Mad Men Recap: Lost Horizon–My White Whale

 Posted by on May 4, 2015 at 2:17 am  Mad Men, Season 7
May 042015


The boss is away this week, so once again the lovely wife and I am stepping in to bring you the recap of Mad Men Episode 7.12, Lost Horizon. I’m White T Jim B, and as always my faithful co-recapper is Anne B. How are you this evening, Anne B?


WTJB: I’m sensing a little hostility over there. Were you unhappy with the episode?

AB: Just a second. (*drinks*)

Not unhappy at all. There’s almost too much to say; the episode is funny and creepy and tender and deeply, deeply upsetting …

WTJB: … Really? I thought it felt like a very funny ghost story.

AB: I think this is the most deeply feminist episode we’ve seen since The Other Woman. It’s also the funniest, since at least The Crash in season 6 — funnier, in my opinion — so I really have no complaints. Aside from, you know, a vague hunch that Matt Weiner is f**king with me?

WTJB: Excuse me?

AB: I DON’T KNOW WHERE DON DRAPER IS! It’s less than a year since the Manson murders, and Don Draper just let a hitchhiking hippie in the car with him! I know I should be more worried for the hippie, but I just get this feeling … I just prefer knowing where Don Draper is.

WTJB: “I never know where he is.” Didn’t Betty once say that?

AB: I am happy we saw Betty. “We can’t get mad at her for being independent. It’s normal.” That hundred bucks’ worth of psychology textbooks is weighing on her, in more ways than one.

WTJB: Have we seen Don and Betty together for the last time?

AB: I think maybe we have.

Knock ‘em dead, Birdie. – Don Draper to Betty Francis

WTJB: Parts of the episode are tough to watch. Joan has been through so much in all seven seasons: first her fiance in season 3, then Joey Baird in season 5, then the Jaguar guy in season 5 …

AB: And in the Topaz meeting a few weeks ago …

WTJB: Right. It seems that when fires start on Mad Men, Joan is the one most likely to get burned. Even if she’s helping put a fire out, like tying a tourniquet on the ankle of a guy named Guy …

AB: … She’s in the fight. She never gets clear of the hostilities. Ever.

The scene between Joan and Jim Hobart is great, and terrible. That is the meeting I could have had so many times — but I have never had the nerve to stand my ground and say to the person in power what Joan says to Jim. I wonder how many women here would like to speak with a lawyer. I could have said that! I should have!

WTJB: So this is why the tequila shot?

AB: This is why. I was shaking at the end of that scene.

I’ll give you fifty cents on the dollar to never see your face again.

I’m not negotiating. – Jim Hobart and Joan Harris

WTJB: I’m surprised that Roger tells her to take the deal. “You started something that could leave you with nothing.” And she takes it.

AB: That surprised you? We lose. We always lose. Even if we settle, our careers are never the same again.

What we see of McCann’s whole operation in this episode is terrible for women. They think Peggy’s a secretary, they’re sticking her in a cube, skeevy Ferg says men won’t “work for a girl,” and the women of McCann (the “Ladies’ Club”?!) are all stuck doing lady business. And they have to insist they’re not women’s libbers!

WTJB: May I get you some more tequila? Birthday cake?

AB: (smiles)

WTJB: The Don Draper Predicament is compelling too. Jim Hobart says to Don, “You’re my white whale.” He thinks he’s talking about love, but Moby-Dick is a tale of revenge. Like most revenge stories, it doesn’t end well for the obsessed party.

AB: Hobart does get what he wants, for a minute there: I’m Don Draper, and I work for McCann-Erickson. He actually gets his handsome dancing bear.

WTJB: But then Don sees a flight passing over the Empire State Building, and just like that, he’s gone. He’s at Betty’s, then he’s headed for Pennsylvania, then he’s in Racine, then he’s got a hitchhiker in his car, headed for the Twin Cities …

AB: And we don’t know, do we? We have no idea where he is. And here’s what matters to me: he wasn’t there when Joan needed him — in the archaic, depressing, mediocre gray offices of McCann-Erickson.

WTJB: At least Roger and Peggy gave the old SC&P offices a proper farewell.

AB: We’ll always have Roger on the organ and Peggy on rollerskates, won’t we? And this!

WTJB: Let’s go to the episode thoughts and questions.


  • Bert Cooper is probably the best dead person Don could have found in his passenger seat, given the available choices.
  • Space Oddity” is a great choice for the end of this episode. (Harry does say, “McCann is Mission Control.”) I think my spaceship knows which way to go …
  • We are not fans of Waitress Die in the House of B. Wherever Don ends up, I hope we don’t see her again.
  • Betty Draper Francis said she carried a hundred dollars’ worth of textbooks on campus. These days, $100 would not even buy her a whole textbook.
  • The scene of Peggy at home, zipping up her skirt to answer the door? Made of yes.


  • Have we really seen the last of Shirley?

    Advertising is not a comfortable place for everyone. – Shirley [WTJB sobs audibly]

  • At the start of the episode, Meredith hands Don an envelope with his personal documents — and Anna’s ring — in it. Are these things with Don in that Caddy, out there in the Midwest? DISCUSS.
  • Another great Roger Sterling episode, or best Roger Sterling episode ever? My favorite line: “This was a hell of a boat, you know?” What’s yours, Basketcases?

  282 Responses to “Mad Men Recap: Lost Horizon–My White Whale”

  1. Diana the waitress was just the excuse to drive away and go searching. Come out to California, Don/Dick.

  2. Chekhov’s Law:
    If there is a pair of roller skates in the kitchenette in the second act, then Peggy (Fleming) MUST skate in the third!

    • There’s a child playing an organ instead of all those wonderful toys (Slinky, Play Doh), ipso facto Roger plays the organ?

  3. Happy Birthday, Annie! And Jim – Don’t Worry, Be Hapa.

  4. Why is it that I am the only person in the Milky Way Galaxy who wants Don and Diana to be together? The pain and sadness in her eyes is both a question and an answer for him. They are poems to be read over and over again. Neither of them has the capacity to “heal” the other. (I really doubt anyone has that sort of power.) But she offers an opportunity for the confession of his soul to be heard by someone who is not angling for bourgeois security and, with it, the opportunity for petit bourgeois judgment.

    Joan, whose lunch offering seemed quite tempting, is soaking in this judgmental awareness. She knows better, of course, but she can’t help it. Her entire life has been a course in the delicate balance of old-school womanhood and Machiavellian power dynamics. Peggy has always eemed to be a true soul partner to Don, but she has also been a daughter–and a daughter to the entire firm. She scolds Roger that he and the other grown-ups were supposed to be looking out for her and the other “kids” working in accounts and creative.

    No, Diana is a powerful siren call to Don. She seems the opposite of Betty (given her background) but shares with Betty an incompetence at parenting (which she likewise shares with Don). And she seems to be a source of dark energy where Megan was always such a source of light and optimism. For some reason, Don needs this dark energy. He needs it more than booze. He needs it because there are answers that seem to lurk there. He saw them in Sylvia eyes. And in Rachel Mencken’s as well.

    • Judging from the comments, I would say, yes, you are the only person in the universe who wants those two together. My take on that is they are both so toxic, especially with each other, that together they could destroy each other, their families, and a lot of innocent bystanders.

      • Apparently this is so Don can understand there are other damaged (and damaging) people out there, so maybe he sees it in himself and also doesn’t think he’s unique. He probably needs to hear this.

    • He does seem to prefer brunettes, doesn’t he? Even after all this time, Betty’s still there, in the shadows…

      It occurred to me this morning– please forgive me if someone has mentioned this before:

      Is it possible Diana is meant to be like a mirror for Don? I realize the “Diana/Artemis = moon = mirror” analogy is as old as the hills, but it definitely seems to apply here. They’re both from the Midwest, both have run away from previous lives, both are painfully vulnerable underneath their armor. She’s a bad match for him? Yes, because deep down, he hates himself deeply, and can’t keep a lasting relationship with anyone– especially himself. (We know now he would sure as hell sleep with himself, though…) The first time they met, he kept asking if he knew her; she looked that familiar to him because she IS him, in female form. (Not a perfect mirror, no, but what mirror is?) And now that she’s split town, he can’t get her off his mind, and uses a moment of uncertainty during a critical meeting at his new employer to go looking for… Who? Diana? Himself? Why not both? It’s time for Don Draper to devide who actually IS Don Draper, or whether Don Draper even still exists. Or Dick Whitman, for that matter. Maybe he’s just a set of footprints in the sand, disappearing into the water…

      • Yep, it’s all about him I think. It’s not really about Di, Die, or Mildred Pierce at all. I was 9 in 1970 and one of the sayings of the time that caused my eyes to roll back into my skull that adults used to say was that they were “trying to find themselves” and that’s what’s happening here. Those adults that dropped everything in search of their true selves always seemed to gravitate west. In fact, I wasn’t completely sure that Di wasn’t a figment of Don’s imagination until last night. Di was a convenient excuse for Don to run away and start again with or without his damaged female self, which he’s been wanting to do since at least The Rachel experience in season one. Or maybe even Midge. Maybe all the brunettes are all facets of Don /Dick and how he sees himself at any given time. Midge, his creative, bohemian side, Rachel, the successful but sad side, Suzanne the deep thinker trapped in the ‘burbs and a damaged brother side, Sylvia the cheating spouse in a gilded cage, etc.

        • I really like your thoughts about how each woman represents a part of Don. I never thought about this before.

          • Thanks, I think there is something there. When I think of his non brunette lovers, they don’t seem to have too much in common. Betty, his early fantasy of an angelic wife and mother from the good side of the tracks, Bobbi, the hard bitten realist, Dr. Faye, the even keeled pro and whatsherface, the post-Betty blonde. He had none of that familiarity with any of them, nor any of the passion. He planned no runaways with any of them.

        • kturk,

          Also really liked the thought of Don’s mistress being aspects of Don’s damaged female self. And with igloomadeofspam catch of Diana representing the moon, Don is represented by the Sun in many interpretations of Anna’s Tarot reading. In many mythic paradigms, the male is represented by the sun and the female by the moon.

      • It all harkens back to Anna Draper’s tarot reading for Don.

    • I, definitely, want to see more of Diana. She seems to take him back to his roots, for good or for bad. I suspect, though, that we have seen the last of her. If Don is headed “westward,” I don’t see enough time, in the next two episodes, to have him go west and then come come east. One thought that just occurred to me is all the SC partners are leaving Mcann. Don is gone. Joan is gone. Who will be next?

    • Lars,

      No, you are not alone about Di. But the Basket is not a comfortable place for everyone.

      We are just in the minority here if we say we are fine with her and would like to see her again. I don’t think Don belonged, or belongs with Rachel Menken. Especially since she’s dead. Ew.

      Also I am not surprised at Roger’s telling Joan to take the money. He continually takes the path of least resistance and supporting Joan takes more energy than pulling the rug out.

      I haven’t read the comments in the live feed but “Lost Horizon” suggests the book and movie to me. SCP was Shangri-La, paradise by comparison to McCann. That’s why Roger is unable to leave. He plays the organ (music), Peggy skates (dance), Bert has the Japanese woodblock print (drawing). Art and creativity reside there, and clearly do not at the new place. If that is already highlighted apologies for the repetition.

      • Roger was pretty lazy for a long time but resisted Cutler several times on Don’s behalf and worked Hobart for a cracking good deal. We didn’t see Hobart’s hole cards but Joan had a busted flush and Roger had little to work with. Taking the money was the best option.

        • I still don’t see how Joan had a bad hand – she has a contract that guarantees her money, and even if she just showed up every day and refused to sleep with anyone, it doesn’t seem like they could just fire her and say “no deal”. What exactly is the weakness of her position?

          • All Joan really had was her threat to sue and expand it to class action (or a small version of it). Hobart was quite willing to play dirty (he probably “knows a guy”). He also has the deepest pockets. The lawsuits de jour, that Joan cited, were brand new – unusual by their nature. Joan would have to find a contingency deal – and that’s no slam dunk.

            Hobart had 95% of the chips. All he had to do was call the pot, turn over his cards, and keep playing.

            Roger knew this and did Joan a solid:

            “take the money – it’s not political”

            • My point was, Joan has a contract for that money. They couldn’t just rip it up and not pay her. She wanted assistance with the harassment, but even if it continued, it’s not like they could fire her and keep her money if she didn’t play along.

            • The contract stipulated that Joan had to work there for five years before she could collect the 500k. If she quit, she couldn’t have the rest of the money. Period.

              I’m not sure how plausible it is, but I’d bet good money that ME put in some kind of weasel language stating that they can terminate Joan and Co before the five year mark if they really wanted to get out of paying them off. I wouldn’t put it past them.

    • In one of the episodes, a while back, the show flashed back to life at Uncle Mack’s whorehouse, when young Dick Whitman met one of the girls there. I believe her name was Amiee. She took care of him when he was ill. While he was in her room, Dick noticed an old photograph of a young child and he asked if it was of her. I don’t believe she replied, one way or the other about it.

