

      She was self-assured, to which he had no objection. Add to that the fearless comment.

      She worked him over about accepting veal when he’d ordered lasagne. He was open about the bind her “question” posed (a “jerk” or “weak”).

      Finally, he freely accepted the trade after they’d both “slurped” on their respective plates (which I blurted as they traded). This is pretty intimate for the beginning of a first date.

    • Peggy actually said “I love veal”. I know I misheard it as well, but rewatched it.

  42. My vote for best line? (and DELIVERY!): Peggy’s underling asks, after she batters him with questions about the set-up, “Can I go home?”


  43. Missed connections, emotional longing, the road not taken, living with the consequences of ones actions- all could be summaries of “Severance”. While Don has had several visions of deceased individuals, only 3 visions occurred around the time of the death. Anna Draper- the one who truly knew him- his “mother”. Bert Cooper- who nurtured him- his “father” and now Rachael- his true love- his “soulmate” All 3 represented deeply emotional attachments for Don and with each death, a little of Don went with them. Rachael was referenced by Don several times since S1. His reaction upon learning of her death, and his reaction at seeing her children across the room are both indicative of the deep feelings he retained for her. The expression on his face was heartbreaking. Barbara’s reaction to Don indicated that for Rachael, Don was the one she had not forgotten. The restrained venom in her tone “She had a good life….” spoke volumes. Yes she knew about Don and she knew how Rachael felt about him. Rachael may have “moved on” to a better husband in Tilden Katz, but she never left her feelings for Don behind. Much like Betty who still loves Don, but chose the stability of Henry.

    Before the premiere of S-7.1, MW stated that part 1 concerned what happens when one’s material needs are not met, while part 2 concerned what happens when one’s spiritual needs are not met.

    The Don we encounter in “Severance” is an empty soul trying to fill the void with a mad rush of people while trying to find the connection that he craves. Most of the women are meaningless to him. The waitress seems to have some depth and reminds him of Midge. (As an aside, most of his primary mistresses and his 2nd wife have been brunettes depicted as non-conventional or outsiders). But even then “Di” casts him aside and Don realizes there is no connection real or imagined. “I just want to sit here”.

    Mcann-Erikson owns 51%; all promises of autonomy are trumped by majority ownership. They can treat the SCP employees any way they want. Money was the reason why all except Don and Roger agreed to the merger, but each primary character is finding out that money is not enough- heck they haven’t even received the money they were promised. Joan tries to buy back her self respect after being humiliated. Don thinks he has a connection with “Di”, but she is just repaying a perceived debt. Kenny accepts Dow’s money if only to extract revenge on SCP while setting aside what he really wants to do.

    My prediction for the closing song at the end of S7.2 is the Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. In Don’s case he never will find the emotional fulfillment that he has spent 10 years looking for.

  44. A thought just occurred to me. Ken is still our stand in for the a Viet Nam war. Instead of getting out, cutting his losses and moving on to better things, or even just pay attention to ‘domestic’ affairs at home he turns around and goes all in. For no good reason.

    • I love this.

    • He feels humiliated and rage which is why he’s going all in (maybe why we went all in during Viet-nam though what we felt humiliated about is somewhat beyond me). Getting fired from a job, especially when it is unfair and when they force you to clear things up and get affairs in order before you go, can be devastating and I say this from personal experience, the anger can really drive you and stay with you. I think if he’d had the chance to quit on his own it would have been different and though he could cut his losses, he might have just been sitting on a farm in Vermont or upstate NY bitter about those Madison Ave bastards who destroyed his career and it could eat him up in another way. It can be hard to let that stuff go even if it isn’t healthy. Even basically happy people will sometimes get significantly darker after life beats them up a bit.

      And I cried out yes and did a round of “GO KENNY, IT’S YA BIRTHDAY” when he dropped that bomb on Roger and Pete

      • Having been through being let go, I thought his emotions were very much accurate. You may initially feel shock, then elation that all the things you had to worry about are no longer going to be your concern, then start feeling anger/desire for revenge. It is sad though that the one guy we always felt was well-grounded is going through this. He may still come out ok, though making much more money (which I assume he will) often tends to be a quicksand that it’s hard to extract yourself from emotionally.

  45. When I saw the waitress reading John Dos Passos I immediately flashed back to Archie Whitman. Ordinary people trying to live the lives they had been raised to have and being crushed. Hobos. Don is rootless and trying to find a place he belongs, I can see him as one of Dos Passos’ train hoppers. I think Abigail and Uncle Mac have gotten too much attention and the real formative years of Don’s life were the farm.

