Open Thread: The Milk and Honey Route

 Posted by on May 10, 2015 at 8:00 pm  Mad Men
May 102015

My heart, she is breaking as we head to the penultimate Mad Men episode ever. But don’t let me spoil the fun. Pull up a carton of cigarettes and enjoy, react to, and analyze The Milk and Honey Route.

A hearty welcome to any newbies. Check out our comment and spoiler policy. Basketcases of old, you know the drill. Hang out in this thread and/or live-tweet with us: @LippSisters, @SCandPartners #BasketLive.

I have little else to say. I’m in denial.

Have at it.


  445 Responses to “Open Thread: The Milk and Honey Route”

  1. T-1 hr 59 min.

  2. The Title:

    A throw back to Season 1.

    Don finally lands the Israel Tourist Board Account.

  3. Not so.
    The title refers to Don’s drive ( route) west to California from Wisconsin (milk ) through Utah (honey).

  4. Don’t be sad. We will be mining this show for YEARS!

  5. I’ve been wondering all week about the episode title. Is it one of those literal ones or does it express something else? If it’s literal, will the focus be on hobos, life on the open road and free train travel? Perhaps it’s a religious reference, Promised Land and such. Maybe it’s REALLY literal and Don will decide to raise dairy cows and become a beekeeper. My head hurts already!

  6. My computer having been fixed, I’m back. Please, restrain your cheering, no…

  7. T-90 minutes.

  8. I think we’ve seen the last of Megan, but, come to think of it, only 6 members of the Family were actually in jail…

  9. Has MW mentioned doing another series in the future. I’m so sad. On the one hand I can’t wait to see how it ends but at the same time I don’t want it to end! As Meredith would say “I’m so confused.”

  10. T-1 hr.

  11. CNN’s Jake Tapper previews tonight’s episode.

  12. As we get ready for tonight’s episode all I can think about is the answer to the big question: How is the series going to end for Don? I think everyone on this site and probably most viewers are obsessing over this too. While we have definitely had some clues, nothing is crystal clear. Right now I see several possibilities but based on theories others have espoused on here and elsewhere (i.e., none of them are mine)

    1) Don goes to California, leaves advertising, and reclaims his identity as Dick Whitman at least in spirit if not in name. This theory is hardly mine and is probably the consensus position or at least the most popular position out there. There are some pros and cons to this view:

    Pros (in terms of the theory being right):

    a) Don, as lots of people on this site have already remarked, is already probably Dick Whitman again.
    b) Don has been clearly wondering about the meaning of life and certainly seems to have serious doubts if advertising is meaningful- especially at sausage factories like McCann.
    c) Don may recognize the best things in life do not cost money as Bert reminded him in song in the midseason finale. Leaving McCann may leave him with not a lot of money (and perhaps none if he drops the Don identity completely) but he might not care.

    Cons (in terms of the theory being right):
    a) Does Don really want to be that far away from his children and not have the means to see them regularly?
    b) In the midseason finale Don makes what appears to be a sincere pitch to Ted about how much he missed advertising when he almost lost it and would do anything to get it back. Is he now ready to ditch it?

    2) Don Dies. This is certainly not my theory but one that many subscribe to.


    a) It has been foreshadowed in some ways for at least the last 2 seasons.
    b) It certainly resolves the Don story permanently and wraps up the series in a very final way.
    c) Don at times seems hopeless and keeps making the same mistakes endlessly. Is there anyway else it could end (my tongue is half in cheek but only half when I say this)?


    a) I can’t help but think that Matt Weiner wants to leave Don in a better place than when we were first saw him. Not a happy/perfect ending but a hopeful one in which Don seems to move forward in a real way.
    b) This would be a real downer of an ending and I just don’t see Weiner doing that to the audience. He might not write an ending that most will love, but I don’t see him ending the show that would be a real downer to the audience.

    3) Don fakes his death. I seriously doubt this will happen but I started to wonder about it following the appearance of the hitchhiker last week. Doubt this one too but could see why it might happen.


    a) The story of Don starts when Dick changes places with the real Don following his tragic death. Could Don find himself in a similar situation and do the reverse? From a plot perspective it would complete the circle.
    b) It allows Dick to escape the Don identity permanently.
    c) The entire cast could come together at the Don Draper funeral and bid him farewell in the concluding moments of the series. Not a bad way to end it.


    a) Don’s a horrible father but would he really want them thinking he died? He saw what it did to Adam. He was a neglected child himself – does he want to do that to his kids?
    b) Would Dick not be making the same mistake again instead of facing the consequences.

    4) Don essentially becomes Dick and stays in advertising because that’s what he loves. His narrative arch is that he finally learns to accept his life as it is and does the best he can with it and is an improved version of his life. Perhaps it’s at McCann or perhaps he gets fired and is able to start a new. My wife’s theory is that Don and Joan go to LA and start their own firm there (it’s a date!).


    a) Resolves the Dick-Don issue in spirit. And the key lesson is accept life and do the best you can.
    b) If it’s LA with Joan – puts Joan in a nice place.


    a) Could Don really stay with McCann? That thought seems to torture his soul right from season 1.
    b) In terms of a move to LA: We had the get fired so Don can start a new agency story line already. McCann is vindictive and I don’t seem them letting Don go so easily.