      I’m not sure the timing or the age of the child in the photo would work out, but is it remotely possible that the elusive Diana, is the now-grown-up child of Aimee?

      I recall that this episode was the one in which Jim Cutler’s doctor got a lot of the staff jacked up on speed, so they could work on the Chevy account. Don became fixated on finding an old ad that Sterling Cooper had done in the late 50s. He thought it was for soup, but it turned out to be an ad for oatmeal. I’m not clear if there was a physical resemblance between the woman in the ad and Aimee, but something other than the speed, triggered Don’s fixation on the ad. At one point, he also thought that Ted’s secretary looked like someone from the past. Aimee?

      So far this season, the story line about Diana really hasn’t grabbed me at all, but if there turns out to be this connection between Diana and Aimee, it would spark some interest for me.

      Of course, there could be nothing at all to this, but I’d like to find out in the next two episodes. Also, I suggested recently, that I think there’s some connection between Jim Hobart and the hobo we met, way back in “The Hobo Code.” That too may turn out to be nothing, but with the recent references to “on the road” and “riding the rails,” I really do wonder.

      • When young Dick asked if the baby in the photo was her, Aimee paused a second and replied softly, “no.”

        For some reason, I took that to mean the baby in the picture was Aimee’s dead child. After such a tragedy, she turned to a life of prostitution. That’s obviously just a guess, but Aimee clearly answered in an evasive manner.

    • I also seem to be alone about whom I want to end up together.

  5. Oh…. Was I the only person to take note of this?– Don is “on the road.” So, as he is “on the road,” he picks up a hitchhiker seeking “Saint Paul.” It is on this journey that scales will fall from Don’s eyes. I am hoping that the scales that fall from his eyes will not be the obvious ones that we all have been carping about since the age of advertising and cultural capitalism. I hope that MW has something new for us to see about ourselves and about the very medium in which we are witnessing an end to things and a beginning of things (not unlike what he was talking about at the very end of last week’s episode).

    • Ah, “on the road” and “Saint Paul.” Of course a revelation is at hand. Very good!

    • Just by the way, in Wisconsin and heading towards Saint Paul, Don is already further west than any of the USA towns called Damascus, aside from one in Oregon, near Portland. He might have passed close by the the one in Ohio and maybe Pennslyvania on the way, but they’re well passed by now.

  6. As Lars mentioned, I loved Peggy calling out Roger. The partners reaction to the McCann absorption has been my husband’s biggest gripe after last week’s episode. He himself has recently experienced the company he works for being bought & absorbed, so he felt it was quite foolish to be surprised to see it coming. I feel so bad for Joan, but as a partner & unlike any other SC&P woman, she does get money when she walks away. I loved Peggy’s entrance scene; I hope this is some good foreboding for once.

    • Thinking of the octopus in Cooper’s print. The octopus turned on Joan, and Roger couldn’t save her, but Peggy, oddly enough with Roger’s encouragement, is going to stick that octopus up on her wall as a hunting trophy – hell, even let herself be served by it. Not sure how (or if) that ties in with the “white whale” Hobart called Don, but at least a couple of big fish seem to be getting away…

    • Peggy’s Had It. She’s finally broken out of her last ‘version’. This is the next stage in her being nobody’s ‘good little girl’–going on strike about her office (refusing the bullpen), looking at the flower basket with a combination of amazement and disgust, playing hooky when told finally the office was ready, to telling off Roger yet getting drunk (and roller skating) with him in their Last Sendoff to SC&P, walking in balls out and guns loaded to the creative floor of McCann. Deliberately provocative and badass, and maybe wanting to be talked about–quite a difference from her last visit to McCann plus the careful dress advice she gave Joan–and oddly, much more like Joan.

      A long way from the good Catholic girl relating to the priest.

      The only way she could top this is riding a motorcycle to work and arriving in full leathers.

      • “The only way she could top this is riding a motorcycle to work and arriving in full leathers.”

        Give her time, my friend, give her time…

      • LOL! My favorite shot of Peggy. Ever. Just magnificent.

      • Or maybe at least on a Honda scooter.

      • Re-watched last night – had forgotten Peggy spilling the cup of coffee then not bothering to clean it up – exactly like Don with the spilled wine in his bedroom. I always love when those two prove to be two of a kind.

  7. Has there ever been a third-from-the-finale episode before, that’s been so frustrating? And now, here we are with only two episodes remaining, to resolve all the stuff left hanging and bring the series to a satisfying conclusion. Is that even possible?

    Don’t misunderstand. The episode did have some stellar moments. Joan and Hobart. Peggy and Roger. Don and Betty. Bert’s ghost in the passenger seat of the Caddy. But in the same episode, Don veers off to search for Di. What can she possibly mean to him? What does she represent?

    At least McCann Erickson is somewhat understandable. It’s Hell. Harry Crane, his computer and his commercial scheduling spreadsheets are home at last. Roger will likely resign himself to numbly tolerate the place, much like the period when PPL owned Sterling Cooper. Peggy will manage to thrive and grow, at least for the several years her head hunter advised her to be there, until she ultimately moves on to something better. Joan is outta there, with her $250,000 half a loaf and the prospect of some degree of happiness with Kevin and Richard, if he is indeed, “the one.” Pete? Well, if Pete doesn’t manage to find what he needs there, he’ll be free to go eventually. He’s a good accounts man – and if all else fails in the meantime, he’s still got the rifle – for himself or his tormentors.

    And then there’s Don. Who knows where his head is? I can’t see him going back to McCann. He’s just a name in a square on the Creative Director level of the organizational chart there. For him, that’s worse than Hell. That’s a fate devoid of freedom, a grown-up version of being stuck on the Whitman farm. Or, Uncle Mack’s Pennsylvania whorehouse, which wasn’t much better. Even war in Korea seemed like a viable escape hatch from that madness.

    The only time we ever saw Don truly happy, relaxed, tranquil and serene, was in California with Anna. Unfortunately, she has long ago packed her Samsonite and departed. California is still around, but Don in the state of mind he’s been in all season and in this episode, means that even if he lands in the Golden State, something will still be missing within him and for him there.

    In these final two episodes, some cosmic shift will need to occur for Don. It all depends on how the tumblers turn and fall. Based on that, either the gate will spring open or it will slam shut. I don’t know which it will ultimately be or even which outcome will make sense or be satisfying.

    • Look at it this way: What we have left of Mad Men is the length of many classic movies. Surely there’s time to tell whatever story is needed. Also, I’d be fine if this was the last episode, or the one from last week. Happy to have two more, though

      • Agreed–can this be resolved (as much as Mad Men will be resolved) isn’t even a question for me. In this show where “nothing happens,” more can happen in a single episode of Mad Men than in any other I’ve watched. We never ever know where an episode will end.
        Go look at the final three episodes of a given season. We’re fine.

    • I was disappointed by Bert’s coda – I felt his sendoff was so perfect that they have undercut it by a sort of ham-handed device to see inside Don’s thoughts…

  8. Since she’s only getting half the money, she should see if Richard’s guy can do half the beating of Ferg and or Dennis. (Maybe break his knees with a golf club?)

    • A better sort of revenge would be to take her clients with her or at least get them away from inner circles of hell agency. Did she read Dante too? And I was struck how Don seems to be going through the different levels of hell, trying to escape, but not quite able to pull himself out.

      • I assumed when she picked up her Rolodex she’d be personally calling her clients, especially Avon, to let them know she is no longer associated with McCann and to feel free to vent their displeasure with Jim McCann personally and, if they wish, move their business to another agency.

      • Good points. Too bad it is too soon musically for the song, but they so could have used ‘Hotel California’ in this episode just for the line “this could be heaven and this could be hell” especially after Hobart said they were going to heaven. I think whoever said he was the devil last week may have been spot on.

    • What gave me hope is that Richard gave Joan the gift she wanted, not to run away (her position, because if she wanted he would take her away) but through his analysis, a different perspective on her problem, the courage to face it and his quiet appreciation. He did not sweep in and give her the solution. Ultimately, Joan couldn’t get back her status but she did not kneel and walked away with a nice chunk of change. It was a draw. It also put Roger firmly in her past.

      If Richard is really on the level, they’d make a dynamic duo in real estate development on the West Coast–he’d be recharged by his new student and ready for a boom.

      Re the leg-breakers–see the analogy to Moby Dick below. Perhaps Hobart as Ahab does wind up with one leg, but not taken off by his ‘white whale’?

      • Despite much of her bad behavior, you have to feel for Joan here. She worked so hard, earned what she had (without her, SC in various iterations would have fallen apart, especially after Lane Pryce’s suicide), and in a few minutes she had to walk away from it all when her old hero Roger told her ‘make a deal-deal’. Walking away from a lifetime of attachments. Verge of shock and tears (which don’t fall in front of Roger) at the death of a large part of her life. One hell of an acting job by Christina Hendricks in that you don’t see the ‘acting’.

        The difference between Richard and Roger is that Richard sees her in present time. She’s not asking him to fix the problem and in fact, it was very clear that Joan kept most of what was happening in the office away from him. His developer experience of ‘get the lawyers/get the leg-breaker’ is practical and shifted her train of thought enough to help her find her own way. (And in bed no less!) Ultimately for her it’s the best deal and she will mourn then recover.

        Roger sees her partly in past time, when he alone had the power to fix things for her in the office and in bed. He has always used money and action to make it better (especially in the partnership and with their son), but this episode made clear that Roger’s fully developed sense of self (post Bert Cooper’s demise) has come too late. He’s too old and not in the best of health.

        If Richard’s for real, Joan is his second wind.

        • Roger had no part in this – he didn’t urge Joan to go on her suicide mission and he was wise enough to know that ME would have fought her all the way and she would have gotten nothing, Why would she think Roger could sway a guy he has no history with? And Richard’s advice should have gone deeper than just “you have two choices” – he could have at least considered what outcomes could have resulted from those choices and what is realistic – seriously, Joan thinks she can go legal on ME?

  9. “I’m surprised that Roger tells her to take the deal. ‘You started something that could leave you with nothing.’ And she takes it”

    Of course she does – how can Joan sue? Harry Crane knows how she got her partnership, and he wouldn’t pause for a second to blab that all over McCann if she actually sued. It’s not clear if Hobart heard any gossip about it (they sure as hell heard about Don’s benders over there), and that’s why he called her bluff, but if that office is like every other one I’ve ever worked in, the news would spread like wildfire.

    Meanwhile, what a fantastic episode! I was checking out the Tom&Lorenzo blog yesterday for their recap of the latest Orphan Black and found they were dropping the show because of a distinct drop in quality in the newest season. It occurred to me watching this episode – has there ever been a show as consistently high quality as Mad Men? The episodes haven’t all been as good as last night, but it is astounding how compelling Weiner, the writers and the actors have made this show and these characters. Peggy and Roger in the bedraggled SCP offices, Shirley giving Roger a world of truths with one look and one line, Don and Birdie together again (I think for the last time), and Don, as so many predicted, apparently throwing away the cog-in-a-wheel nightmare at McCann and going hobo-ing in style. But the very best movement in the episode, perhaps my favorite Peggy moment of all time, was that strut entering McCann for the first time. That’s a legend in her own time in the making.

    • Hobart doesn’t seem to know Joan’s secret. He dismisses her SC&P partnership, saying that someone must have left it to her in their will.

      • He may not know, but I bet Ferguson does

      • It has been a while but didn’t she get the partnership after Lane committed suicide. I thought the remark about being left the partnership in someone’s will was referencing that. D

        • It was before the suicide. (Not very long before, only one episode I think).

    • i think warning for joan was to / of himself, as welll. roger should be cautioned anout ending up w nothing

  10. Ahhhhh! I see there’s trouble in the Francis household in the next episode! I want Don and Betty back together! The series can come full circle! Hey, my parents divorced and got back together and remarried!

    Anyway, I wanted to shake Don and yell ‘LEAVE DIANA ALONE!!!’

    That scene where he goes to her house in Racine was awkward as hell!!

    Another awkward scene…Joan and Jim!! I’m dying to know what will come of Joan in the last two episodes!

    • Speaking of full circle…I thought of Joan. In the first episode Joan advised Peggy that if she did her job right that she would end up with a house in the country. Meaning that she would meet a man and be able to leave her job. Joan has found a man who wants to travel the world with her. She is able to leave her job and spend time in her relationship. Though Joan is now able to do what she talked about with Peggy, I don’t think Joan will be happy in this scenario. Interesting how things have changed in 10 years.

      • I don’t think Joan would take this tack. I do seeing her continuing her relationship with what his name, but I think she would parlay her partner status and Avon experience and get a job with a cosmetics company like Lauder. She’s not the stay at home type.

    • A couple of years ago on a different forum I predicted Don and Betty getting together before series ended. Possibly remarrying. My reasons included the talk between Roger and Don in s1 about (iirc) Lucy and Desi getting remarried. And Roger saying ‘did they just wake up one day and so oh I forgot I hate your guts?’ And them both laughing.