  46. Can anyone explain to me why, while other people in the office are being significantly influenced by modern hairstyles, Don has been reverting to an even more old school heavy brylcreem look? I mean, I don’t expect Don to be all shaggy – that would not be true to the character – but they’ve almost gone out of their way to make him look more washed up. Don is not a cutting edge rebel, but he’s always been aware of what’s going on out there. I just can’t imagine him just doubling down on the greasy look like he has.

    • Certainly Don’s deep blue dress shirt is very 1970, but sometimes people get stuck in the past.

    • Plus, I think it is harder to keep your pulse on the “hot thing” past a certain age without looking a little silly uness it is genuine. Stan is still young so he looks very hip but to me, those moustaches that some of them are sporting make them look ridculous. Maybe he looks a little dated, but to me Don is sporting a classic style that looks elegant, though not trendy for the early 70s. I can’t picture Don with mutton chop side burns and a droppy porn stache and then he really would look like he was trying to hard, like Pete and Roger do. IMHO

    • Good point. When I saw him reach the stingy-brim hat, I had to groan because even in the last season that hat was way out of date. If I’ve had real beef with the show it’s that top-grade ad people in NYC were pretty hip people and very informed, and you rarely get that sense in this company. So, yeah, Brylcreem hair in the ’70s?

  47. I love the Mad Men episodes where work is being performed and strategized like in this episode. You basket cases have covered just about everything else, (the Lucky Strike box showing through Don’s shirt like a bullseye on his heart, c’mon!) I did wonder, though, why Peggy was not possibly back with Ted?

  48. I was thinking about this before the premiere, and after the “Severance” it might be relevant.

    With the S7.2 poster, I noticed that Don was driving down the same street he was walking on in the S5 poster and both Dons were walking on in the S6 poster.

    Here’s the S5 poster


    Here’s the S6 poster. Notice that the Don walking away from the viewer is the same Don in the S5 poster, just with a lighter suit, the briefcase in a different hand, and no hat.


    In the S 7.2 poster, an observant person on another blog noticed that the image reflected in the metal of Don’s side view mirror is a plane.


    This would make sense since Don would have to drive the right way on a one way street. And that would be towards the plane in the S6 poster, away from the view of the S6 poster.

    The one poster which seemed out of place was the S7.1 poster with Don viewing a painting reminiscent of an Alphonse Mucha ad. I noticed that there seemed to be a reference to Midge, in that the poster was a happier, inverted version of her “Afterimage” painting.

    Here’s the elongated version of the S7.1 poster

    and here’s Midge’s “Afterimage.”


    There’s also the fact that Mucha was an ad illustrator, just like Midge.

    I didn’t think much of it until I realized that the S5, S6, and S7.2 posters could all be “inside” Midge’s painting. In that Midge’s painting shows the upper levels of a Manhattan cityscape, while the posters show the street level of the same paining. In other words, Don is basically trapped within Midge’s painting. It may not be a coincidence that MW went into detail (including a bonus on the S5 DVD set) that the S5 poster was based on the paintings of Giorgio de Chirico, a surrealist Italian painter, whose paintings bear a resemblance to Midge’s “Afterimage.”

    I then remembered the movie “What Dreams May Come,” which I’ve only seen piecemeal on TV. In the movie, a man Chris (Robin Williams) dies and eventually goes to heaven. While there, his landscape can become his artist wife’s paintings. His wife later commits suicide and is trapped in an underworld that is a depressive version of her own paintings. Chris then decides to go to the underworld to save his wife.

    I didn’t see any connection with MM to “What Dreams May Come” until I watched “Severance” and saw that Rachel Menken had died, the episode had a dreamlike quality, and ended with Don basically trapped in Edward Hopper’s “Nighhawks.”


    That was a stunner since it fits into WDMC. But in “Severance“ the roles are reversed, where Rachel is Chris and Don is Annie. And while Rachel if formally dead and has gone on to a “better place,” her memory could be communicating with Don who is technically alive but trapped in a lonely Hopperesque underworld of his own making. And Rachel’s memory reminds him of a relationship with a women which had meaning. Also, the way Don is perpetually asking the Rachel resembling waitress if he knows her is similar to how Annie does not recognize Chris in the underworld.

    Another MM tie in to WDMC is that the movie title is a line from Hamlet.

    To die, to sleep,
    To sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there’s the rub,
    For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
    When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
    Must give us pause.

    And with the S7.2 promo pictures referencing “My Old Kentucky Home” which MW said it based on “Midsummer’s Night Dream” (again dream), the Shakespearian element is relevant.