    5) Flash forward in time. Don and Peggy co-own their own agency.


    a) Certainly would be a nice story arch for the series and Peggy.
    b) Consistent with their relationship growing more and more into equals.


    a) I don’t see Matt Weiner wrapping things up so nice and neatly.
    b) It would be a little cliché and a very happy ending. That is just not Matt Weiner.

    6) Dick Whitman is arrested and outed for Desertion and Impersonating Don Draper.


    a) This issue has been lurking for a very long time.
    b) Would definitely show that there are real consequences (a big theme of Matt Weiner over the past few seasons) to one’s actions.
    c) Would end the story of Don.


    a) For a long time I thought this was going to come up as story. But I just do not see enough time to deal with it.
    b) It would be a downer for the series to end with Don getting arrested without being able to deal with it in depth.
    c) As I said above, I think Matt Weiner probably wants to leave Don in a slightly better place.

    Like others, I want to know how it ends. But I am becoming very sad that there will be no new episodes to look forward to. All the best!

    • Concerning # 4, Weiner and the writers appear not to have known that California didn’t enforce no-compete clauses.

      • Or maybe they’re totally aware of it.

      • I didn’t know that either!

      • A non-compete clause in an employment contract is one thing; but in a sale of a businees, it is an entirely different/enforceable agreement even in California. Tell ’em it is so Attorney Tilden.

    • So many options, so little time!

      For a while now, I’ve wondered if Don will leave advertising, go to California and become involved with the beginnings of the Human Potential Movement, that blossomed then spread worldwide in the 1970s.

      This ending would really be a beginning for him. He would shed his Don Draper persona to become Dick Whitman. It wouldn’t be a religious awakening, since he has rejected that since childhood, but it would offer him vast opportunities for self-discovery and growth. This also would not be advertising, but it would be an ideal outlet for the expression of his creative background and talents.

      The 1970s are often referred to as The Me Generation. Millions of people were seeking something real and lasting. Laboring in that vineyard would provide him great satisfaction, fulfillment and a way to powerfully contribute to making a difference that matters, in countless lives. I hate to call it a “product,” but to the extent that it is one, it is one that he could “sell” the hell out of.

    • Well Matt Weiner through a nice curve ball to the audience and to Don with Betty’s news. Will this change Don’s plans? Maybe he will want to fix that coke machine after all….

  13. Has anyone else been guessing what the final credit music will be for the series finale? This is one guessing game I have played a lot. Perhaps its because I am a massive Beatles fan that I have two guesses that would fit the timeline of the show (both released in 1970) and might have the right theme: Get Back (if Don becomes Dick in California this would work well) and George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass which I think might work well with any ending for the show.

    Would love to hear any guesses anyone else has.

    • The End by The Beatles

    • Let it Be

    • Hey Jude.

    • The Long And Winding Road

      The long and winding road
      That leads to your door
      Will never disappear
      I’ve seen that road before
      It always leads me here
      Leads me to your door
      The wild and windy night
      That the rain washed away
      Has left a pool of tears
      Crying for the day
      Why leave me standing here
      Let me know the way
      Many times I’ve been alone, many times I’ve cried – [Gareth]
      Anyway you’ll never know, the many ways I’ve tried – [Will]
      But still they lead me back to the… – [Both]
      Long, winding road
      You left me standing here
      A long, long time ago
      Don’t leave me waiting here
      Lead me to your door
      Yeah yeah yeah yeah
      Still they lead me back
      To the long winding road
      You left me standing here
      A long, long time ago
      Don’t leave me waiting here
      Lead me to your door
      Yeah yeah yeah

    • I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke

    • Lately I’ve been feeling Carry On by Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, & also Changes by Donovan.

  14. T-30 minutes.

  15. While I probably should wait to post this next week, I want to post this week in case I forgot in all of the excitment/sadness of next week. I want to thank the Lipp Sisters for creating this incredible space for intelligent conversation about “Mad Men.” I also want to thank all of my fellow BasketCases for making “Mad Men” even better. I thoroughly enjoyed discussing this show with all of you. It was beyond amazing to hear what other smart/intelligent/creative people thought about the show. Thank you.

  16. Don has a 50% chance of being alive at the end of this episode, by my estimation.
    The last episode will be his eulogy?
    Roger will deliver it, and then jump out the window.

    • I think Don has a 99% chance of living through this episode.

      Next week is anyone’s guess.

    • Roger would never jump out of a window.

    • Here’s another of my gems from left field …

      Earlier this season, everyone was grappling with who the hell Diana was and why she was brought into the story at this late point in the series. Last week, her ex compared her to a tornado, leaving lives destroyed in her wake. As he told this to Don, I pretty much dismissed his remark – that is, until this episode.

      This week, we find Don, still in the Midwest. What if Diana’s sole purpose was simply to get him there, by way of Racine Wisconsin, St Paul Minnesota, Wyoming, Kansas and God knows where else? That part of the country is the heart of Tornado Alley.

