Open Thread: Severance

 Posted by on April 5, 2015 at 7:20 pm  Mad Men
Apr 052015

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!! Welcome to The Lipp Sisters, along with Mixed Feelings Presentations: The first of the last seven new Mad Men episodes open threads.

If you are new to The Basket, welcome! Pull up an Old Fashioned and make yourself at home. We have a cozy comment policy for you to enjoy, and the spoilers guidelines are down the hall to the left.

@LippSisters will also be live-tweeting–follow @SCandPartners on Twitter and play along; #BasketLive.

When we started this little blog eight years ago, we had no idea where it, or Mad Men, would go. Deb and I (that be Deborah and Roberta Lipp) started watching Mad Men from the day the pilot aired; back when there were no accolades–we had no one to tell us it was the greatest show on television. We got to figure that all out for ourselves.

And then you all have figured it out too, and many of you have been part of our community, digging deeper into the themes and twists than Matthew Weiner ever expected–and he is grateful for it. We are too.

Please hold Sunday, May 17th–you are invited to our series finale party in New York City. Location very close to being announce-able.

Meantime, I’ll mention one more thing. Please support us if you’re able. This is a labor of love, but it is a labor, and as Mad Men fans know, sometimes love and money get a little mixed up. Please feel free to mix it up and support The Basket:



  196 Responses to “Open Thread: Severance”

  1. Thank you Deborah & Roberta and everyone at BoK for enhancing my understanding and enjoyment of Mad Men immeasurably for many years. What a ride! See you at the finale party… And now the last of seven new episodes of MAD MEN ever. These are are the glory days, my friends.

  2. Can’t wait! Here’s to the beginning of the end Baskets!

  3. This is for Karl.
    Ladies and gentlemen, T-minus 2 hours and 11 minutes.

    • Thanks for stepping in, but I may have speak to management about opening the thread on the 20.

      • Karl, “Yes, please.”

      • My pleasure, Karl.

      • Management is sorry. I was late posting this while managing a possibly-dying cat and the logistics of getting him to an ER on Easter with no car. While the show was airing, both Lipp Sisters and professor spouse were on a road trip with Sweet Potato. He is just now starting to do a little better, at nearly 1:30 am. Thank goodness we had the screener. What a night.

  4. Congratulations Debra and Roberta. You have done a remarkable job with Basket of Kisses, and with Mad Men coming to a close, I am certain the site with continue to be
    the “Go To” source for quality commentary on quality television!

  5. Thank you so much for making this amazing show even more enjoyable. I will miss it and this blog so much.

    • My sentiments exactly. I have been excited all day to get back on here with you all, bittersweet it will be ending soon.

    • I second that.

    • Ladies, the blog isn’t going anywhere. It will never quite have what THIS is, but we’ll still be here, tracking Weiner and Hamm and company, as well as other shows.


    T- 1h, 56m.

  7. It’s hard to believe it’s our last “first night.”
    Many thanks to the Lipp sisters for hosting this gathering so well over the years!

    • This blog has been as big a part of my “Mad Men” experience as the show itself. It has greatly enhanced my viewing pleasure. Thanks to everyone who made it and continues to make it possible.

  8. Rewatching the first half of Season 7. Loving the moment at the end of “The Monolith” when Don starts typing an assignment for Peggy, after Freddie has told him “Just do the work,” and the Hollies’ song “Carousel” comes on.

    Riding along on a carousel, trying to catch up to you…

    Don stares into space, wondering what went wrong and how he can turn it around, perhaps, getting back to his golden time (as when he made the Kodak presentation, and came up with the new name for the slide projector: the Carousel); but as well, he’s caught up in the process of invention, a familiar place, but on stricter terms than he’s had to work before.

    Will I catch up to you? … So near yet so far…

  9. Our last first night.

    Thank you so much.

    How do you girls explain the connection the blog and series made?
    How many creators like Matt actually connect with writers/fans like you girls?


  10. Re watching The Strategy, so gooood!. Never gets old. Waterloo next….. and then!!! Can’t wait!! I can’t stand “living in the not knowing” anymore.

  11. The Runaways:

    ComputersDestroy Creativity.

  12. Deborah, as you have seen “Severance”, will your recap be posted earlier than usual? (Hope so…I have to get up early tomorrow)

  13. Thank you so very much, Deborah, Roberta, and all the basketcases for your elegant commentary and enhanced Mad Men experience over the years. I was turned on to you after binge watching the first 1 1/2 seasons on some forgotten free streaming site years ago and concluded Mad Men was the best television i’d ever seen. It is truly a novel come to life, and we’re approaching the denumont and conclusion. Looking forward to this final narrative!