      And the fact that so many of the early divorced couples of my childhood eventually remarried each other after failed second marriages.

      There was more, but I’ve forgotten now.

      Everyone thought I was crazy since at that point there was nothing but animosity between the two.

      The very next episode was the summer camp episode where they slept together. So things are unpredictable and can happen very fast!

      After that episode though, I gave up on a remarriage and decided that was as much of a reunion between the two that we would get. It was also so much sooner than I expected.

      Now, I’m not sure. He’s cut off from the family he loves only because he’s been running away from himself and hated himself.

      We see him changing. I thought maybe he might end up with Peggy as right for him as he integrates Don/Dick and becomes a better person.

      But what if all this brings him back home? And in a good way this time?

      Don could retire and stay home and take care of the kids (and possibly write-the road not taken by Ken) and Betty could go to school and eventually be the ‘breadwinner’ 🙂

  11. It’s 10 o’clock, and I have no idea where Don is. And I’m glad.

    We saw the way Jim dealt with Joan when she wouldn’t be assimilated into the McCann-Erickson-Borg collective. At first he tried to shoo her away as if she were an annoying insect. But Joan stood her ground, and talked him through how easy it would be for her to create a public relations nightmare. For McCann, the ability to control the conversation is crucial. Joan didn’t need “the right guy” to help her, she was already metaphorically holding a knife to Jim’s throat at this point. And yet he still countered with an insulting offer of fifty cents on the dollar for her to just go away. Even facing potential annihilation, Jim was still the guy who got what he wanted.

    If Don had stuck around at McCann, he would have been having a similar conversation with Jim, the difference being that Jim wouldn’t be making a cold, rational effort to get rid of an unwanted employee, but a personal effort to break Don’s spirit and secure the yoke around him. And Jim showed us he’s nasty enough dealing with someone who came armed with the law and the basic concept of decency. Don, likely complaining about creative freedom in the worst possible atmosphere to find powerful allies, would be coming into Jim’s office with his hands tied and a bomb strapped on his chest. The friends in high places who fix parking tickets for McCann’s C-level people would surely find the detonator for Jim, and unlike the fatherly Bert Cooper, Jim wouldn’t hesitate to use it to seal Don into a gray-walled hell.

    I think that the title sequence shows us how the duality of Don Draper and Dick Whitman would play out in that situation, falling to his death like some 20th-century Jezebel, seeing his life flash before his eyes in the form of frivolous taglines and artwork. With the late Bert Cooper acting as Don’s hallucinatory superego, Dick Whitman is now running to anywhere but Manhattan. Here’s hoping he’ll find what he needs this time.

    • The friends in high places could also investigate the Dick Whitman/Don Draper identity switch, and send Dick/Don to Leavenworth.

      • The Army itself made a major error. Graves Registration did not properly identify the remains of the man who really was Don Draper. This describes what a Graves Registration Specialist did during the Korean conflict:

        “Collects, evacuates, and identifies the dead. Searches battlefields for unburied or unsuitably buried dead and for isolated and unmarked graves. Covers the dead with raincoats or shelter halves and carries them to forward area collecting points. Wraps bodies in blankets or other protective covering and places them in ambulance or other vehicle for removal to rear area collecting points or to an established cemetery. Searches dead, removes personal effects, and records inventory on appropriate form. Forwards property and inventory forms to collecting point or other specified place. Prepares identification form for each body showing name, service number, grade, organization, and place, cause and date of death. Attaches one copy and forwards other copy to collecting point or other designated place. Supervises work detail engaged in foregoing tasks. In the absence of conclusive evidence of identity, takes fingerprints, or prepares tooth chart and ascertains other anatomical characteristics. Operates fluoroscope to check skeleton structure for deformities, old fractures, and other peculiar and significant bone formations. Records accurate physical description on prescribed form, giving all anatomical characteristics, including scars, birthmarks, tattoo marks, and moles, which might be of aid in identification. Informs non-graves registration personnel concerning preparation and disposition of graves registration records. Maintains liaison between combat units and graves registration platoon and company headquarters. Contact officers and enlisted personnel of units operating in areas where unidentified bodies were found to obtain all available information which might be of aid in identification.

        Dog tags were NOT conclusive evidence of identity; the enemy not infrequently either stole dog tags as souvenirs or switched them around. Had they done a minimal examination (rank on uniform, personal items in pockets, height weight etc) it would have been clear Don Draper died, not Dick Whitman.

        • Thank you for restating this, I have always thought this would not be a real issue, it is a done deal, especially in 1970. Don is Don, it would be impossible at this point to prove otherwise.

        • I’ve never understood how Don got out of Korea without anyone who knew the old Don running into him.

          • @Floretta: C Carroll Adams would call Dick’s unlikely yet successful ID switch “Mad Men logic” – which he normally reserves for early-50s timeline contradictions. There are precious few plot holes in the series – these are the biggies.

            @BTW: I’d suppose Don-nee-Dick recuperated in a hospital bed – likely to be distant from all of the corpse’s army pals. If not so likely – then add it to the short list of “issues”.

            • One thing that has flummoxed me: Don turned 40 in 1966/67, which means be was born in 26-27…which would make him in his early 20s when the Korean War broke out. That’s not consistent with him being stuck at Uncle Mack’s Chicken Ranch trying to escape. I mean, maybe because of his dysfunctional upbringing he didn’t have the confidence to fly the coop and try to make it on his own. But, given how resourceful he is as Don, that’s hard to believe. Or maybe taking someone else’s identity suddenly infuses you with charm, pluck and confidence….if that’s the case, you can start calling me Pierce Brosnan!! 🙂

              And while I’m whining about plot holes, apropos of nothing being discussed here, another thing that’s always bugged me: In season 1, Bert tells Don he can’t possibly fire Pete because of his family heritage — but a few episodes later, Coop tells Don, “fire him if you want,” after Pete outs DD as Dick.

              Despite these minor things, I will probably continue watching my MM DVDs until I proclaim “bravo!” and keel over!!

            • @Wick Ditman:

              We explored the Early Dick/Anna chronology at some length here:


              Early hostilities broke out in Korea in June 1950 – Dick would have been 23-24 (as you said). I don’t recall anything about young Dick at Uncle Mack’s beyond age 15-16 or so (inferring from appearances here) – what do you recall?

          • Umm….like Don’s wife?

            In S1, episode 3, Don runs into someone on the train who remembers Dick Whitman from the army. Runs into him because he recognizes him. This wouldn’t happen with someone who once knew Don Draper.

            I once met someone named Deborah Lipp, and she said her brother’s wife’s name was Deborah, so there was a third one. And my name is unusual. “Don Draper” is not. Anyone who knew the real Don Draper who met our Don would simply pass it off as, “funny, I knew someone by that name before the war.”

            Meanwhile, I think Floretta’s information is valid, and there is definitely a plot hole here, but I also don’t think it’s hard to imagine the Army being sloppy about something like that. We are talking about a bureaucracy, after all.

            • OK – so in the middle of Korea in a remote base, Dick is killed and Don isn’t, but Don is a new guy. He manages to go back to the main base nearby, where no one who ever knew Lt. Don ever runs into him? There would be papers to sign with his CO or associatings, no one sees him while waiting around for transport, no one would stop by to check on him in the hospital when he’s getting evaluated? No one? This, to me, has always been a gap.

            • I agree. But I have decided to accept the given, no matter how unlikely, and enjoy the show. And I must say the details are unusually correct in almost every other instance

  12. Don will show up with a beard next week. Book it.

  13. Diana’s daughter creeped me out like few MM characters ever have. Standing in the doorway, she looked like a ghost

    • Dick Whitman may be looking at his own daughter, Sally Draper’s half sister. The child appears to be around twelve, born in 1957 or 1958. Dick Whitman could have had a brief encounter with Diana during one of his disappearances from Betty and the kids and Sterling Cooper. His disappearance in season 2 was not the first time Don has vanished. Dick Whitman knew that was his child and so did the child.

    • I wondered if that was another Weiner kid playing that part.

    • Is it possible that the little girl in the Bauer residence who implies to Don that she is Diana’s daughter is, in fact, a ghost? I mean, to whatever degree we can believe Diana, she (Diana) did tell Don that she had lost a daughter.

      Or, if the little girl is real, when she tells Don that if he had something for her mother then he should give it to her, doesn’t that possibly imply that Diana is dead?

      Sorry to sound confused. But I am.

      • Diana had 2 daughters. One had passed away. the other one she left behind.

        • Thanks!

        • Diana’s ex-husband referred to the daughter he lost to God and the wife he lost to the Devil. Another parallel to Don–they both fled ‘Holy Roller’ types. Note how ex-husband treated the perfectly pleasant and gracious wife #2 as a know-nothing–and she looked ashamed.

      • I like that. Even though one daughter is still living, it’s possible the one we and Don saw was not the living one, but the ghost of the one who died. I doubt we’ll find out, but I love that we can’t be sure.

      • I thought that the house was a ghost house. A house very similar (but smaller) to Don and Betty’s, complete with season one couch.

        It’s not a ranch house, so it’s not where Diana lived and bought her Avon shampoo I don’t think.

        I felt kind of surprised that even sitting in a room so like his own, former one, he kept intent on waiting for Diana (well information on Diana) that he didn’t seem to notice that he was in a very similar room to the one he didn’t notice very much when he lived there and two: blew up like a tornado.

      • I thought what the daughter said (to paraphrase: “…if you have something for my mother it should come to me”) made it sound as if she was expecting to inherit the prize, i.e. that Diana is dead. Maybe she knows something?? Also, the way the daughter had a sullen teenage attitude reminded me of a dark version of Sally.

    • weird aside of the daughter n of diane bauer: bettys book of freud analysis of patient he referred to as dora…the real name of dora was ida bauer

    • I definitely thought she was a ghost, had to rewind to take another look.

      There was a very ghostly, haunted house vibe throughout the whole show. Roger’s organ/Peggy walking with trepidation. The Di ghost girl, behind the stepmom. Bert’s shade.

      Very ghostly!

      • Roger’s organ music reminded me of the music playing during Don’s “alternate” Thanksgiving, when he arrives to Betty and the kids waiting for him. It also reminded me of the music playing while Sally walks down the hall to Don’s room in “Little Kiss.” And the way Peggy walked down the hall was similar Sally’s walk, but instead of double mirrors there are double signs of SCDP.

    • Speaking of this scene, don’t you think the wife looks a lot like Samantha Stephens, and doesn’t the house resemble the house from a sitcom?

    • Re-watched last night and the mom never acknowledges the girl’s presence – doesn’t mean she’s a ghost, but it definitely leaves the possibility open.

    • Diana’s daughter may represent Bowl Cut Dick, slightly odd looking, quiet, observing, ignored. And with the runaway/dead mother, father and stepmother who ignores him. And in this case Don is the hobo.

      • speaking of the “hobo”…what is that thung that roger holds up when he n peggy are alone? looks like one of the symbols the hobo left on the hitching post

        • I took it to be a trowel, an item often used in Freemason ceremonies, hence his comment when he showed it to Peggy.

  14. Jim Hobart should have learned long ago that Don Draper, like Mance Raider, does not “bend the knee.” Ignominious exit for Joan though. My full recap:

  15. “Jim Hobart says to Don, “You’re my white whale.” He thinks he’s talking about love, but Moby-Dick is a tale of revenge. Like most revenge stories, it doesn’t end well for the obsessed party.”

    OMG, why didn’t I (of all people) think of that! 🙂 What everyone seems to forget about Moby-Dick is that the whale is the hero. In the end, he wins and swims away free. Gives me a good feeling for the first time ever about what will happen to Don Draper (though I, too, got a creepy feeling when he let the hitchhiker into the car.)

    We will not see Waitress Di(e) again. She was a mere catalyst to put Don on the road to … “whither goest though, America?”

    • If we want to develop the Moby Dick analogy:
      ** Hobart (Ahab) fixed his harpoon into his illusion of Don Draper, the White Whale, not knowing he was really dealing with Don/Dick, an uncontrollable force
      ** You can harpoon the white whale, but Hobart can’t lash him to the McCann ship (unlike the SC&P ship–Roger’s analogy–which you realize that Don just swam alongside)
      ** The runaway Don/Dick will doom Hobart (and by extension, cronies like Ferg) to the McCann board as he was the one who proposed the acquisition and the SC&P absorption into McCann NY (the harpoon rope loops around Ahab’s neck as the whale swims away)
      ** There were two ships involved with the final chase of Moby Dick: the Pequod and (drum roll) the Rachel. The Pequod is destroyed by Moby Dick. The Rachel is the surviving ship.