    WDMC seemed a bit too recent for a MM reference. But then I did some research and found out that it was originally a 1978 novel by Richard Matheson, who wrote some of the classic episodes of “The Twilight Zone.” There are many references to “Twilight Zone” in MM, down the first episode with the Rod Sterling voice over intro. Also, the dreamlike editing of “Severance” resembled a “Twilight Zone” episode.

    In addition, “Severance” has the theme of the regret and the road not taken. And in WDMC, the main character Chris says, “Failures plagued me. Things I had omitted or ignored, neglected. What I should have given and hadn’t. I felt the biting pang of every unfulfillment.”

    Also, “Severance” has many Greek references, starting with the beginning at the fur coat casting. The fur coat casting goes straight back to Teddy (short for Theodore, a Greek name) and the Greek meaning of nostalgia. Then there’s also Don extinguishing his cigarette in a Greek lettered mug. The diner in the “Olympus Café” and the waitress’ name is Diana, the Roman version of the Greek Athena, patron of Athens.

    The Greek references could be an allusion to the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, on which “What Dreams May Come” if partially based. In the myth, Orpheus journeys to the underworld to rescue Eurydice. With “Severance,” perhaps Don’s dream of Rachel is a version of her going to his underworld to remind him of a real life.

    Also, it was Rachel who told Don the two meanings of Utopos, one being “the good place” or paradise, the opposite of where Don is.

    And in a twist on the underworld, the original fur ad with Betty is from Don’s first job, a store whose name after removing the ending “er’s” would aptly describe Don’s current abode.


    Also, the theme of journeying to the underworld is the central plot of Dante’s “Inferno,” which Don is reading at the beginning of S6. In “Inferno” Dante journeys into the underworld and “Inferno” is a strong basis of WDMC. In addition, I posted earlier on BoK that the beginning scene of S5, with Sally walking towards Don’s room is a version of Rodin’s Gates of you-know-where, complete with the 3 Venetian blinds/3 shades on the side. Basically “Inferno” has been a part of MM since S5.

    So with the references to WDMC, Don should be trapped in the urban isolation of a Hopper painting, created by his own actions. With the diner shot/”Nighthawks” it may be a reference to Adam. Don rejected Adam in a diner. And had Don not done that he would have had a caring brother and not have been alone.

    But there could also be an even darker aspect to the diner with the Greek theme (Olympus Café), in that Don is trapped in an Oedipal nightmare. Di represents both his birth mother (her prostitution) and Abigail in that she is reading like Sylvia (his religious Abigail substitute) was reading Dante. I didn’t get Vi/Violet until I read online about Don’s father’s violet flavored candy. So Violet is his father, she’s in charge and Vi needs her permission to take a break. And of course there’s the Oedipal horror in the alley. Don’s life has been at bit of a repetitive Oedipal nightmare, with his affairs with dark haired women resembling both his mothers, especially the Sylvia affair.

    In addition to the Hopper painting, Don is also trapped in the fur ad, which is emphasized by the never ending fur model casting calls, his diner date in a fur stole, and Don dreaming of Rachel in a fur coat. The fur ad could represent the superficial hedonistic lifestyle he adopted since joining advertising. It gives him no lasting happiness and he can never seem to get out of it. And if he’s trapped in the ad, the name of the fur store tells where he is (Heller’s). And the tagline “Why wait for a man to buy you a fur coat?” That could be echoed in Joan going to the department store and basically asking “Why wait for a man to buy you Oscar de la Renta?” But the underworld there is the price Joan had to pay for that power with Jaguar. For Don, the price he’s had to pay for his glamorous ad man facade and lifestyle has been many, foremost Adam.

    Can Don free himself from the Hopper painting and the fur ad? It may be up to Don changing, but sadly Don usually ends up just going in circles.

  49. In that split-second between Don asking how Rachel died, and her sister giver her heart-breaking answer, what went thru my head was “killed by her biker mother-in-law with a carving fork.”

    Does this make me a horrible person?

  50. Shout out to how smart and quick Karl is.

    On the open thread he called the Nichols/The Graduate/opening-scene line:


    Ten minutes before Ken’s father in law mentioned it.

    • Karl is the OFFICIAL MC of this site.
      T-minus 5 days till episode 2, or 9.

  51. Two words – Brian Krakow! Does no one else have a little space in their heart set aside for Devon Gummersall all grown up. Claire and Jared always get all the My So Called love. Nice use of yet another former teen TV actor MW.