  15. [cracks knuckles]

  16. Has anyone seen the promo today in between episodes that has Don’s voice talking about nostalgia? It includes a clip of Roger and Joan stating that they miss eachother. I have rewatched every episode in the past few months and I do not recall this clip. Was this from a previous episode or is it from season 7.2? Anyone? If its from 7.2, it has to be a mistake since the show is so guarded about giving away any details.

    • I thought it was the episode when Roger came back to the office after having a heart attack, and Joan was applying make up on him. Season 1?

      • You are right. Thank you. It was really bothering me. I think that was Indian Summer when Lee Garner was coming in because he wanted to see for himself that Roger was healthy. Joan was trying to make him look better than he really was. Thanks

  17. “Severance,” eh? Wonder what this will come to mean. You never can tell. With this show, it could be a character losing a limb!!!

  18. No spoilers, of course, but am I allowed to guess about what we might see in the final 7 episodes?



    “Are there people who still eat dinner and smile at each other instead of watching TV?”

  21. I think the severance will be what someone does NOT get.

  22. Yay!! Peggy’s pitch!! That’s her “Hey Jude” to Don’s “Revolution” Wheel pitch — which one’s the B side??


  24. I’m going to miss this soooo much! 🙁

  25. Thank you so much Deb and Roberta for this amazing blog and all the effort you’ve put in for so many years! MM would not have been the same for most Basketcases without it!

  26. Hello All
    Here’s to last firsts !!!
    I may really be a basketcase tonight


  28. Meanwhile, Don walks away from good news. Per usual.

  29. The Best Things In Life Are Free! Thanks Mad Men!

  30. And HERE.



  31. It takes us to a place where we ache to go again…

  32. I’m crying already!

  33. Plastics.

  34. Don does like him a fur model.

  35. Peggy Lee!

  36. Have we ever seen Don in a non-white dress shirt before?

  37. WHAT???? Roger for the Win already!!!

  38. argh, I don’t have cable. I am finishing up “WATERLOO” and hope to be able to find tonight’s episode on Netflix or iTunes ASAP.


    • Dear Peg,

      AMC typically has the first episode of the season available for free so you will be able to watch it tomorrow. Amazon Instant Video also has the individual episodes (as well as some complete seasons) available for purchase. 🙂

    • I’m streaming it on Slingtv (free trial) – sorry to sound like an ad.

  39. is that the same waitress he woke up with that had her name tag on her uniform?

    • My guess: the woman who bought Don a drink on the train leaving Bunbury (she was in the nostalgia video)

    • the jon dos passos reference kinda creeped me out…read wiki…hope it’s not beginning of some greek tragedy sort of thing…

  40. Lots of porn ‘staches!

  41. Don, telling stories about his background….it is a new world

  42. More white carpet symbolism.

    • Right? I heard that there was a wine spill to launch a million death theories

    • It was also Megan that wanted the white carpet all through the apartment, not Don. So basically, he doesn’t care.

  43. Plastics. Told you.

    • And the episode was dedicated to Mike Nichols, which is makes it even better/more touching.

    • Yes you DID, Karl. My son and his friends are ridiculously well-informed about film. One friend caught the refererence at the retirement discussion – citing The Graduate.

      I will be sure to tell/show him that you anticipated the reference two-minutes in – we men are competitive that way, eh?


    I still can’t calm down

    nice to see youse again BoK

  45. Tedd too!!!
    I can’t handle it

  46. Whoa.

  47. Is it just me or is this one grippy episode so far?!?

  48. Trippy, even!

  49. Call Rachel Katz? Are we going to see the Real Rachel, not just Dream Rachel?

  50. Rachael !!!!!

  51. Was the woman who spilled the wine the same flight attendant that Don addressed when he was visiting Megan? He was leaving during the week and a flight attendant said that she hates Don’s wife. I think this was the same woman. Yes?

  52. Gripping and trippy!

  53. Another mean elevator scene…

    Please don’t fire Ken! Let him quit! (I want him to be happy!)

  54. There’s that Peggy-Joan camaraderie we’ve all grown to love.

    • They’ve always been more like frenemies. Put the two of them in a scene alone together, and there’s an odd magic that happens.

  55. Oh, Don…

  56. OK, I am totally confused about the whole waitress episode, can someone help me?

  57. I think the waitress is a hooker that Don has used before? They both didn’t recognize each other because of her work and his sex addiction?! Just a guess.