      If he’s still in those parts next week and we hear warning sirens wailing, Don could be among the victims. It’s the ideal scenario for those who think he dies in the end and we’d finally get to see Don do the “falling man” thing.

      Of course, Matthew Weiner, under the influence of a hit of Roger Sterling’s best acid, wouldn’t subject the fans to something like that, though it’s more plausible than that D.B. Cooper theory we keep hearing about.

  17. And Here.



  18. Well, here we are again…

  19. Looking forward the the last two– Sorry I can’t make the finale — Have fun all!
    Also, Sisters Lipp, when can I post the MM videos I made (they’re in the ready-to-publish column) 🙂
    And Roberta don’t be so down, this has been a wonderful ride! And this blog made all the difference! Love to All! <3

  20. Trudy!

  21. Duck!

  22. Merle Haggard. How I hated that song.

  23. Mark Moses in the credits!!! I knew it. I don’t think there has ever been a season without Duck.

  24. Never heard about putting toothpaste on a bee sting, but I remember baking-soda paste on stings well.

  25. I love that he’s telling Sally; I’ll bet Jim Hobart is clueless.

    • Yes! It’s like Valentine’s Day, only this time, he really is doing something wrong. This also demonstrates that Sally can keep a secret. Eventually, she is going to know the full complete story.

  26. Puzzled where everybody at the office thinks Don is.

    • Poor sweet Meredith.

      She tried to be his strength.

      • That’s a missing moment I’d like to see. How long do you think she tried to make excuses? (He just stepped out, he’s in a meeting, and whatever else she could come up with that wouldn’t arouse suspicion or embarass Don)

        • I don’t know that she was in love with him but she was certainly infatuated. She’s going to be crushed to learn that Don flew the coop.

          Thing is that the guy she’s infatuated with was a mirage. She’s just lucky she didn’t get hurt by Don Draper.

  27. Wyoming had a two-headed cow. I’m in Kansas now. We have no idea about money.

    Well, that about sums it up. See you all next week. 🙂

  28. Betty’s in trouble.

  29. Oh, jeez, what are they gonna do to Betty this time?

    And a Duck! I knew he’d bubble up at some point or another…

  30. All those women are real revolutionaries since Columbia wouldn’t admit them for ten more years.

  31. One month here. So there’s our time frame.

  32. Duck on the skids, makes you think of a dog out on the streets

  33. Mrs. Robinson!

  34. Betty had a scare in Tea Leaves

    Guess it’s come back.

  35. Henry, you are such a Henry.

  36. No cigs? That’s trouble.

  37. Cadillacs don’t just break rocker arms. That’s odd.

    • Even Caddies had their issues in 1970. Amazing how much more reliable cars have become.

  38. KOMA radio. That’s Oklahoma. Don must be headed south on I-35 to catch I-40 west.

    • Back then, 40 was very discontinguous through Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. The last piece wasn’t finished until around 1983.

      • Well, if he near Woodward, he’s in OK. Just a little bit away from Waynoka, in OK miles.

        • I think the last traffic light on I-40 was over in Adrian, Texas. Oklahoma was mostly done.

      • Wow, I hitchhiked 40 in 1974, and I had forgotten that. Now I remember.

  39. Betts is done.

    • 9 months to a year? That’s optimistic even now with that level of metastasis, I can’t imagine in that time frame she would even have that long. Just when she was getting things together…

      • not to be maudlin but I just lost a friend a few weeks ago to lung cancer at 48 that had metastasized and she didn’t last long after the diagnosis. So this definitely hit close to home. Poor Betty.

        • I am so sorry for your loss.

        • The time is rather long without treatment. My husband had some treatments and surgeries but he only lasted 6 months from diagnosis to his death. In those days I doubt that she would have advanced medicine as it was in 1995 when my husband died.

          That sort of leaves the boys w/o a father if he never goes back to get them. Or do something. Henry will not be their father surely. I worry now. Don has become more of a father since the seventh season began so maybe he will take them all with him to whatever place he is going to live.

          • I am sorry for your loss and all those here whose lives have been touched by cancer. As a two time survivor before age 45, all I could think through the tears was how really nothing has changed in science and medicine about our ability to deal with late stage cancer diagnoses from 1970 to 2015. Even with all of our technology and fancy drugs and hospitals, Betty’s options today really would be not any better with that kind of diagnosis. And that’s really sad. Cancer is the biggest bitch there is.

        • I am so sorry for your loss, and I hope the episode didn’t make it too much more painful for you.

    • Toasted.

  40. Remember when I wrote “No cigs? That’s trouble”?

    Standing by that.

    • But I’m angry for her, after all this time. Which surprises me, since MW has tried his damnedest to make us count her out.

  41. There goes the idea that Don disappears into a new life at the end. He would never leave his children to be raised by Henry.