  52. My husband Ed pointed out a possible David Lynch homage in the Rachel dream sequence. Anyone else notice this? Lynch’s film MULHOLLAND DRIVE has scenes of women auditioning (in 60s outfits, lip syncing to 60s songs), with a significant recurring phrase “This is the girl.” Don’s dream opens with Ted saying “This is another girl.” It ends with Pete having mysteriously replaced Ted at the door, which calls to mind similar motifs in that film. And this sequence takes place immediately after the scene with TWIN PEAKS actor Ray Wise…

    Is it too much to point out that MULHOLLAND DRIVE also features several important scenes in a diner, in which we’re prompted to notice the waitress name tags: “Diane,” and… “Betty?”

    • Forgot to include – for what it’s worth, Patrick Fischler, who was in MULHOLLAND DRIVE, played comedian Jimmy Barrett on MAD MEN.

    • This is excellent stuff Chris! No one is going to convince me that Ray Wise’s superb pop tart scene is not an instant classic as well as an homage to Lynch! At the commercial right after the scene my brother and I both blurted out that it coulda come straight out of Twin Peaks.

    • I think Don’s dream starts with the first girl in the fur, when he is directing her. I think all of that is the dream too.

  53. Relationships between Don and Ted and Don and Roger seemed to have warmed considerably since the end of season 7.1. All three are apparently bachelors at the same time and are socializing together outside of work. Peggy and Joan are still beating on eachother. I am curious but have not seen it yet as to whether Joan with her newfound wealth has forgiven Don. They just had that brief exchange about Topaz. It was purely business.

    • Don talked Ted into something,……………………again.
      This time it meant that Joanie would become a millionaire.
      Making for ‘all’ the other times he supposedly cost her money.
      So, she tolerates her senior partner now.
      That’s it.

  54. I don’t know if this was mentioned anywhere, but if just realized that “is this all there is?” Is the question Don asked Rachel, after Roger’s heart attack, and that’s the beginning of what lowered Rachel’s defenses.

  55. I enjoyed your analysis!

    In a recent interview MW said that he’s known how the series will end, for several years, but during the show’s run, I always had the sense that each season was developed just prior to going into production. In the early seasons, once or twice there was some question whether the show would be renewed, so it’s unclear how all of the connections you described, would have been plotted out so neatly. On the other hand, there’s probably a way for it to be done, by taking established aspects in the early seasons and simply writing the new episodes with things that deliberately connect in the way you’ve described.

    When it comes to trying to figure this show out and fit things together, it makes my head hurt! Of course, that could just be a clever callback to Rosser Reeves and his annoying vintage Anacin commercials. Hell, I dunno …

    In an earlier comment, I mentioned that I had rewatched all of the already aired episodes prior to this week’s premiere. So much has happened in six and a half seasons! The exercise left me with way more questions than answers. Then, a week or so ago, there was an article about the show, that suggested that everything isn’t going to be neatly tied up or fully resolved or explained. I don’t guess that I really expected that it would be. It will be interesting to see what we’ll get, in the final six episodes. I have no idea what that’ll look like, but I’m glad the conversation about the show will continue, long after the last credits roll.

  56. I re watched “Nixon vs. Kennedy” this morning to get another look at Don and Rachael’s breakup in light of the most recent episode. (I’m a teacher on spring break this week, what will I do next week when I won’t have the time to analyze this show??). While watching the episode I noticed several threads that run through it that connect to recent episodes in season 7. Is it possible that MW had the complete story in mind back then? The show is like a great novel with so many layers and the more you dig the more you find. I have a feeling there are threads throughout the entire series.

    After Pete goes to Cooper to “out” Don/Dick and Cooper says the famous “who cares?” Cooper tells Don that he can fire Pete if he wants but that he might not want to because “you never know where loyalty is born.” As it turns out, Pete is one of the most loyal to Don and in fact it is only because Pete insists on Don pitching Burger Chef that the “sensitive horse flesh” even regains his job. Also, Pete, along with Peggy are portrayed as Don’s real family in the Strategy.

    Also in Nixon vs Kennedy, Joan and Sal are acting out Kinsey’s play at a drunken party and there’s a part where he kisses her. That made me think of when she kisses another gay man several years later when Bob Benson proposes and she says “you shouldn’t be with a woman.” Maybe at that moment she remembered the kiss with Sal and while she probably suspected that Bob was gay, that kiss confirmed it.