  58. Ok. So who is the waitress?

  59. The Life Not Lived.

  60. all sexual harassment is ugly.

  61. Mad Men: First World Problems

    “This world is boring.” – Pete Campbell

  62. Did anyone listen to the news on the radio that Peggy was listening to? It probably gave the clue to exactly what the date is now.

  63. Someone said somewhere on the InterWebs years ago that the whole thing will just turn out to be Ken’s novel, and damned if that isn’t what they’re setting up!

  64. So, it was actually Ken who wrote “Mad Men”!

  65. She’s too young to remember Joan at Bonwit-Teller.

  66. Back to this blog for the final seven…”mixed feelings” is an understatement. Anyone know of a finale party in Los Angeles or SoCal? As usual, I am envious of those going to the NYC finale fest

    Time for a conversation!

  67. Per an internet pal: Ted has a binder full of women.

  68. Is Ted divorced? Why is he back from Cali and attending parties where the hemlines are shorter?

  69. ” women”
    should be the title of this episode

  70. “Oh, I know who you are.”

  71. Again, The Life Not Lived.

    • Yep.
      Jon Hamm has a remarkable ability to register emotion on his face. It gets me every time.

  72. Is Peggy’s date Brian Krakau from My So-Called Life?

  73. Message to the BOK Webmaster – Webmistress – Webperson:

    There’s a script running on the site that is making it nearly
    impossible to use BOK in an older Safari browser. I keep getting a
    “Slow Script” message.

    Also, site display issues with the site on my iPad Air 2, so it’s
    apparently not just my vintage iBook laptop.

    Please look into this.

    I’ll post my guesses about S-7 later.

    Please look into it. I’ll post my guesses for the final 7 episodes
    later. Thanks.

    • I suspect it’s an ad. Unfortunately, the ads are served randomly, so a script bothering you today may be gone tomorrow — hard to pinpoint.

    • A kind suggestion – a backup tablet on a different operating system (and NOT windoze 8) might work for those continencies.

      By now used ones must be cheap – about the same as one-month’s TV bill.

  74. It is so good to see “happy Peggy”

  75. Peggy has a good date! How high were the odds on that?

  76. Peggy’s next-morning regret = The Life Not Lived

  77. Episode timeframe clue …

    Nixon announces the withdrawal of a further 35000 troops from Vietnam on Sep 16, 1969.

    P.S. Sorry for my previous frustrated post. Now everything seems fine again. Between the trippy episode content & the BOK use issue, I got pretty frantic there for a bit.

  78. KENNY!!!

  79. Time period for the episode is late April 1970

    • I was basing my timeframe on the charting of “Is That All There Is” and the introduction of L’Eggs pantyhose. Sept/Oct ’69.

  80. so when Don saw Rachel wearing the fur coat, what that a dream? I am confused

  81. Very enjoyable

  82. So, in memory of Rachel, will Don use love to sell nylons?

  83. Is That All There Is? 🙂

  84. So, is the explanation for Don “recognizing” the waitress that she reminded him of Rachel?

    • I’ve been trying to work that one out. She doesn’t look a thing like Rachel othe rth an the very dark hair-but that’s it, isn’t it? Don always goes for the brunette when he’s feeling particularly lonely. Rachel, Suzanne, Megan, neighbor lady whose name I flaked on, Neve Campbell. All shades of momma.

      • Sylvia is the other name you couldn’t remember (Don’s neighbor)

      • Yet he married a blonde, who he probably envisioned as someone who was going to be the perfect mother to their children.

        • Yet one wonders if he ever thought of Betty as the love of his life. It’s almost like he picked her out of a catalog as the perfect wife he only has to share so much with. He opened his soul to some degree to the brunettes, something he never did with his first wife.

          • That’s why I thought it was so interesting he married a blonde. He had this image of perfection, and she fit. Betty wasn’t much better. He looked like her ideal man, and he had a good job (I think fur salesman would have been considered a good job in that era). She was marrying beneath her station, but not so far that she would have a major adjustment.

  85. Loved the conversation between Peggy and Joan after the “boob” meeting, and did that bring back memories from even the ’70’s,,,, I think we as women were actually supposed to be flattered or at least think that kind of stuff was cute or funny. I would love to see a post on the divisional lines among women who weren’t taken seriously because of their looks and the women who knew their looks were never going to be a part of any discussion. As a total aside, I loved the photo shop add, that was some good advertising and proved again that music from that time period was classic and will live forever.