  42. So sad! I thought someone was going to die, but I thought it would be Roger.

  43. Oh, Birdie. Say it ain’t so!

  44. Fairview is in Oklahoma as well.

  45. That was just a near-duplicate of a shot from years ago, maybe the first California trip.

  46. Hey baskets! I’m on an anniversary vacation. Spotty reception in the room…sobbing…..Never my favorite character but why Betty..needed to connect…

  47. Please Don, don’t!

  48. Don is using the past tense. He’s already moved on.

  49. Flip Wilson! Redd Foxx!

    • Timeframe clue —

      The Flip Wilson Show clip was from the episode that aired on NBC Thursday October 1, 1970.

      • Two weeks from my birthday! My actual birth day! And I thought that Weight Watchers scale and the ‘meet someone’s dad in the city for lunch’ bit were already eerily familiar. I finally have a taste of what some of you have been feeling this whole time.

  50. Color television in small local hotels would have been pretty uncommon back then. Not unheard of, but I only remember color sets in major chains like Howard Johnson’s or Holiday Inn.

  51. And Don sees what he might have become. A small town hustler,

  52. I want Don out of this town fast. Something horrible is going to happen, I can feel it.

    • Yeah, the mention of the VFW is a bad sign. Something dumb will happen.

    • It’s a little eerie and not at the same time.

    • Who would come for Don’s body if he’s murdered?
      Betty, the mother of his children?

    • I agree, Melville —

      All those years we thought the exposing of Don Draper would come at the hands of Dow Chemical or the defense industry in some way.

      Instead, it might come at the hands of a combative drunk in a small-town VFW hall.

      • It looks like he dodged it… While they hint at finding out if the car is stolen, I can’t see that leading to Dick being uncovered even with what he said to them about killing his CO.

        • He found himself in the one place in the world he can say for the first time what actually happened.

          He never even told Anna that much.

    • Betts stays Betts till the end.

  53. No, Pete, you’re too much of a goofball. Eat the pie.

  54. Pete is gonna regret letting Duck back into his life.

    • I’m giving even odds Duck is going to double-cross Pete somehow. And then Peggy will have to kick his ass.

      • Duck has a great deal of money to be made from that placement, I doubt he will double-cross Pete.

  55. Can Pete risk that much? Or is this MW’s way of setting up how he died in a small plane crash?

  56. Super-radical mastectomy?

    • No, radiation therapy to shrink the tumor(s), but that will only provide a little bit of pain relief.

  57. Well I originally thought Don would settle in California and have the kids during the summer – maybe they all move west now?

  58. Sally Draper doesn’t cry, Henry.

  59. Don and Coca-Cola. Destiny.

    • The Coke machine is on the fritz, as is Betty, who might have brought her Grace Kellyness to their ads, once upon a time. Everything that shows up in this show, usually does again.

  60. Aw, Sally is becoming little mother.

  61. Don’s going to end up running that motel and being just fine!

  62. Well this just breaks my heart, Sally is a grownup.

  63. Next on Madmen: Don becomes a Rotarian.

  64. Hey, Pete’s jowly brother!!!

    • Took me a while to place him. Haven’t seen him in years.

      • Not since they decided to blow off the murder of their mother, because hiring a detective would be too expensive.

        • Because hiring a detective would not bring Mom back. Plus, Manolo would be nowhere to be found.

          • AND an investigation might make her death public if charges were pressed. This could be embarrassing for their mother’s memory.

  65. I have this vague sense of dread in every plot thread so far tonight.

  66. It’s always about you, isn’t it, Betty?

    Henry betrayed you. NOT Henry brought your daughter home in a crisis. No. Of course not.

    • I can giver her a break. She’s just finding out herself.

    • He could have respected her wishes for a minute to give her a chance to process her options.

    • Well, if you’re diagnosed with terminal cancer, I think that’s a moment when you can legitimately say it’s all about you, don’t you?

  67. I have trouble believing that his brother is all that attractive to women, but what a nice brotherly get together.

  68. Why that’s odd. I knew a Don in Korea… Don Draper.

  69. Wojo!

  70. The cake, geese, almost makes you miss Megan doesn’t it?

  71. Duck is not sober……….again.

  72. Good ol’ drunk Duck. Pete never seems to stay in a small hotel room, does he? Suite at the Carlyle… he should be downstairs listening to Bobby Short.

  73. Duck is like a tornado. At least he kept his pants on.

  74. What’s Don going to do when he finds out Betty is dying/? Who is going to tell him?

  75. Please just everybody let’s get out of this episode without too much more chaos, OK? Ten or eleven more minutes…

  76. WHOA.

  77. Wait, maybe this is why Don is here, now, which these guys.

  78. The vets are Bert. “Who cares?”

  79. A form of therapy, if you were there, I don’t need to tell you and if you weren’t there I can’t tell because you would never understand

  80. Almost thought that was it.

  81. I killed my CO.

    Dick Whitman in all but name.

  82. That. Was. Perfect.

  83. How long has been needing to get that off his chest? It didn’t come with a negative outcome either.

  84. Henry’s not going to be able to handle things.

    Betty is of course correct.