      I won’t go as far as saying that Draper’s departure would doom the agency like the Pequod, though McCann in reality was in sorry shape in 1970. Initially the IPG (Interpublic) holding company created by legendary CEO Marion Harper (a pioneer of how agencies use research and media) was problematic (he was McCanned in 1967) and too many of the acquisitions didn’t work out well. Perhaps the ‘doom’ is to the Irish mafia still in place at McCann, a legacy of the founders. SC&P, rather than being independently run (the Harper vision of IPG), led to Dow bolting and (I would bet) followed by Avon and most of the SC&P accounts. The real McCann revived in the mid-70s with strong work for Coke and L’Oreal–Peggy?–as well as that ‘diet beer’ becoming Miller Lite, becoming the largest global agency over JWT.

      One last weird parallel. I wondered why MW chose McCann rather than JWT, Ted Bates or Y&R. The whole story of Moby Dick is about killing whales for their oils, which at that time lit the lamps of the world, and sperm whale excreta–ambergris used as a perfume fixative. McCann was a spinoff–it was the ad department ofthe largest company producing what replaced whale oil–John Rockefeller’s Standard Oil.

      • This is great. I seem to remember a few seasons back someone writing a detailed comparison of Moby Dick and Mad Men and this was well before McCann/Hobart was on the radar or back on the radar.

        I think it was written season 4 or 5.

        I might try to search for it. I wish I would’ve saved all the interesting articles I’ve read about Mad Men!!!

        • I have, as my name would suggest, read Moby-Dick more than a few times Interesting piece, finding Ishmael, the White Whale, and Ahab all in Don Draper/Dick Whitman. He does make one mistake: it’s Queequeg, not Ishmael, who is covered in tattoos. And I’m not sure how solid his thesis is on how a new Jewish America is shown succeeding the old WASP America (especially considering how Ginsberg exited the story since the essay was written) But I like how he picks out the references, especially Bobby’s drawing of a smiling white whale with three harpoons in it in “Dark Shadows.” Why is he smiling, anyway?

          • I advise anyone starting Moby Dick to read an online version to be able to decipher the numerous 18th century allusions (my favorite – the high-ruffed Mendanna)

            Chapter 1, paragraphs 2-4 describe a walk along the Manhattan waterfront.

            I found the chapter mentioning Ishmael’s tattoo – he has only tattooed the dimensions of a whale on his forearm (saving the rest of his body for a poem he is writing)

      • I have to confess to never having read Moby Dick, but I did just come across this:

        “I see a madman beget madmen,” Starbuck declares as the chase after Moby Dick is nearing its end, and as Captain Ahab is firing the crew of the Pequod to a frenzy of excitement.

        I know that a Mad Men is chock full of literary and cinematic references, that when you follow them they always add meaning that supports the episode or series. But I find this interesting!

      • Salon–Don Draper as both Ishmael and Ahab. And Rachel/Ginzburg (another Ishmael) as symbolic of the rise of Jewish American culture in mid-century America.

        Of course it would be Don/Dick, the White Whale from the Midwest, that might destroy one of the last bastions of the old culture at McCann (the Irish as inheritors and perpetrators of what the WASP abandoned), since Rachel is dead and Ginzburg is likely in a loony bin. (See below for a further Moby Dick analysis)

        In that Irish Mafia place, the only WASP may be the Scot-WASP Pete Campbell (a Dyckman–Dutch on his mother’s side).

  16. It wasn’t the airplane going past the Empire State Building that shook Don. It was the speech given by this McCann fellow to get the Miller diet-beer meeting going. It was a beautiful imitation of the perfect Don Draper pitch. “Let’s tell a story about a man we all know.” You could almost see Don thinking, “He’s doing me.”

    It’s unsettling to see him drifting away in his Cadillac, but it beats the method of departure hinted at when he looks at his office window and notices it’s loose. Everytime we get one of those “desperate Draper looks out on the city from a high vantage point” shots, it gives me the willies.

    The scene at the Bauer family home in Wisconsin was … unusual. But it again reminds us that Don/Dick is at heart a con man. He’s gone through life buffaloing people into believing his pitch. He’s heartfelt when it counts and A) gets him the job, or B) gets him into a woman’s arms. But his tragic childhood doesn’t let him count on anyone for long.

    Some part of him itches to get into trouble with a hardened but frankly sexual woman. I keep thinking of his fling with Bobbie Barrett long time ago. She was tough but wanted “the whole Don Draper treatment.” It was tough for me then to figure out why Don was risking his marriage for this woman. But the whole thing with Di in a way clarifies it.

    Yeah, there’s this chance, isn’t there, that we’ll learn of some earlier tie with Di. Or maybe the ex-husband’s exasperated rant helped Don get free of her spell.

    • I had a similar response to yours regarding Don’s reaction to the report the research guy was making in the conference room. I’m sure that Don was thinking, “This is what I do as the Creative Director. I can’t work in this kind of system. I’m out of here.”

    • The research guy wasn’t doing a Don Draper pitch, he was doing a flaccid, pale parody of a Don Draper pitch. My guess is that Don’s reaction was one of revulsion, disgust, fear of being trapped in this hideous mediocrity, and so as usual, he ran away.

      • Yes.

      • I thought the guy was doing a bad version of Duck Phillips or Harry Crane. Presenting a raft of bone dry stats and hoping a room full of box lunch eating, shirtsleeved clones could somehow transform them into a viable beer ad.

      • And hanging over him, the McCann-Erickson motto: “Truth Well Told.” So far from the truth.

        Part of me, in regards to Don’s shift and departure during the meeting, wonders if maybe, just maybe, Dick was seeing and hearing Bill the Research guy talking about the kind of life that could have been his life, or even parts of his past (a little college, played some sports, wants a hammock…), had he not taken Don Draper’s identity. It’s an insult for Dick to hear this, hear how men like him are simply pawns in advertising’s grip, workaday men waiting to be told what to drink, what to buy… And he can’t do it anymore. Not this way, at least. And he’s gone…

        This along with hearing the word “Wisconsin”, and that everyone was a replica of the person sitting next to them. And the whitewashing of the room…white shirtsleeves and white boxed lunches; there’s no bright glasses of tomato juice with green stalks of celery spilling out, no shrimp cocktail, no colorful toothpicks holding down fat deli sandwiches.

    • Bill Phillips lost Don at “Wisconsin.” He probably didn’t hear a word after that.

      • Agree with this.

        Everything about that scene annoyed me: the lunches in little white boxes, the male-only crowd, even the word “research” — but what made me angriest was the way that jerk’s speech grabbed at three very different places (“Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio”) as if they’re all the same.

        These states are not the same, nor are the people in them. A person is not what he drinks, or even what he thinks. He — or she — is everything that is NOT for sale: memories, loyalties, needs, loves.

        The collective intelligence in that conference room full of men was lower than what I get in Saturday morning childcare with two toddlers, an eleven-year-old and an infant.

        I hate McCann. I hope Joanie’s man does call in “a guy”; I could get into seeing one of those self-satisfied idiots get whacked.

        • “I hate McCann. I hope Joanie’s man does call in “a guy”; I could get into seeing one of those self-satisfied idiots get whacked.”

          …or at least see him piss himself THINKING he’s gonna get whacked!

        • Yes!!!!

        • I hate McCann too! I noticed a lot of the men, including Hobart, go around the office not wearing jackets. As Ferg said, it’s a “shirt sleeves” atmosphere, as if they’re all relaxed and easy-going. However, that’s just a front that’s supposed to distract people from their backward ideals and chauvinistic attitude.

        • It took me back to Ken’s description of McCann to Pete back in s?

          Well, I hadn’t seen so many retarded people in one building since my mom was a nurse at the state hospital!

          /I hate to repeat it in a way…

    • Earlier In the episode Ferg does a weird “impression” of Don. The pitch guy was doing the real thing.

      • That was funny (soo bad) and overly presuming/familiar. Ferg hardly knows Don – has heard him say so little that an “impression” is just plain dumb.

    • I thought that what made Don leave the meeting was the feeling that he no longer was the star. He was a big fish in a little pond at SCP. He was pursued by Hobart for 10 years which would give Don the impression that McCann thought he was very special. He meets with Hobart who tells him he wants Don to “bring it up a notch”. Then he goes to the meeting where he finds out that Ted was also told to “bring it up a notch”. He was surprised that there were so many creatives at the meeting and that was only half of them. The meeting with Miller beer wasn’t just directed to him as he may have thought; he is now one of many creatives where the audience was addressed as “some of the best creative minds in the business”. Don is no longer the one star in the company. He couldn’t handle when Ted had a different idea than him. Now it’s his ideas lumped in with many others. I think he left the meeting because he could not handle this.

  17. So fitting that Peggy’s student/teacher, mentee/mentor, daughter/father scene was with Roger and not Don. She and Don are a million miles apart, and traveling in different directions. At least at this moment.

    • And it was Roger who gave her Freddie’s office!

      • Not that she’s had all that many interactions with Roger (onscreen), but she’s never had all that much trouble getting what she wants from him.
        “You young girls are very forward.” “I’m sorry.” “No – I like it!!”

        Whereas with Don she’s had to struggle much more to get raises, accounts, promotions, enough respect (she was right to go to Ted’s agency when Don was choosing Ginsberg over her).

        • Yes!

        • Don toughened her up. She can handle McCann easily now.

          • Don’t forget “immune to your charms” Lou Avery – who toughened her in a way Don never did. She’s even better prepared.

        • Roger tends to be a pushover on things as long as he likes someone. He has never been a gatekeeper, but he will settle scores with people he doesn’t like in a very succinct manner.

  18. I was glad that this episode showed the old SC&P offices as well as the McCann offices. What a contrast! The old place seemed so bright, open and airy (even when the it was fully occupied), while the new office was dark, claustrophobic and institutional.

    The place reminded me of one of those mazes in which the behavior of lab rats can be observed. Don sized things up quickly and figured out that there wasn’t going to be any cheese to be found at the end of any of the tunnels in the McCann maze, no matter how many of them he ran through and checked. It’s no wonder he split!

    Of course, the world outside is still a maze. Instead of tunnels, there are roads and you use a car to navigate them, instead of frantically scurrying around on foot. The “cheese,” in the case of this larger “maze,” is represented by the elusive Diana. During the course of this episode, he didn’t manage to find her either. He did get some useful information though, from her ex-husband. I hope he has sense enough to finally stop looking for her and start trying to find himself.

    • Good point. I marveled at how they designed the McCann-Erickson offices to be all narrow, dark gray hallways and offices with small jailhouse windows. No accident in that set design!

      • According to Gothamist, McCann was at 485 Lexington near Grand Central (46th) back in those days. All ad agencies were midtown but not that many were on Madison by that point–Y&R was the last holdout, at 285 Madison until only a few years ago, William Esty was at 42nd near Park/Pershing Square, Scali and other creative agencies preferred 3rd Avenue or Park (LHSP&B/LHS&B)–SC&P on 6th Avenue was to my recollection an exception and deliberately so in being modern and a lot of natural light. (Remember that the original Sterling Cooper was in Lever House on Park Avenue.)

        485 Lex before the facelift was, to my recollection, a drab mid-50s glass building on a dark corridor of midtown; my guess is that interiors were divided up by plastic/steel walls from the 1950s original perimeter offices with rows of desks in the middle. Don’s office had a loose plexiglass window indicating how cheap McCann was on maintenance (just like Y&R) and how the SC&P people got ratty offices (the AirWick remark). Noticed also that Don was not on ‘mahogany row’ but in the second tier offices, and that the lunch was boxed (symbolic of how they treated creative.) No surprise because it was like that at Y&R too (I started there out of college behind a typewriter.)

        That conference room was high up and nearer to Park, to get even a glimpse of the Empire State with a little sky.

        • A New York Times article in May 2006 described the upcoming AMC show called Mad Men. Among the places where the the pilot episode was filmed was 485 Lexington Avenue. I have placed a “link” below to that article. (Sorry, but you may need to cut-and-paste the link into your browser.)
          The reference appears only in the photo caption within the article, but there is no photo at this link. Sorry, again.

          Apropos of nothing, but, as I write this I am looking out of my own 45th floor office window at that very same dark glass building five blocks away.

        • McCann Erickson — We even put lunch into identical little boxes.

          It’s Hell. I’m tellin’ ya, the place is literally Hell!

    • It was also remarkable how blindingly bright and sunny it was for Don in the car… at least in Wisconsin. Funny, I’d already forgotten how dark and scary Don’s face looked in those first shots of him binge-driving. How touching to see Bert Cooper again – who’d have guessed he’d appoint himself Don’s guardian angel, or at least his talking cricket?

  19. Where is Don going?

    My first thought was back to the old Whitman farm in the midwest where it all started for Don/Dick. I was disappointed that he ended up in Racine. I am not anti Di. Don hasn’t been with a woman the audience likes since Faye Miller in season 4. We should be used to that by now.

    In January 1961 Bob Dylan hitchiked from Minneapolis to New York in search of Woody Guthrie. At the end of the episode Don — fleeing NY — picks up a guitar carrying hitchhiker on his way to St. Paul. Coming full circle?