    Then I started thinking about how sad Severance was in comparison to the Strategy and Waterloo that ended with such high hope for a new beginning and true relationships/family—especially between Don, Peggy and Pete. In Severance I don’t think the three were in a single scene together. Sometime between August 1969 and April 1970 it all fell really horribly apart. Everyone is disconnected and miserable. Then I started thinking of the 1970s in comparison to the 1960 and how it was such a huge let down after the exciting, idealistic 1960s. Kind of like a bad, tacky, polyester hangover the morning after an amazing party. Severance really captures that feeling. I was born in March 1960 (same time as the first episode…) and was a teenager in the 1970s and I and many of my friends always had the feeling that we had just missed out on something really special, that we were just a little too young and that the 1970s was just a cheap imitation, second place (which as we know is far from first) to the 1960s. Then I started thinking that this entire show, and it’s appeal to so many of us is that it is a “carousel, kind of time machine”. Whether we saw the 1960s as a young child, teenager or young adult, it is a place we “ache to go” a place where we had our whole life ahead of us with endless possibilities–“a place that we know we are loved” and now we can only look back nostalgically.
    When Don goes to Rachael’s Shiva, he is attempting to go back to a place he was loved and deal with his old wounds and he finds out that we really can’t go back we can only go forward.

    • I saw some article that said that this is really about getting to know our parents (this only applies if you of course are in a certain age range). For me, part of the poignancy about this show is seeing these people who are in the 60s kind of feeling their way through it without the benefit of historical perspective. While my parents did not live this lifestyle, it never ceases to make me think about how they too were in this era, were parents with kids and were taking it all in and trying to understand it as well, even if they weren’t part of the ‘zeitgeist.’ I wonder if this show appeals to people in their 30s who don’t really have any family ties to this era per se.

      • My 28 year old daughter has no interest in the show though I have tried to get her into it many times. I don’t know if she’s typical.
        Also, one more, the waitress Di is an imitation, 2nd place to Rachael.

      • Part of the blur of pre-premiere interviews included a recollection (by Lizzie Moss?) that “they” thought that the show would appeal to the 40-60 age group but that it seemed on blogs etc. that 20-somethings were turned on to the show as well.

        My son has followed the show since he was 15 – and my daughter too (she’s now 20). My son’s friends – all within a year of his age – also follow the show. Note that they (as well as probably 99.9% of fans) do not comment on blogs about the show, so the Mad Men “youth penetration” may well be under-represented IME.

        To give an idea, Sonny and friends were avid Magic players for about a year – this involved tournments every Friday. One Sunday morning one of those boys was up after a sleep-over – a Magic game ensued – until I played an episode on Blu-Ray. That shut down the Magic game (heh heh).

      • Some of us who were young adults in the 60s didn’t think they were so wonderful. I guess if you liked a long dragged out war, civil unrest and riots, you loved the 60s.

        • I guess the grass is always greener! It makes me think of the Billy Joel song, “the good old days weren’t always so good and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.”

          One of the things I love about the show is it gives me a chance to get a more realistic view of what life was really like in the 60s and a better idea of what my parents experienced that as a young child I really didn’t understand, such as the Cuban missile crisis and the Kennedy assassination–but especially the dramatic social changes which must have been very confusing to live through. The rules of behavior had completely changed almost over night and what was once considered perfectly acceptable behavior was all of a sudden disgusting. Joan started out in season 1 using her sexuality to gain power and even advised the new girl, Peggy to dress sexier to catch a man. Ten years later she is (rightfully) horrified at a meeting where men were obnoxiously commenting on her appearance. In the men’s (pig’s) defense, the rules of the game had completely changed on them also. In season 1 checking the color of a secretary’s panties was considered a fun party game! It must have been very strange/confusing to live on both sides of the social revolution that was the 60s.

    • Some wonderful observations here Barbara. I love how much care is given to the characters growth v. consistency. That link between Bert’s comment way back in S1 and Pete’s eventual loyalty to Don (though a self-interested loyalty) is a great example of the care and crafting that goes into the writing.

      The kiss between Joan and Sal and later Joan and Bob is another great connection.

      I’m about the same vintage as you and totally agree on the 70s thing. Even when we were living though the 70s it just seemed pale and weak and phony by comparison to the preceding decades. In fact I get a real kick out of the return of so many 70s styles in things like glasses, clothing facial hair and shoes right now. When I see a pack of millennials sporting this look I keep thinking to myself “this stuff wasn’t that great the first time around – but whatever – knock yourselves out!”

      One man’s nostalgia is another man’s forgettable decade!

  57. Is Don now considered over-the-hill professionally at the age of 43/44? If so, why? Shouldn’t he still be in the prime of his career?

  58. They have established that Don’s “type” shown in the waitress Di as well as Rachael, Midge, Suzanne, Sylvia and Megan is a dark haired woman. (Betty is the only one that breaks the rule though she was briefly a brunette for a few episodes–I think in season 6.) Is it my imagination that they have darkened Peggy’s hair and if so could that be a clue to what is coming?

    • Not all dark haired woman. What about Dr Faye and the two red heads – Bobbi Barrett and the woman from the elevator that he clearly messed around with and then had the fever dream.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.