  85. The young hustler took the money.

  86. The vets went from Bert to the draft-dodging couple quickly.

  87. The mustachioed Vet also from Korea is Pam’s terrible fiance from the first few seasons of The Office…

    • Roy!

    • Omigod, how did I not realize that? I’ve seen him in other things too – he was on “Parenthood” for a while.

      Oddly enough I kept looking at him thinking he reminded me of Greg (Joan’s husband). Now I realize, no, he just reminded me of himself.


  88. I don’t like this episode.

  89. Well looks like Don will make it to the finish.
    Foiled, again!

  90. Pete, you’re a little crazed just now. Have you ever SEEN Wichita?

  91. Never be the stranger in town with the new car

  92. There’s no plsce like home. In Kansas.

  93. Pete’s a closer.

  94. You two… cut it out already. What are you not telling us??

  95. Why do I think this job in Wichita is going to fall through thanks to Ducks incompetence?

    • That’s what I am thinking.

    • Knowing Duck – well, yeah.

      I liked Pete’s “you stumbled into the wrong office” line. I wonder if he later went looking for Roger’s office, so he could take a crap on his chair?

    • And it might very well. But I do wonder if Matt Weiner might give us one happy ending with Pete reconciling with Trudy and getting the perfect job. He would not do that for the whole series but maybe he would do it for one character.

  96. This better be good…

  97. Loving Don correcting the kids grammar.

    • Don is very much in a position to say, “don’t go down that road.”

    • Don wants better for the kid. Somewhere along the line, someone did that for him, now he’s trying to help someone esle. He knows what his life is, and doesn’t wish it on anybody.

  98. October 3, 1970.

  99. Enlightened Betty. Why do I have to like her now that she’s dying?

  100. Lord, I am crying for Sally and Betty! Hurting right now!

  101. And one helluva sendoff for Mrs. Elizabeth Hoftstadt Draper Francis.

    • Oh no. I hope that is not the last of Betty.

    • But is Betty even 40 years old? Who dies from lung cancer that young?

      • I’m not an expert, but I would guess that someone who was a smoker since she was a teenager probably has a pretty good chance of dying from lung cancer that young.

      • Amazingly this does happen and even to non-smokers.

      • Anyone whose mother may have died of cancer at a young age.

      • Anyone whose mother may have died of cancer at a young age. Smoking doesn’t even really have to come into it, and we don’t know how Betty’s mom died, but to keep things in line with the narrative, the cigarettes factor in and it’s likely Betty’s mom died of cancer (as it has been the big disease fear of this show since the first episode).

  102. Don Draper has NOW died.

  103. Hobo achieved.

  104. …and Don disappears a little more.

    • Next week he fades out completely, with his immaculate hair disappearing last…

      The Cheshire Draper

  105. That was bizarre. I am not re-watching this episode tonight.

  106. Betty is one tough hombre.

  107. Phenomenal! Crying for Betty and Sally and the boys. Will Don become their father again? Or remain a hobo?

  108. Don finally saying aloud what happened in Korea was immense. I don’t know if he even told Anna that.

  109. Suicides often give away their possessions — a million dollars, a Cadillac. Doubt that’s going to happen, though.

    • Metaphorically, it was a suicide. That’s the end of Don Draper.

      • Except what about Sally? He’s not going to cut her out of his life. I hate the thought of her losing both parents. Don will still call and send postcards, won’t he?

        • True. I don’t think he’s going to disappear into hobo-dom, But when he comes back to be her father, he’ll be different. He’ll finally be …himself?

  110. On repeat, Duck begs Pete “for old time’s sake.” Pete uses the same line on Trudy later.

    • Minor artists borrow; great artists steal.

      • And neither got turned down(at least in the end) unlike poor old Sal in the God Father.

    • Don was reading the Godfather. I’m not sure if it was in the novel but it was in the movie–when Tessio is revealed as the traitor who was planning to have Michael killed, when they’re about to take him away, he says to Tom Hagen, “can you get me off the hook? for old time’s sake?” Of course, it doesn’t work.

      • Good catch. I wondered what Don was reading. I didn’t think to pause my DVR, because I too excited to see what would happen next.

  111. Matt Weiner has little use for small-town Midwestern America. They all turn out to be nasty, violent, and small-minded.

    • So it’s probably a bad thing that he’s sending Pete there, isn’t it?

      • Population of Wichita in 1970 was 275,000. Not NY but not exactly a “small town.”

      • Pete will never fit in in Kansas. The entire idea is crazy. Pete lived nearly every day of his life in New York. He may as well move to Mars.

        • I thought the idea of moving to Cos Cob was crazy. There are very few things that seem like brilliant ideas at 4 in the morning, that actually are in fact actual good ideas.

        • I am presuming, hopefully not without reason, that a family of rich, well-connected executives from New York City will land right at the top of the social sphere in Wichita. It’s all balls and parties from here on out.

          For a second I was thinking, “How does PETE get a happy ending???” before I realized that Trudy was giving in largely out of exhaustion with being “poor Trudy Campbell” and that not only will they only ever be sort of happy, but they’ll both probably be dead inside within a year or two.