    In the very first Mad Men episode we learn that Don doesn’t put much stock in demographic research. In a way the scene in the boardroom recalls the dilemma of the very first Draper pitch — trying to get customers to switch “brands” on a product where such advertising is futile. People are attached to their brand of cigs and beer. I am not convinced that Don won’t return to NY and McCann. He still might, but on his own terms after delivering the ultimate Draper pitch.

    My prediction several years ago was that the series would end with Don Draper being portrayed as the guy who came up with the Crying Indian ad, the most famous and successful television p.s.a. of all-time.

    • MW has said that he doesn’t give them credit for any famous modern ads. They did use “it’s toasted” for lucky strike, which was a real slogan, but it was an old slogan.

    • Don absorbed research as well but his approach was more intuitive. Remember he developed in an era and in agencies where research was in its infancy, yet he had a knack for getting into the mind and heart of his customer.

      The old Sterling Cooper did lots of research. Peggy made her earliest breakthroughs as a writer by doing meticulous consumer research and drawing out creative insights (Basket of Kisses, anyone?) clear up to Burger Chef. Don’s post-Betty romance was with a researcher.

      Yet you can do all the research you want, but the leap ahead to what will delight and move the customer is what makes advertising, not a dry brief presented in a conference room with some research bozo pulling a bad Draper imitation and CDs paging in unison through the brief. And that is what Don and Pegs are good at.

      • Maybe Don’s most notable use of research was his study of that book “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword,” which helped him concoct his utterly brilliant sting operation on Ted/CG&C in the episode of that title.

      • I think Don’s intuitive abilities goes back to being an outsider.

        Outsiders know the insiders better than the insiders.

        Now Don is even an outsider in the Midwest, the area he came from. He greatly misjudged his ability to deceive Mr Bauer, and underestimated the people he most wanted to persuade.

    • The booklets the men were paging through during the presentation reminded me of the one containing the psychology research that Don threw away in the pilot.

  20. The envelope that Meredith gave Don represents the Official Draper Survival Kit.

    It contains the Donald Francis Draper Social Security card, Anna’s ring and some cash. They’re the three essential items he needs, along with his ability to tell a tale, no matter where he ends up.

    • Nice. You never know when you’re going to have to propose on the spur of the moment.

    • Interesting that both the ring and the social security card are gifts from Anna. Cash (the house) is what Don gave Anna.

      Also, the way Diana’s ex husband called out Don’s BS was very similar to how Anna called out Don’s fast talking at the car dealership (“You’re not Don Draper.”)

      May be it all goes to Don’s road trip ending in California. Don needs Anna’s comfort and guidance at this juncture of his life, and since she’s no longer there Don may be going to the place he associates with her.

  21. I kept flashing back to “The Hobo Code” last night — especially when the hobo told Dick to look around, that death was all around “this place”. Also, the whole bit about “either you have Jesus in your heart, or you don’t”.

    • Also, when Don was talking to Bert’s ghost, he made a reference “riding the rails”.

      I also wonder where we are on the timeline — if it’s April 1970, it’s also the month of the Apollo 13 accident, and the month where the Beatles broke up.

      • We’re way past April 1970 (that was the first episode of this season). I’m not quite sure when we are here, but probably fall of 1970, since Sally’s going back to school.

        • When the hitchhiker was picked up it appeared to be late spring early summer. The corn in the fall would be much higher.

          • Betty is studying for her first semester. With $100 in books ($600 and change these days), she’s not in summer school – nor is Sally who is on her way back to boarding school.

            It’s mid-August at the earliest.

            The 30-day moveout from the old SC&P digs, however, indicates that Peggy’s Time magazine last Ep in her apartment was somewhat older than it’s cover would indicate.

            • We will give a Mulligan to Matt&Company on this one. That was filmed in the spring or the early summer not the fall even though the story line wasn’t. Just to be picky too, Wisconsin didn’t paint the lines on the two lane highways yellow until 1972. Viewers have come to expect Mad Men to get everything right in the era. Needless to say that is impossible.

            • @Bob K:

              Impossible, indeed.

              Baltimoreans, LA-ers, and New Yorkers don’t know from corn. Yellow lines – good catch. Digital trickery could erase those lines and grow that corn.

            • I updated the post about Time and time. The episode definitely took place August 4 through 6.

        • There was a calendar on Joan’s desk, partially obscured by a Tab can. It appears to be the first week of September, thus last ep was early August, but we’ve lost a month somewhere. The date clues from the previous episodes aren’t meshing with this one.

      • I felt the timeline was around September 1970. The intro to the Dennis Weaver series, “McCloud” was on Peggy’s TV. That series started in the Fall of 1970.

        • We saw Sally on summer break from Miss Porter’s in the last episode, so she was going back for the Fall term.

        • interwebs say McCloud first aired on Wednesday Sept 16, 1970.

          If 7.11 was late July/early August, why did it take 6 weeks to move?

          • School in the northeast starts the day after Labor Day. I checked the current Miss Porter’s calendar; it fits. School should have started September 8.

          • According to Wikipedia, while the series proper began airing in September 1970, the pilot actually aired earlier that year in February.

        • Thanks, I was eager to escape into the episode (my husband’s father died last week), but wasn’t scouring for details.

    • Diri:
      I too was getting Hobo Code vibes. I even thought i spied one, on the walls of SC&P during one of Peggy’s wanderings.
      I tried to stay up and see it on the second viewing, but missed it due to some inappropriate napping. I fell asleep again and woke up for the Roller Skating (which definetly fit my moment, being as dreamlike and lyrical and beautiful and comic as anything since Peggy on the Honda.

      This morning i kept having these baseball analogies in my head. What with the Mets cap and the organ music, and the feeling that Mcann was the major leagues and Roger and Don and SC&P had really been a minor league enterprise. Succesful and brilliant major league talent, but minor league accounts.

      Pete, Peggy & Harry what with their youthful drive and ideas are rightfully optimistic about doing well, Ted’s happy to be called back up, but Roger, Don and even Joan, are lifelong minor league stars, facing the task of having to prove how great they used to be still holds up in this crazy new age.
      Roger reminded me of and old tired Babe Ruth in a Braves uniform, or Willie Mays as a Met, stumbling about, just a shell of their former selves, on a new team trying to compete but only reminding others how great they USED to be.

      Don felt so disgusted at being one of only half of all the Creative Directors in that room, no longer special, no longer able to swing his big bat and hit the game winning homer, that not two minutes into the meeting he gets up while others are turning pages in unison grabs his box lunch and leaves. Ted smiles at Don being Don, because not only does Don have a big bat. Don’s got big balls too.

    • The scene with the hobo took place in the barn where Archie would die.

  22. Thanks for doing this for me, you two. I love, love, love your co-recaps, and I’m sobbing that this is the last one.

    • Why not parallel recaps (or even serial ones)?

      • The truth is that recapping Mad Men is a grueling chore. It’s one of the few shows on television that critics have to watch live, and for those of us who are not full-time critics, and have to hold down day jobs, the hours are brutal.

        On Sunday nights, I start writing at 11. I am one of the fastest writers I know, and I am never finished before midnight; 1 am is common. Anne and Jim were kind enough to fill in while I was away, but I wouldn’t wish the job on anyone over the age of 25!

        Meanwhile, when Anne and Jim aren’t recapping, they’re doing some of the most cogent writing about the show, filling the pages of this blog. Often I do less of that, because the late-night recap drains a lot of my creative energy about an episode.

        THAT’S why not.

      • What Deb said.

        This week was unusual, not just in recap duty. I began a gig with a new client first thing this morning, so if the recap feels rushed, that’s why.

        I don’t know if I’d have done better with more time, but it hardly matters. Recaps have to be fresh: you ruminate, you lose.

        Deb navigates the tension between time and quality better than any recapper I’ve ever seen. It’s no easy task.

    • We love you, Deb. This has been such an adventure; finding you and your family (and our Basketfamily!) has been the best part.


    • THANK you, Deborah, and everyone who has made this blog a Monday-morning must-read over the years. I’m also weeping at the thought that these recaps and analyses and wonderful comment sections will soon be no more. Waaaaaah!


        I cannot emphasize this enough. Basket of Kisses is not going anywhere. We will rewatch and analyze and discuss Mad Men. We will watch other shows, adding new shows to our roster. We will follow the careers of Matthew Weiner and the stars of this show (Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks, Elisabeth Moss, et al). WE AREN’T GOING ANYWHERE.

        We hope you don’t either.

        • This makes me so happy! I’m someone who really hates the endings of things (ahem), so knowing this isn’t one has made my whole day. Week.

          I wish I could come up to NY for the finale party. I’m so, so sad that I can’t. Maybe there will be one in St. Pete, somewhere.

          You’ll post lots of photos, yes?

  23. As Peggy appeared in the McCann offices, I thought, there she is, the female Don Draper. Hung over, a bit of a swagger, ciggie dangling from her lips, and dripping what could be sex appeal. Well done Peggy!

  24. Love your tandem reviews, you two. Keep them coming.

    When McCann offered Joan a 50% discount I shouted “TAKE IT!” – but was proud of her when she held fast to 100%. Ultimately, it was a good thing that Roger convinced hr to take the money (and don’t look back).

    They sure managed to make those halls freakin’ claustrophobic – along with all the other McPrick scenes. It seemed that they used the SCDP/SC&P sets for the office scenes and retrofitted all those gray walls.

    I guess Don sold Hobart with that line – but it sure seemed like he was eating $#!t when he said it. That was like the time when Duck had him down warning that he’d killed 17 at Okinawa (“uncle”). You say what you have to when they deliver the knockdown – then you get up and Move On.

    Joan and boyfriend scene – suggests that we will see them again (maybe I’m just hoping). Walking away with a total of $1.2-million could constitute a neat tie-up – but don’t we all want to know more about Joan and her new man?

    I liked Betty and Don in her favorite room. Betty was in a very good place – one that could have staying power. She was serenely accepting of Sally and the way she stood Don up. Maybe Betty has decided to loosen the reins? Sally keeps spitting out the bit, anyway.

    Looks like the decision to lease that computer was a good one. Harry should fit right in if McCann wants him. He’s well connected in any case – if McCann takes his head, he’ll catch it, stick it back on, and land on his feet.

    So good to get a real Roger/Peggy dialogue. And very good to give her the fabulous painting that Layne so admired.

    Back to Joan and Hobart – this could have called to Jane Maas’ (Med Woman) appeal to Ogilve when she was harassed for the better part of a year by a VP. Joan kept it vague about Ferg. Is it fair to infer that Hobart was ready to let Ferg have his “fun” and made the offer when Joan didn’t back off?

    Meredith started out as a clueless receptionist watching Joan struggle with a baby carriage. She has turned out to be formidable in her way. Two for two standing up to the “big guys” (refusing to let Don blow her off last week – and proving to be impenetrable to Hobart’s onslaught last night).

    St. Paul is a mere 350 miles (on I90-94) from Racine. No wonder Don didn’t mind a short detour. He’s driving to California – maybe looking up Anna’s sis to get Stephanie’s whereabouts. Maybe his “sister-in-law” is helping with her grandchild. Once done in CA, he’s one wire transfer (or credit card transaction) away from a LA-NY flight to tie up back “home”.

    Peggy sure rocked her entrance. Bert’s painting will look great in her office and will help with her game face. There’s a new sheriff in town and her name is Peggy Olsen.

    • I hope that Meredith will continue to stand up for herself. I see her fighting for women’s rights in the work place down the road. Last night left me so angry with how Joan was treated and that Roger’s secretary didn’t feel welcome at McCann.

      • Joan’s done enough nasty things to people over the course of the show that it’s hard for me to summon up much sympathy for her. I thought Don was extremely gracious in the elevator when he offered to help her after what she did to him last year.

      • I don’t think it will be the last we see of Joan. The women at McCann already have a semi-organization that’s basically a ‘pi##-&-moan’ group but it exists, and with Joan’s departure they may have a cause and someone with money to fund it. Parallels are the women who fought the closed doors at the NY Times, the Ladies Home Journal and Newsweek.

        Especially if Don Draper stays lost and Hobart the Devil is sent to the Infernal Regions (see above re Moby Dick analogy), the McCann board may realize they are quite vulnerable, especially as they have many brands which are either targeted solely to women users or they are key in decision making. Ad agencies, even the McCanns, changed considerably in the next 10 years.

        • Vis a vis nothing …

          Hobart = Devil. Hobart is the capital of Tasmania.

          That makes Hobart the Tasmanian Devil. Which hunts prey and feeds on carrion.

          And causes havoc in Warners Brother cartoons.

          Either way, the description fits.

    • “Is it fair to infer that Hobart was ready to let Ferg have his “fun” and made the offer when Joan didn’t back off?”

      Yes, Hobart is absolutely tolerant and complicit in the toxic, abusive McCann environment. Ferg is a trusted henchman and “muscle” willing to do what is needed for Hobart. Joan is smarter and fights much harder than Hobart expected. I get the feeling it is pretty rare to get anything out of a guy like Hobart who’d rather pay the lawyers just for the fight.