    • I was thinking about how overtly sexy Don gets to be at work (opening scene) vs how controlled Peggy and Joan had to be at their Macys meeting. As a woman, I was nervous that every line they spoke at that meeting was being scrutinized by the clients for a double entendre.

      • I liked that Peggy knew that was going on, and just tried to ignore it. Joan was ready to explode like a Muppet.

  86. I’m still rooting for Peggy and Stan. She needs someone in her life to tell her to take a break from work and go someplace fun. Stan just needs to make a move and do something.

    • Stan tried!

      • He needs to try again, and soon. There isn’t much time left.

        • I’m with you; I still have hope. Maybe Pegs will figure it out & go for it this time.

      • Stan did try – while everyone and his brother were zooming under the Dr. Feelgood treatment.

        Next try should be dinner and dancing – after disposing of Mathis’ brother-in-law.

        • I used ta not like Stan, and now I think he’d be perfect for Peggy- he’s more hang loose, knows how to make her laugh and relax…and, well, take her clothes off.

          What more could a girl want? ;O)

    • Stan apparently already has a girlfriend.

  87. Ken and Cynthia had one of the few good/happy marriages on the show, and it looks like that’s over. The happy couple element, not the marriage itself. I wonder if his new job will give him more time to write.

    • One fight doth not an unhappy couple make. The fact that his wife cares about her husband’s ultimate dream is a good signal, I think!

  88. Okay, it’s killing me. I know I’m not hallucinating like Don, but who is Diana? I feel like she’s been on the show at some point. Any clues?

  89. Legs were better than topaz! I have them both. Joan ‘s hair is so out of style!!!!! Peggy…hair color….ewwwh and Merideth , we quit bows in hair in the Midwest in the mid 60’s. The style updates disappoint and the flashbacks of Don’s women’s do also, but it is what I predicted to my Husband.

  90. So who was in bed with Don after he had the Rachel dream? Was it the wine spilling stewardess?

  91. Couple of obvious things

    1. Don back in his corner office with booze in open display. Bye bye Lou, bye bye stipulations – DD’s new 5 yr contract clearly contains no such language.

    2. Meredith seems to be taking more charge of DD’s business. Maybe she’s achieving competency (we shall see).

    3. Miss the old green passports.

    4. No Cutler/Hamlin appearance – that’s a loose end that needs to be tied up.

    5. Clara? Was she mentioned in Pete and Ken’s account debriefing? If she’s gone I’m going to miss her.

    • Yes. Meredith. In “Waterloo,” Meredith makes a clear pass at Don–of, course, couched in the discourse of “secretarial support”–I-will-do-anything-to-help-you, Don! Given the manner in which Don is exercising his last great hurrah of cocksmanship and virility (given his age, the likely drop in testosterone production, and the dimming of his sexual market value as a “hottie”), Meredith reminds me of Chekhov’s “gun.” That is, she is loaded… she is on the nightstand, she is available…she WILL go off before the final act.

  92. If I’m not mistaken, Peggy’s reference to quitting a job because she was not allowed to go to Paris was an elliptical reference to SCDP – in The Suitcase, she mentions having never been on an airplane and wanting to go to Paris (if memory serves me).

    Anyway, I tend to agree with the overall theme that money does not buy happiness, and that Roger and Ted are in a race to see who can grow the better 70s pornstache.

    My full recap is here:

    • Peggy’s Paris comment is a reference to The Other Woman, in which Don threw money in Peggy’s face while suggesting that she wanted to be involved in a commercial shoot just so she could go to Paris. By Peggy saying she quit her job so that she could go to Paris, she’s “rewriting history,” either intentionally or unintentionally.

  93. Also in “Waterloo”, Roger makes the point to Cutler that McCann doesn’t want him as part of the acquisition, but Cutler still ends up voting yes because “It’s a LOT of money.”

    With this late April timing in 1970, wonder if the Kent State developments the following week will play into next episode somehow.

    Roberta – how is Sweet Potato? Sending kitty e-hugs….

  94. I really liked the “spaciousness” of this episode. The opening scene with Don talking to the mink coat model very much reminded me of the opening scene in “Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid”….and the Menken/waitress duo puts me in mind of the movie “Vertigo”.

    I didn’t like the harbinger Rachel telling Don he “missed his flight”, then Pete closing the door, with a shot of the doorhook. Is Don still in Layne’s old office, or has he made good again?

    I always have, and always will think Joan is a big ole biyatch! Notice how low (Christina Hendrick’s real voice) is now? Years of smoking will do that, or just being an actress who talked in a higher range previously.

    I noticed a world-weariness of many of the characters…and LOVED the instant Ken Karma!!!!

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