          (I should probably not watch such a morose episode more than once in a row.)

          • That makes sense to me. I’m not sure why Trudy thinks things will be different this time, but she knows who he is, and what she’s getting into. As you pointed out, she’ll have status, and be a society wife once again. Where will Tammy go to school? It’s already October.

            • There are plenty of pre-schools in Witchita she can go to, and remember there were some major airlines headquartered in that city at that time. Lots of top executives there, lots of money, business interests from all over the world, it wasn’t A small rural town by any stretch

          • Pete and Trudy have grown up together and separately, and they want a new start. They have the optimism to think they can have a fresh start, its admirable. That Tammy is so cute, I wish them well.

        • Not really, though: he’s got the use of a Lear Jet any time he wants it, and he can use that to go anywhere. It’s a bit ominous given how his father died, but it’s also a way better commute for him than driving (which he never mastered) and all the clientele he’ll be dealing with will be people who have “made it”. Small town limitations won’t hem him in.

          • If he is going to live in Wichita he better learn to drive!

            • Surely it’s always been easier to drive in Wichita than Metropolitan NYC?

            • I have never driven in NYC, just too easy to use public transport. But Wichita has some busy streets, but it can’t be too hard to drive there, I managed to drive a 1955 Chevy with a touchy carburetor there in 1970.

            • He’ll be rich enough to hire a driver.

    • Rather like Easy Rider.

    • It’s not as if New York has been portrayed as a sweet, peaceful, fair-minded eden for all these episodes. MM ain’t exactly been a love letter to what was called at the time Fun City.

      • Pete remarked last week to Trudy that NYC was becoming a sewer. In 1970 he was on the money.I think they both need a change. Bill Lear was also an aviation pioneer. Wichita was also a major Boeing location then. Pete better like airplanes and cars!

  112. Mad Men finishes with the the most heartbreaking Mother’s Day episode

  113. Don’s salvation will not come from focusing on himself and his needs but by being there for and caring for his kids who will desperately need him when Betty is gone.

    • I wonder if the final episode will feature a time jump to Betty’s funeral. I can see Don going to the funeral, but staying in the back of the church, and slipping out before anyone in the family sees him.

      • That could also be a way to bring a lot of folks back together one last time, but maybe that’s too contrived.

      • I think it will post funeral. Betty will be gone by next weeks episode, Pete will be in Wichita.

  114. Don clearly has become Dick and I think he knows what he wants to do … even if it’s just hitting the road. But Betty’s news may alter everything. If Don has grown, it’s going to be time for him to step up as a father. Will he raise his kids or will he leave it to Henry? I have no doubt that Henry will not let them down. I’d like to think Don is not the same guy who did not come home with the birthday cake.

    • The dog wasn’t a bad consolation prize.

    • He’ll hit the road, but I’d like to think he’d stay in touch with his kids, even if it is just phone calls, post cards, and the occasional visit. If Don does decide to live out of a suitcase, how will he surive? ATM cards don’t exist yet. Will he be like an older one man “Route 66”?

  115. I think of “Over There” as a WWI era song, but the vets there were mostly WWII or Korea. Is it a war song that they would have known, because they learned it from the WWI veterans?

    Also, the final song was an interesting choice. It’s going back slightly more than a decade (1959ish vs. 1970). Who do you think Don wants true love from? “Come what may/do you ever long for, true love from me”

    • Yes to your “Over There” question. I believe it is a Cohan song, but yes, WWII vets too would have know it well.

      • Absolutely. Yankee Doodle Dandy, the George M Cohan bio with Jimmy Cagney came out in 1942 or 1943. The movie ends with Cagney’s Cohan singing Over There will marching military men (led by Frank Faylen),

      • “Over There” was also a callback to Gene Hofstadt, who served in WW1 and had the stories and souvenirs to prove it. It was the closing song in The Arrangements.

        • Although the pickelhaube helmet with the spike, that he took form a German soldier that he had killed, had long been replaced by the stahlhelm type known from the second war, by the time the U.S. declared war in 1917. Anything outside the main time frame of the series, does not seem to have been checked, like the generic Depression seens of Don’s youth, as someone mentioned.

      • When I was young, World War I vets (and one vey old guy who fought in the Spanish-American war) were riding in the convertibles at the Memorial Day Parade, and the WWII and Korea vets were marching.

        The kids going to Vietnam were still going, not yet really coming back.

        20 years later, the WWI vets were gone, the WWII vets were in the convertibles, the Korea and early Vietnam vets were marching.

        Now, when I go back to my old town, all the WWII vets are gone, the Korea vets are up nursing beers at the Legion, the Vietnam vets are in pickup trucks or on floats, and the Gulf War and Iraq vets are marching.

    • Thanks to 2BG and melly. This is one of the many reasons I love this place. I can ask a question, and get an intelligent answer.

  116. In the hobo code wasn’t the hobo dressed in a nice but dirty suit. A former businessman? Don had become him and the kid who took the money and the car was just like young dick Whitman. He couldn’t save Diana but heat have saved that young hustler.