      Question for you all: Did Hobart eventually blink because of Joan’s threats (using Rodger as the means to re-offer the $250K deal) or did Rodger intervene to help Joan out and convince Hobart to remake the deal knowing that Hobart was truly more likely to go to the mat with Joan?

      • I suspect Hobart has made many “50% offers”, been first turned down, then has graciously accepted when the offeree returns hat-in-hand.

        The “I’d rather fight” line was masterfully delivered (he really looked like he “would rather fight than switch” to steal the Taryton tag) but might well be another well-worn bluff.

        Roger may well have been no more than the errand boy with Joan.

        • I have to say, I have been surprised at Joan’s wardrobe and hair. Nothing updated, tasteful or powerful. She finally looked the part on the day of her exit. I’m not sure I understand why Janie Bryant had her stuck in a time warp.I think Joan would have figured it out before now.

        • i’d question his ‘i’d rather fight with a lawyer’ line. Like, really? Cos a lawyer is not personally invested in it. The longer they make it go on, the more they get paid. So…. wouldn’t you prefer to settle?

          Or maybe Hobart worries that if she can’t be fired without a lawyer getting involved, then she will have to stay in the agency. Turning up every day, potentially stirring up all the other female employees? Allying other SC people to her side? He NEEDS Joan to leave quickly, before any whispers of that get out.

          • Hobart would rather fight her with lawyers because it would tie up HER money for years. He knows she hasn’t got much but her partnership money, and he has an inexhaustible supply of money and lawyers to fight with. He wouldn’t have to be personally involved at all, he could just tell the lawyers to drag it out.

    • By taking a lump sum pay-off instead of the 5-year payout, Joan will be taking a big income tax hit. The tax rate in 1970 was 70% for earnings over $200,000.

      Does BoK have a Scary Tax Accountant Guy to estimate her after-tax income?

      • Joan’s financially savvy. She might pour it into her own business and write it off, or she’ll find a way to hide it in a tax shelter (maybe Richard takes her to the Cayman Islands and she hides it there?).

        • The money from sale of partnership may be a capital gain taxed at only 29%. One of the partners (Pete?) said he would have to buy an apartment building to keep any of the money.

    • “St. Paul is a mere 350 miles (on I90-94) from Racine. No wonder Don didn’t mind a short detour. He’s driving to California”

      If indeed he *is* driving to California (why not?), he would need to drive southwest– but I-90 is NORTH of Racine. He’d have better luck on I-74… or better still, go south on Wisconsin state route 32, make a right turn at Chicago.

      For that matter, are we even still in Wisconsin? Just across the Illinois border on Route 32 is a little town called… wait for it… Zion. How’s THAT for a place to pick up a hitchhiker who wants to go to Saint Paul?

      • The countryside looked more like Iowa Minnesota or Illinois than Wisconsin. Wisconsin for the most part is not prairie. I think Don/Dick may have driven aimlessly straight west from Racine all night on a two lane highway like US 18 into Iowa. I think he picked up the hitch hiker in Iowa. He may have been fearful that the holy roller ex-husband may have called the cops who might be looking for a caddie with New York plates. Midwest state troopers love to stop cars with New York plates. That is why he was avoiding the Interstate. Dick Whitman knows the hobo code you know!

        • My guess is that they shot that exterior road scene in central California. The famous airplane sequence in North by Northwest was also central California standing in for the Midwest.

    • I’m not liking Joan’s new boyfriend. He seems like an over-confident prick to me.

  25. Historically, the 3rd episode from the season end has served as an escape trigger for Don/Dick after a brush with mortality, or for a significant change in the story arc. S1- Indian Summer- Don’s affair with Rachel deepens after Roger’s Heart Attack. S2- Jet Set- Don abondons Pete in CA. S3- Gypsy and Hobo- Don admits his past to Betty. S4- Chinese Wall- Lucky Strike leaves. S5- The New Woman- Joan, Jaguar, Peggy’s Departure. S6- Favors- Don is caught by Sally. I think all can agree that Lost Horizons continues the trend.

    Don/Dick needs 2 assurances to remain in place 1) Autonomy 2) Relevance. Now that Hobart has his White Whale, Don has become the McCann Trick Pony, on display for Big Business Meetings. Trapped. In the meeting with Miller, Don was an anonymous McCannite in a room full of suits. Irrelevant. Maybe I am in the minority, but I think the trigger for him to put his predicament in perspective was seeing the plane flying over the empire state building. Pure Escape. Fitting that only Ted C noticed that Don walked out, and his wry smile showed he understood why. Don’s next scene was with Betty establishing that he had left the city (I hoped for an afternoon tryst, but I digress). His following scene showed him turning towards NJ (and away from life in NY). He went in seaerch of Di(ane), but found only the dust of her past life and a strong warning to forget her. Where will he end up ? California ? Maybe, but the CA of his dreams does not exist, it died with Anna. Sure he enjoyed a family trip to Disneland after her death, but that place is artificially designed to make everyone happy. He almost died during his next visit to CA, and subsiquent visits showed the long slow car wreck of his disolving marriage. A clue to his ultimate future was indirectly pointed to in the opening call backs before the begining of the episode. One scene showed Roger and Don early in S1. Later in the season, Don is discussing his future with Bert and Roger, after an overture from Hobart/Devil/McCann. Don received a promotion, a pay raise, and a guarantte of his autonomy from SC. When asked what he would do if he left SC, he replied that it would be to leave advertising behind. My prediction for the ending is that Don walks away from the Sausage Factory (as he once called it), and leaves advertising behind.

    Joan secured the best deal she could. I don’t think she wanted to become the face of Femminism on Madison Avenue- and Hobart was right, the money wil go to the attorneys and she will be left with nothing. Hobart does not know about Jaguar and probably suspects her partnership was a bequest from Bertram Cooper. Joan’s motivation since Jaguar has been to provide for Kevin and herself. Crunching numbers, her partnership was worth about $1.5-$1.6mm, or about $10mm today, and she was to receive just over 1/2 in the buyout, or just over $750k. With $500k to be paid, she had received about $250k to date, and agreed to a settlement of $250k to walk away. $500k total, or about $3mm in 2015 dollars. She has enough money for Kevin, and can do whatever she wants, including going to Bermuda with her new Beau (who still emits an unsettling vibe).

    It was fitting that Roger and Peggy were left to eulogize SC&P. Roger because it was “his” company and Peggy because it provided her identity. Nice bonding moment ! Peggy’s last scene was wonderful- she’s a Badass and she earned it ! The strut, the smug smile, the sun glasses, the cigarette, the picture, the looks from coworkers and the slighlty slow motion of the take, all could have been lifted from a Tarrintino movie. Nice. Peggy will put up with McCann just long enough to find a higher level to jump to. Peggy’s last scene and Joan’s exit was a juxtoposition to their relationship in S1. Peggy is now the boss and Joan was left with nothing metaphorically. That said- there is a bond between these 2 and I suspect that if we were to drop in on the main characters a few years hence, we will find Joan and Peggy to be working together or still very much in touch. They are not friends, but there is a very strong bond between them.

    Waiting to see what unfolds over the next 2 weeks !

    • Joan realized that Roger would not or could not fight for her against Hobart. She was holding back tears when she told Roger to accept the deal.

    • Thanks for refreshing my memory about the third from the finale episodes in previous seasons. I need to fire up the Roku and review the last three episodes on Netflix, for all the earlier seasons.

      While i get what you (and earlier, Deborah) are getting at, about MW always working things out, we’re now in uncharted territory. We all have 6.5 seasons worth of that occurring and knowing how things get tied together from the past, along with how things ultimately played out subsequently. This time, we don’t – which is where my frustration is coming from. I’m of several minds here. I don’t want Mad Men to ever end, but I know that it must. I’m anxious to see what these final two episodes have in store for the characters and for the viewers, and I also don’t!

      We’ll all know everything, shortly after the appointed hour is up, in our local time zones, on May 17th. I can hardly wait – he said, through gritted teeth – as he frantically stomped down on his imaginary brake pedal!

      • Oops! Sorry. It was Roberta who commented in #7, though Deborah often coaxes me back into a calm reality, on BOK. LOL

  26. Not very earth shattering observations, but it struck me during the episode hoe much “Ferguson” sounded like “Herb.”

    And that a Joan seemed to wearing the same green dress she was wearing when she misinterpreted the business professor’s proposed deal, when she met with Hobart. A true reversal of situations.

    Then in the elevator with Don, it was a bit of a reversal of the elevator scene with a Peggy, when Joan told Peggy how she would’ve handled Joey, that she could handle it herself and be successful.

    There were drawings taped on the office windows at SC&P reminiscent of Joey’s nasty drawing.

    • Darn auto correct! “Ferg” not ferguson.

    • And she told Hobart “this is not negotiable ” which is the same thing she told Pete when they were discussing Jaguar and what she would do to become partner.

  27. This can be termed an anachronistic nit-pick within a brilliant episode, but…

    Early on, when Don is in his new office at McCann, he gazes out the window.
    About a block away is a spire from what has to be St. Patrick’s Cathedral. That
    seems to be verified by the black glass office building next to the cathedral, which
    would be Olympic Tower on Fifth Avenue.

    However, construction on Olympic Tower did not start until 1972 (completed in 1976),
    and the building we see next to the cathedral is shorter than the church, rather than being
    nearly twice its height – as is the actual Olympic Tower. By the way, the building which was demolished to make room for Olympic Tower was the 12-story white marble spot which housed the flagship store of Best & Co.

    Lastly, if McCann’s offices were at 485 Lexington Avenue (@East 46th St.) at that time, one
    could not have looked out of any window at that address and seen what was portrayed
    in that scene. In fact, it seems that the angle would have had to have been from an office in the
    area of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, blocks away from McCann.

    End of nit-pick.

  28. Don is, once again, running away (in the past, he has always returned, only to run once again).

    This is what he does when confronted with a memento mori. This time, there were two mementi: the loose window (an escape hatch?) and the helicopter way up in the sky (fly away, fly away home!)

    I wrote about this recurring theme, the running and returning, right here at Basket of Kisses, after the episode Faraway Places:

    Jay Michaelson’s essay about the “reminder that you will die”– Memento Mori: Jewish Spirituality and the Sanctification of the World — clarifies it a bit:

    One distinctive feature of Jewish conceptions of enlightenment…is that awakened consciousness is viewed not as a “steady state,” but as ratso v’shov (literally “running and returning”), oscillation between expanded and contracted mind, being and nothingness. The experience of enlightenment is one of movement between…“God’s point of view” and “our point of view.”

    Ratso v’shov. Running and returning. Is that not exactly what Don has been doing throughout his entire life? The problem is, he has it backwards: by running from his childhood, running from his own identity, and running from Betty, and now Megan, he is not escaping the physical, the painful, and running toward enlightenment and love. So, throughout Don’s years of back-and-forth between being (who he is) and not-being, he never achieves an ecstatic state; he never knows the pure joy of love for love’s sake. He might convince the world (and the audience) that he loves Megan, but his words belie a different sort of arrangement altogether, one that has to do with ownership, with belonging to and taking from; with losing and finding.

    • Expanding on that a little, I’d say that this final bit of running–toward the on-the-nose-ishly named Di(e)–is a metaphor for the death of Don, or at the very least, the death of the identity named Don. He’s running away from All That Is Don.


      But what about the returning part?

      Well, I think he’s going to return to what he should have returned to all along: to Dick Whitman. To himself. That is the only way he will be whole, at last; that is the only way he’ll achieve that enlightened state.

      The story began, in the first season, with Don running away: in the very first episode, we learn he is running from his reality (which was itself a fiction) and living two lives: slick ad-man with an artist lover in the Village (Midge) and handsome husband and father with a family and a picture-book house in Westchester County. A few episodes in, we learn that those two identities are both “runaway” lives: the real man is a soldier who stole another man’s dog-tags, and identity, after a horrible accident–Don/Dick’s fault, too–that killed him in Korea.

      It makes sense that after every season of Don’s running and returning, the final one–the final run–would be toward something, would end with his achieving some sort of peace and enlightenment at last.

      • Deborah Newell Tornello,

        I remember your amazing post, one of the high points of BoK!

        With Don running towards something, I wonder if what Don is running towards is his past, which is inherently not forward. Diana could be a bundle of him “mommy issues” (biological mother/prostitute, Abigail in how Don talks of Abigail serving breakfast at the boarding house/being a type of waitress, and then focuses on Diana).

        And while running towards women of his past, Don is ignoring the women of his present. There’s Sally who doesn’t even care to spend a few hours riding with Don, Peggy who’s heading to McCann on her own and won’t have now hobo Don’s help when she has to deal with the pigs there, and if prize Don had spoken to Hobart about Joan the situation might have been very different.

  29. What if the words “hello I am don draper from McCann Ericsson” is the last time dick Whitman ever calls himself don draper again during the show? After that, we never hear him called Don, he never introduces himself as don.
    I just see this adding up to Don draper “dying” again and dick Whitman taking the name of someone else (the hitch hiking hippy?). What does Don/dick have left? No wife, his kids function without him, a non fulfilling job as just a pretty face with no substance, no purpose.