    • I hadn’t thought of that. Don just wanted to save someone, perhaps because he felt as though he couldn’t save himself. In “The Hobo Code” the hobo had a job and a family, but he left it all and walked away from his former life.

      • And perhaps remembering what Anna did for him when she found out he was impersonating her dead husband. We don’t know exactly what happened but we do know that she fully accepted Dick even after that.

      • And then the hobo said he “slept like a stone” when all the burdens of life were on him.

        • Sorry, burdens Were off him. Wife, kids, fancy job, living in New York; He shed them all like a skin. The hobo Seems to have made a delayed impact on Dick Whitman.

          • I wouldn’t say it was a delayed impact. The hobo was the first person to show him there was a life beyond where and what he was. The hobo was probably the first person to be kind to him. I always thought Don switching the dog tags was the result of the hobo. The hobo taught him it was possible to walk away from your life and start over.

    • Does anyone remember how shocked we were when that young couple rolled Don in the motel room years ago and kindly left him his ’62 Cadillac? And how we couldn’t believe Don couldn’t have seen that coming?

      This one had some of the same feel, except he really, really did nothing to deserve what happened this week, and realistically, came out OK in the end.

  117. Can’t say I care to see Don raising the kids at series end. I like my MM dark and unforgiving. And let’s face it, Henry will be a better father to those kids than Don.

    Would MW dare end this thing with a “I’m Dick Whitman” line?

    • I don’t want to see Don raising his kids, but I do want him to be a part of their life, even if it is just every other weekend, and a dinner with Sally when she’s home during school breaks.

    • I think you’re right. I don’t know what will happen, but I don’t agree with whoever said above that Don would never let Henry raise the kids. It’s not always that cut-and-dry. If anyone remembers “Terms of Endearment,” you probably remember that Flap (Jeff Daniels) was able to put aside his pride and realize that, even though he’d always be their father, his children were probably better off being raised by his wife’s mother.

      • In the sequel, one of them ended up in prison.

        • I remember that! I saw that movie too. The Evening Star. Not as good as the first, but the first one was hard to top.

          • and that wasn’t the fault of how he was raised, it was just the way that he (the son) was. He ended up turning things around after he got out though, met a nice girl, etc., etc.

    • I don’t see Henry raising the kids unless he remarries. His work in politics means he works long hours and is often gone from home. Don is now unattached, doesn’t need to work, can actually be there for the kids 24/7.

      • Yet another good point.


        • but could Don actually handle the day to day of raising his sons? I like the idea, but I’m not sure he could do it.

          • I guess whether it’s Don or Henry, they’ll need help from a housekeeper, etc. Actually from Glen’s recent visit, it looks like Betty and Henry currently do have a housekeeper, the same way they used to have Carla.

          • Don will do it for sure. They are his kids, he will take responsibility. Sally knows he is out of a job, because their phone conversation reflected that. She is definitely going to sell that hockey equipment!

      • Logical argument except that Don drinks and can end up crashing in a woman’s bed. Ultimately, he is usually out later than Henry, regardless of their work hours.

        Beyond that, I think it would be too sentimental.

        • Exactly. It’s a very 1970s sensitve man type thing, and Don Draper is very much a man of the 1950s.

          • He’ll step up.

            • He does have an independent streak, so maybe it’s possible. He’ll need something to do to keep his mind occupied, some sort of freelance work, or just something to do while the boys are at school.

              Another possibility, Henry could hire someone to watch the kids after school.

        • Or, in a bad scenerio, Sally moves home, goes to a local high school, takes over the day to day type mothering for her brothers, maybe with a babysitter type to help out. Delays or goes to a local University in 2 years, stays around until Gene is out of high school. I’ve had friends who did that, tough, but doable.

  118. Kind of disappointed with this episode. I know we’ve been seeing send-offs (sort of send-offs) for Joan, for Ken, and now Pete is getting a new opportunity, but…..when it really comes down to it, I wanted to see more of the people in the office for the last remaining episodes. Not Don off bullshitting with VFW guys and getting on the road.

    • and when I say people in the office, I meant everyone in the office: Peggy, Roger, etc. And speaking of Peggy – what the hell, they introduce that potential boyfriend for her a while back and then nothing? What was the point of that? Unless he’s coming back to town and they are going to end up together. Or they show her with someone else in the last episode. I don’t know. I really hope everything gets pulled together.

      • This is probably just my imigination, but in my little fantasy world, the point was to show that Stan is someone who would encourage her to go for it, and do something that would make her happy. Yes, I know there’s only one episode left, and I’m still shipping Steggy like crazy.

        • Could be. I’ve heard others say that too. I see Stan & Peggy more as friends, but if the show decides to “go that way” I guess I could be okay with it. It all kind of depends on the execution….and for that I’m bummed that there is only one more episode.

          • I understand how you feel (even though it’s embarassing how hard I am rooting for a fictional couple). HARRY POTTER SPOILERS AHEAD. In “Harry Potter,” I wanted Neville and Luna to get together, but I was okay when they didn’t. I liked the idea of Luna ending up with someone she met as an adult, who didn’t know what she was like in school.