    Also, I just see everyone and everything getting “killed off” by the show. Most everyone is being disposed of due to the merger. But what they are killing off is Sterling Cooper. Dismantling it, like the computer. What does Harry say about the computer? Something like ‘putting the old girl to bed, she has no use anymore, she doesn’t fit in at M/E.
    As for Joan, I think the writers just had to throw some story at her that finally makes her lose a battle. Everyone, everyone that ever confronted Joan, disagreed, agreed, had any contact with Joan always were on equal footing with her (or she put them in their place below her). So finally now she has reached a wall. Personally, I think they have destroyed her character in the last 1.5 seasons (half of 6, all of season 7). She used to be smart, cunning, sexy, classy, on top of her game. Now all she cares about is money. Which has made her shallow.

  30. read somewhere (and dont think ive seen it here) that in episode 7.1 in house w megan when don is watching tv, the movie is old black n white that was a freeze frame of opening from movie “lost horizon'”. all about utopia not being what we think and that people in this “heavenly” place want to escape it bc there is nothing to challenge them,,,grow complacent n bored

  31. One thing I’ve not seen mentioned in any of the recaps — and forgive me if it has — is that, in two scenes where Don’s driving/riding the rails, there are headlights shining ominously in his rear-view mirror. To me, that symbolizes Don running but being unable to shake the things he’s trying to escape.

    • I noticed them too and I thought they symbolized death, always lurking a few paces behind. It could be physical death, especially with Bert showing up, or it could represent the symbolic death of the “Don Draper” persona and the life/lies he created as Don.

      • I think Don’s actual death was foreshadowed in the short scene with Betty. Betty playfully says she’s younger than Don but continues on to say ” always have been – always will be.” The phrase seemed surplus to requirements, begging the question “why was it included?” I think the apparently incontrovertible may be proven to be incorrect — Don will die and Betty will live to be “older” than Don.

  32. Early in Season 1, Rachel explains to Don the two meanings of Utopia: A good place, and a place that can never be. I think this has been a central theme throughout the show.

    • “They taught us at Barnard about that word, ‘utopia’. The Greeks had two meaning for it: ‘eu-topos’, meaning the good place, and ‘u-topos’ meaning the place that cannot be.” — Rachel Menken

    • This makes me think back to Peggy’s comment in S-3’s ‘My Old Kentucky Home,’ – “I’m in a very good place right now.” I can’t recall if we settled on whether the line was an anachronism in 1963 or not, but it got me thinking about “places,” good or otherwise, and the nature of “be-ing.”

      A wondrous development, sometime in the final two episodes, would be for the proverbial penny to drop, in Don’s consciousness. It would be a sudden flash of insight and understanding, that rocks him to his very core. That is, for him to finally and ultimately grasp that the truest and best utopia, isn’t about the prizes or perks or status or circumstances. It’s not even about “place.” It’s about being – who you are and how you are – irrespective of anyone or anything else. That, is the ultimate. To simply and authentically be, and for that be-ing to be exquisitely and perfectly okay, in and of itself.

      All along Don has been running from it. Now it seems as if he just might be running toward it. And, he may not yet be fully aware of this. When he gets it, it’ll happen in a flash and it will knock him on his ass. He may very well weep, but not for long, because then he’ll laugh. He’ll laugh like hell, like he’s lost his damn mind! In a way, he will have – or at least, his mind will have loosened its grip just long enough, for that incredible moment to fully and powerfully register. Then he will rise up and walk. To where? It doesn’t matter a whit, man. Wherever he goes, there he’ll be. He’ll be his own personal utopia and Be-In, rolled into one and walking upright on two legs. And then, his adventure will begin. It’ll be the most amazing comeback since Lazarus. We won’t see a filmed frame of it, but we’ll wish him well and we’ll cheer, as he goes on his way.

      [Music Cue] “Beyond the Blue Horizon” – Lou Christie

  33. Conrad Hilton was mentioned in this episode. By 1970, he’d apparently been a client of McCann since the end of 1963. It would’ve been interesting to see if the dynamic with them was different than how he dealt with Don. I always had the impression that Connie treated Don like a plaything, that he quickly became bored with. I also suspect there was none of his “a Hilton on the Moon” crap with McCann. Also, it surprises me that he stayed with them so long, since he simply oozed the need to feel “special.” Maybe McCann assigned him his own Vice-President In Charge of Jumping Through Hoops and a squadron of shirtsleeved Creative Directors.

    • VP in Charge of Jumping Through Hoops.
      LMFAO!!!!!, I’m gonna kill you Smiler, it’s too early for this shit.
      You win the Internet for today.

      Satan Hobart probably kept Connie as a client, by saying OF COURSE, God is first in all things Jim Hobart.
      That’s why no crazy Hilton on the Moon rants for him to slap away.
      I’m convinced now that Don will die in the last episode.
      He is finally free of all encumbrances, has a real shot at peace, and this being MM, he has to pay for it………somehow.
      I hope someone is there to identify the body.

    • If it’s an Irish firm, then : Catholic. Which in his mind might be more important to him then the golden treatment. And wouldn’t even had to be the reality.

  34. I think it’s worth mentioning, too, that St. Paul (the apostle, not the city) was all about atonement.

    Atoning for your sins; being forgiven; being at one with God; enlightenment.

    Interesting that the bearded stranger was headed in that direction–to St. Paul (the city)–and that Don was willing to take him there, on his way to…somewhere else.

    • With atonement, the main thing Don feels guilt over is Adam’s suicide. Interesting that Don leaves the meeting after observing the Empire State Building, where Adam worked. And picking up the hitchhiker was similar to giving a ride to Suzanne’s brother Danny, which became Don’s way of trying to do better with Danny than he did with Adam. And the film “Lost Horizon” includes the suicide of a younger brother.

      Perhaps an additional catalyst to Don leaving McCann could be guilt. In that he cannot go back to the full Don Draper identity and the benefits it offers because it may be what cost him Adam.

  35. Just a short Tuesday morning note ..

    I love this community. You guys are amazing. I will miss my Sunday night reading comments as I watch. I’ll miss your your insights and wit. The food for thought.

    • I agree. I’m not only going to miss BOK the “morning after” a MM episode, but my Monday morning ritual of perusing every recap I can find. I watch very little television other than sports, but MM has me hooked like no other show has. I can’t believe the end is so near!

  36. Nothing is an accident in Mad Men, so one should ask why Weiner would invoke Miller’s diet beer which was one of the most successfully promoted products McCann Erickson ever handled.

    I believe that Schiltz was neck and neck with Budweiser regards market share in the late 60s. As a younge sports fan is the mid-late-70s, I became all-too-aware of “Less Filling! Tastes Great!” and: “I like the easy open can” (Bubba Smith, tearing off the top and spilling nary a drop).

    Miller soon displaced Schlitz as Budweiser’s chief rival.

    • The story of what happened to Schlitz is told in business schools, I’ve heard. Biggest brand in the country, new ownership comes along, cheapens the suds, drives off the customers, ruins brand.

      • Taught in Business schools right after the lessons of “The New Choke”.

  37. It was good, if somewhat disconcerting, to see Bert riding shotgun with Don.

    Who, in the entire world, does Don respect more than Bert Cooper? Roger’s a peer as was Lane. Pete stared as a snotnose who has matured. Peggy is his protege. Ted was a rival whom Don recruited into the fold.


    Joan was widely feared as one you didn’t cross when Don hired himself to join Sterling Cooper and whom Don has mostly treated with deference if not always with respect.

    But Bert was always the one who bestowed upon Don the fruits of money, power, influence – who kept Don’s secret safe – yet used that to force him to bend knee and kiss the ring (that contract), and who finally kept his Partnership intact vs. the Culter onslaught (after first kicking him to the curb and accepting him back).

    I don’t know that anyone will displace Bert in Don’s mind.

    • So when Joan discovers her new squeeze is a fraud (I’m waiting for this to happen), she takes her kid and goes to California and settles down with Don.

      • With both of them footloose, no longer “workmates”, I could see Don going for it (without his “rules” to stop him). Not so sure that Joan would, however. Surely she knows how fickle Don has been.

  38. I was struck in this week’s episode by considering how far Ted has come in this series – first a goof off, then a wannabe, to become this perceptive character and someone Don, no sufferer of fools, has respect for. I love how he ‘got’ what Don was about during that meeting. I’m actually kind of sad he seems to have been otherwise shortchanged this season (the ‘hemlines’ comment and his miracle girlfriend from Canada, I mean college). Like Meghan, he was this tangential character suddenly brought to the fore, but more fully realized.

    • You’re right. In the beginning he seemed like a fool. But he was given enough character moments that now his face sags with hard-won knowledge. The little half-smile as he watched Don walk out of the Miller session was nice and subtle. In the beginning, he was not associated with this thing called subtlety.

      • Or humility.

        MW talked about Ted being a mirror for Don in s6. And even though he took the a Road Not Taken (by Don) and went to California he still could not save his marriage, either.

        Ted has acceptance.

        I wonder if this means Don will find some measure of acceptance? I don’t think his will be like Teds. I don’t think Don will stay at McCann or advertising, but I’m hoping for a less angsty Don and one who dives into the life he does have.

        ‘The only thing keeping him alone is his belief that he is alone.’

  39. I keep thinking about the white whale/Moby Dick associations. This is the second time Hobart put a lot of resources into buying a rotten apple!

    First he bought PPL and got half of what he paid for. (And remember PPL was doing it’s own trimming at home before the sale)

    And now again, he may be lucky to just keep Ted and Pete. It would be great if his stockholders and board brought the axe down on Hobart!

    It might be a win to consider getting rid of the competition, but really, SC&P were no competition for McCann. In all of those competitions we saw the last few years the big agency was always JWT they were up against. Never McCann.

    It seems reckless.

  40. Diana is the most important character in the entire show apart from Don, at least at this point. I firmly believe the story is about Don’s psychology, and she represents the final stage in the unfurling of his unconscious. The scene at the end of the season before last, where Don shows Sally and Bobby the old bordello building where he grew up, that was a powerful scene and was intended – I believe – to show Don was facing his past, or was allowing repressed memories to make it to the surface.

    Diana is, I hope, the final resolution of this process. Can Don join the human race, become a man, shed his false personae, accept and be who he is? I think he is fixated on Diana because he sees himself in her. He has a narcissistic transference with her and knows he needs to be with her. He senses that she is the only woman with whom he can ever be truly intimate.

    He either finds her and can be saved, or he perishes; maybe by falling through the plate glass of his office at McCann, which he tested briefly with his fingertips, making real the cartoon opening of the show.

    Everyone is being wrapped up….Betty is done. I think Joan is done. Roger may have one or two final developments; a retirement or a death? Somehow I have trouble seeing Roger punching in and out of work every day to satisfy Jim Hobart, but I may be wrong about him. Pete has been left sort of dangling, but I think he and Peggy together will thrive at McCann. Peggy’s stroll through the McCann hallways at the end suggests she has saddled up and is ready to battle whatever she needs to, and she will be successful there, blazing a new trail.

  41. I’m surprised by AB’s comment about Don not being there for Joan. It seems impossible given how overexposed he is, but I’m reminded again of how misunderstood Don/Dick is.

    Don offered, several ways, in the elevator scene to help Joan, but she quite appropriately demurred. As steve noted above, this is the same Don who still has every reason to be pissy w/Joan for her abandoning him when he could have used her support. He couldn’t help her by intervening w/ Hobart, though he would have – that’s what Roger the patriarch did, and with mixed results.

    Joan showed her colors by accepting the offer: she’s no feminist in the end.

    • And I’m not trying to judge Joan there. Patriarchy blows and there’s no obligation whatsoever to fight that fight, but she already has a ton of money and all it would take is the inclination and an acceptance that she may never work in that business again. It’s a lot to ask, but life isn’t fair. The fact that she already had a big bank balance would have made it easier for a person of true principle to take ME on.

      • You may not be intending to judge Joan, but calling her “no feminist” because she doesn’t want to spend all her time and energy in a fight she almost certainly can’t win seems a pretty harsh judgement to me. Part of the patriarchy is that we all tend to judge women more harshly.

        • I personally saw it as a strategic withdrawal with plans to live another day to fight the good fight, with a Rolodex.

        • Words mean things. If all it takes to be a feminist is to think women should be treated equally, then Joan is a feminist. But I don’t think that’s all it takes to be a feminist. She fails to be a feminist, in my view, because she understands that there’s a movement out there fighting for women’s equality, but rather than joining that battle on a personal level (and with ample personal resources) she lays down her sword and takes the money when she already has a bunch of it.

          Joan raises the specter of feminism in the confrontation with that reptile Hobart to threaten him, but when she’s cooled off and Roger conveys his version of the “reality of the situation” to her, she accepts it.

          Remember, she might get more money if she fights, though I don’t doubt the calculation that she’s likelier to walk away with very little.

          Anyway, ftr I hope she isn’t acquiescing and there’s more planned. But Weiner doesn’t really understand how large-scale social change happens and isn’t all that interesting in politics, FWICT.

      • I thought her surrender was due to the fact that she’d lost the one ally she thought she could count on, almost overnight, so soon after comiserating (and really almost reconciling) with him during that whole wretched business with the lease in the last episode, which of course led directly to where they were at that exact moment.

        When your best ally seemingly turns against you, it’s time to cut and run. Like Roger himself was just telling Peggy the day before, advertising is an unemotional business; the worst thing you can do is get attached to the walls.

    • Joan’s acceptance of the deal has nothing to do with her feminist cred. Either gender can be backed into a stinking deal by a boss who holds the cards. Male or female, when that blackmail offer comes, you do a fast calculation on how you’ll survive in the coming months. I should add that in 1970, $250,000 was an extraordinary amount of money and that would have entered into her mind quite quickly. But it’s a human question: power vs. suddenly powerless.

      • $250,000 may have been extraordinary– but double that would have been breathtaking: so much so, in fact, that Hobart took it as a direct threat to his own bottom line. That’s why his rejoinder to Joan was not “Dream on,” but rather, “Don’t tell me how to run my business.” Never mind that most of his accounts pulled in millions of dollars in billings apiece each year. Forget that. He just couldn’t accept the idea of a woman actually getting what was supposed to come to her.

        That mentality permeates the whole of McCann-Erickson WorldWide, at least in the MM universe: putting an existing rep on every new hire’s conference calls to make sure they “share the crumbs.” The informal women’s group that meets every day in the Oyster Bar, strictly for “consciousness-lowering” (with hand gesture). Women at McCann aren’t merely second-class; they’re chattel, and glad for it. Poor Peggy would get eaten up alive, if she didn’t already have the octopus…

  42. Ya’ll- what did Don mean, when Jim Hobart told him, “Conrad Hilton left you a present” and Don replied, “That’s never good!”.

    Please refresh my memory, it’s been a long-Connie while.

    • I’d have to look it up myself. I don’t think it’s referencing a specific episode.

      • A very non-Hilton reference that came to my mind was when Duck tried to leave a *gift* for Don on Roger’s chair in The Suitcase!

        I don’t know why that jumped to mind when I was watching the episode!

        But I guess both Connie and Duck were brought in to the agency by Don and then turned out to be nothing but trouble for Don. And the two characters have a similarly odd intensity and personal fixation on Don.

        At least Connie was kind enough to warn Don about the PPL sell out to McCann.

    • One night Hilton was feeling lonely and Don showed up to his suite. Hilton poured him some prohibition era hooch (said he had a couple cases) and Don said “I remember this” – a reference to the snort he took just before Archie took the fatal horse kick to the face.

      That nasty drink was the only thing “Connie” ever gave to Don.

    • Hilton considered his business to be a gift to Don.

  43. Did anyone notice that the music and slo-mo effect of Peggy’s walk into McCann echoed the season 1 episode where she was the “new” girl and all of the men were staring at her as the newest piece of flesh? But this time, she’s confident in her own skin and doesn’t pay any attention to (or revels in) the stares of the men she passes in the hallway with the provocative artwork under her arm not caring one bit if it doesn’t make the men feel at ease. Loved it!

  44. Two questions. Who’s name was on the Social Security card Meredith presented Don? Also does anyone think it is remotely possible that Don finds Stephanie in CA and takes her in?

    • I paused to look at the Social Security card: it’s Donald F. Draper.

      • I think that it is important to realize just how easy it was for Dick Whitman to become Don Draper. Dick Whitman probably knew where Lt. Don Draper was from by casual conversation when they served together. He may have known his birth date. All he would have had to do is obtain Lt. Draper’s birth certificate the go to Social Security with the birth certificate. He could then obtain a Social Security card in the name of Don Draper. He would not need to show any photo ID in 1950. He wouldn’t have to in 1970 either. Anna, of course, was treasure trove of information.

  45. And then, that awesome Bowie song at the end. So interesting that, sometimes, the closing music serves to wrap up the action of an episode– and then again, sometimes, it serves to summarize it:

    “This is Ground Control to Major Tom; you’ve really made the grade, and the papers want to know whose shirts you wear…”
    “My white whale!”

    “…Now it’s time to leave the capsule, if you dare…”
    “We expect you to take things up a notch.”

    “This is Ground Control to Major Tom…”
    “Have you said it yet?”
    “Said what?”
    “Introduced yourself.”
    “Don Draper, McCann-Erickson Worldwide.”

    “…I’m stepping through the door…”
    Don exits the Miller Beer meeting

    “…And I’m floating in a most peculiar way…”
    Don drives west. Signs indicate Cleveland.

    …”And the stars look very different today”
    Don hallucinates Bert Cooper in the passenger seat.

    “…For here am I sitting in a tin can, far above the world–”
    Don arrives in his silver Cadillac in Racine, Wisconsin, considerably north of Manhattan.

    (There are probably other lyrics in the song that could applied to the episode without much of a stretch, but that’s as much of it as MW used in the closing credits. David Bowie’s song “Space Oddity,” by the way, was recorded in mid-June 1969 and released in early July, not long before the flight of Apollo 11.)

    • Liking what you did there!

      • Of course the second “This is Ground Control to Major Tom” was supposed to be “This is Major Tom to Ground Control.” Whoops.

  46. I was driving to the gym this morning listening to the news and I felt I wanted to hear some music so I turned the radio. Then I thought of DD driving in the most recent episode, listening to the news, and I wondered: does Don like any music? I recall him switching the hi-Fi from the news to classical music during Sally’s season 1 birthday party, but that was most likely for the guests. I don’t think we’ve ever gotten a clue whether Don enjoys any music.

    In fact, I wonder if he enjoys anything!! He certainly seems to enjoy sex, but I’m certain that’s more of a crutch to cover up feelings of insecurity than pure enjoyment. I guess he enjoys advertising, or he once did.

    Poor Don.

    • Interesting question..What does Don enjoy?

      Music? Don put coin in the juke box to dance with Stephanie to “Old Cape Code” in “The Good News” and he tried to listen to The Beatles Revolver album that Megan gave him. He did take Sally to see The Beatles at Shea Stadium.

      I think the only things that Don enjoys are going to the movies, watching TV (it is on constantly), reading novels, napping on his office couch, eating orange sherbert at HoJos, driving his car, swimming, self-medicating with rye whiskey, and being a keen observer of people’s behavior. And, there has to be something about the creative process — the thrill of the hunt for new business — that he enjoys or he wouldn’t engage in it.

      Poor Don, indeed. He is so full of shame and self-loathing and searching for the meaning of it all, that despite everything he has in his life, he doesn’t know how to permit himself to enjoy life and the people around him.

      As Anna Draper told him, “…the only thing keeping you from being happy is the belieft that you are alone.”

      I think that Don is slowly beginning to realize how alone he is and that he is coming to value his relationships (e.g., “Knock ’em dead, Birdie”).

      He is searching for someone to be with so he won’t be alone, and depending on whether that can ever happen, will determine if he will have a chance at peace or happiness — whatever happiness is (“the moment after you need more happiness”).

      • Actually, Stephanie put the coin in the juke because she thought Dick and Anna would like the song because “they’re old”

      • “And, there has to be something about the creative process — the thrill of the hunt for new business — that he enjoys or he wouldn’t engage in it.”

        I’d say that’s a key theme about Don in the whole series: that he treats new business conquests and new romantic conquests exactly the same. Faye said it best in “Tomorrowland,” when Don told her he was engaged: he only likes the beginnings of things. (That would be why he prefers brunettes over blondes: blondes tend to represent truth for him, which is almost always bad news.)

  47. If you really think about it, Don said “goodbye” to everyone over the last few episodes. I don’t think we will see him back in NYC. I can see him calling Sally on the phone to say his “goodbye” because she understands him, accepts him, loves him and perhaps knows the most about him. I think that is the last “loose end” as far as Don is concerned. The remaining episodes will give us a vague idea of what the future may bring for the main characters but don’t expect any dramatic revelations. It will be up to us to fill in the future we want for each character. I think the final scene will be about Peggy. She is the future – young, ambitious and unwavering in her goals. The End.

  48. Why exactly is Hobart so enamored with Don, do you think? I’m trying to think of the last really great creative idea he’s had, and it must be years. I know as CD you maybe don’t initiate great ideas but add to/enhance, but not even much as that. I guess like in many professions, you can coast on reputation for years. I would think that advertising would be about ‘what have you done lately’ more so than in other areas.

    • Hobart wants Don because he couldn’t have him.

    • There’s now a whole thread about this, but: back in Season One, Don put Hobart down, none too gently, for using Betty as a pawn to help sign him away from SC. Then Don out-maneuvered him twice – in jumping ship from SC right before McCann bought it, then in merging with CG&C to snag Chevy out from under McCann’s nose. I’d be obsessed with him too.

  49. Just some observations
    1. I thought it was interesting how friendly Joan and Don were in the elevator. He clearly does not hold a grudge.
    2. I was surprised that Roger said Ï hate Caroline too” and that we did not see her in the episode
    3. Ferg’s imitation of Don sounded more like Nixon.
    4. Nice touch starting with “mission control”and ending with “ground control”
    5. Joan had a Tab soda can on her desk

    • I thought that his impersonation of Don sounding like Nixon was deliberate on Ferg’s part, as though he’s suggesting Don reminds him of Nixon.

      • Do you know, I can’t think of a single insult that’s more below-the-belt than that one. And that’s completely ignoring Watergate.

        Fun-but-meaningless-in-context fact: before he was Eisenhower’s vice-president, Nixon was a Senator (and a Congressman before that) from the great state of… wait for it… California.

  50. So many callbacks in this episode.

    The Miller Beer meeting talk about brand loyalty was a callback to the very first scene in the very first episode when Don was talking to the waiter about his brand of cigarettes and how nothing could get him to switch from smoking Old Gold. “It doesn’t matter, its, not open for discussion.”

    When Betty tells Don that Sally left for school with a friend “she comes and goes as she pleases” was a call back to Ginsberg’s remark about Megan’s friend crawling on the table during Jaguar.

    The plane flying over the Empire State Building–Adam worked there.

    Peggy waiting for her own office, a call back to when she asked Roger for her own office.

    Picking up a hitch hiker, Don did that once before and it didn’t turn out well. A hitch hiker is a modern day hobo riding the rails.

    When Diane’s ex-husband’s new wife let Don into the house it was a callback to when Betty let an air conditioning salesman into the house.

    Ferg sounds like Herb

    Peggy walking in with the box like in the very first episode.

    Bert’s picture was a reminder of the time Jane and several others went into Bert’s office to see his painting.

    Don and Betty in the kitchen was a callback to their marriage only this time Don is the needy lonely one, trying to get her attention, rubbing her back and she puts him off. She (and really everyone) doesn’t really need Don anymore. The kids are all busy with their lives and even at McCann he is only one of so many creative directors that nobody even notices or cares when he leaves the meeting. Whose life is really affected by him just disappearing? The only one who is upset is Jim Hobart and mostly because he has lost the prize possession that he was hunting for ten years.

    The box lunches in the room full of so many other creative directors was a call back to Belle Jolie–“Nobody wants to be one in a box of hundreds.”

    Joan tells Jim Hobart “I’m not negotiating” which is exactly what she said when she was talking to Pete about becoming a partner in exchange for sleeping with Herb.

    Diana’s ex husband says that only “Jesus can help you.” is a callback to the preacher in the whorehouse telling a young Dick Whitman that “the only unpardonable sin is to believe God can’t forgive you.”

    Dina’s daughter is a call back to Don/Dick’s childhood, abandoned by his mother.

    When he says “I’m Don Draper from McCann Erickson” that may be the last time we ever hear him introduce himself with that name again.

  51. A little nit-pick: ” ‘she comes and goes as she pleases’ was a call back to Ginsberg’s remark about Megan’s friend crawling on the table during Jaguar.”

    Ginsberg was actually talking about Megan coming and going from SCP.

  52. Let’s not forget that ‘Don Draper’ is NOT Don Draper. He’s Dick Whitman; and what kind of person is Dick Whitman? He’s the kind of person who can steal a dead man’s name and total lifelong identity away from him. It takes a profound psychopathology to allow him to forge through life faking it and not be bothered enough by it to let it interfere with his great plans. Who would Dick have become if he never became Don? I say a con man whose targets were always women. He would be constrantly scrounging around on the outer fringes of society, and his only girlfriends/wives/fiances would be someone just like Diane – an ‘ outlier ‘ herself.
    I see Dick dying of schirrosis (sp?) or lung cancer in the future, but I cannot imagine the show closing down with his deception being found out. That might even be a relief for him. He can then live out his life as Dick, the man he’s always been – no more pretenses to upper-middle-class norms.

  53. edit from weegie rhodie: I mean (last paragraph) “withOUT his deception being found out.”

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