      • There is an interview of MW on YT in which he said that Peggy had a choice between Mr. Right and work and ultimately chose work. He referenced it in context of Don hearing of Rachel’s death and Cosgrove choosing to work for Dow rather than write a novel. Seemed like a tell although with MW one never knows: could have been a calculated feint.

        • Interesting. I haven’t heard anything, but I did read something a while ago where Elisabeth Moss said she was “surprised” at the way Peggy’s storyline wrapped up but “I ended up really liking it.” I’m paraphrasing, that wasn’t exactly what she said, but something along those lines, IIRC.

    • I’m with you with the Don on the road with VFW guys crit. Semi-interesting but kind of a downer.

      I already miss Don Draper. He made the show.

  119. So, what symbol did the Dick the hobo leave on the hotel’s fence post? A dishonest man lives here would be my guess.

    • Oh yeah, forgot about that! Yes, I think that would be the thing to leave.

      Funnily enough, I just saw “The Hobo” (aka Paul Schulze) earlier tonight, since I also watch Nurse Jackie and he’s on there.

    • In a way, the code that the hobo shared with young Dick, was a form of advertising, albeit aimed at a small and narrowly focussed audience — gentlemen of the rails and the road. Each mark was like a little billboard, letting them know about the “product” (people) inside the “box” (houses along the way).

      Back in the episode when Roger and Don first met, he was at the fur company as a salesman, but also doing the ads for Teddy the Furrier. He told Roger it was something he had an interest in, that his boss let him do. It’s entirely possible that the message of the hobo code, made an impact on some level and sprouted years later, initially in fur ads and blossomed fully at Sterling Cooper and beyond.

      • I like this observation, and agree with it.

        “The Hobo Code” & “The Fog” are my favorite Mad Men episodes, so far.

        Hobo Code touched a deep chord.

        • The more times I watch The Hobo Code, the more pivotal episode I think it is to Dick’s story. The poor kid was obviously trapped on the Whitman homestead and later, at Uncle Mack’s brothel. The hobo planted the seed that he had to get out and that there were options, that the world was much bigger than the one he was stuck in. We’ve seen scenes of Dick’s youth at both places, but the show has never shown the exact circumstances of his “Ah Ha” moment, when he took all that to heart and fled. The next point in the chronology is when we first see him in Korea. Elsewhere, I’ve speculated that the hobo, perhaps in his early 20s in the 1930s, went on to become Jim Hobart. The hobo’s story to young Dick, notes that he’d once been a responsible member of society, but those pressures became too much for him. It’s quite possible that once the Depression was over, he returned to a life of responsibilities, perhaps first, in the military during WW2, then into advertising in the late 40s, into the 50s – and beyond. By the time we meet him, he’s aged of course and while the characters are played by two different actors, to my eyes at least, the hobo looks as if he could well have aged into Hobart. I realize this one is REALLY out of left field. even for me, but think about it. This whole damn show is about a man who sheds one persona and picks up another one, to make his way through the world. Hobo to Hobart. Whitman to Draper. Even his first and last names provide a clue: Don (to put on). Draper (one who covers). And now, in recent months, Hobart has finally captured Don and in so doing, also provides impetus and the ultimate trap door, for him to escape. If we know anything about this series, it’s about surprises and things coming full circle. Of course, given my shabby track record on predicting anything correctly on this show, this notion may well be the thing that seals my perfectly imperfect batting average. But then again, the finale awaits us.

          • I like your theory. I wondered if Hobart knew the real Don. Your theory id more interesting 🙂

  120. One thing about MM’s famous verisimilitude. Those WWII vets would have only been about 50 in 1970. They looked older than that. At least Floyd did.

    • It’s late and I’m bad at math. If the average of a soldier in WWII was 26, then to get that number as an average, there would have to be older soldiers. Maybe they were older when the war started, but still enlisted or were drafted.

      • Valid point and probably more likely if he was non-conscripted.

      • It seemed to me the vets were WWI vets in their 70s. Also, wasn’t “Over There” truly a WWI song? (or at least how it’s most remembered?)

        • I asked the exact same question here too. The answer was that while it was popular in WWI, it was revived for WWII. It was in movies in the 1940s, and WWII soldiers would have learned it from WWI veterans.

        • Ah hah! Maybe that was it. I just assumed they were WW2 vets like Roger. Could have been doughboys.

          • If they served in WWI, they would have to be at least 70, and they didn’t look that old. You first assumption was correct, they are WWII vets, like Roger.

        • But he said the the Huertgen forest, not Belleau Wood.

          • My father was in that battle.

            He was born in 1911 and in the PA National Guard (joined in 1940) when the Keystone Division was activated in February of 1942.

    • My recollection as a kid was that people looked a lot older tan they do today. I’m not talking about my perception but rather all the smoking and bad work conditions (did anyone care about air quality?) aged people more quickly. I did a quick search and life expectancy for men was 67 in 1970.

      • It’s also how they dressed. People looked older.

        • TLo talked about this in one of their posts on fashions. They look old to our eyes because we were young when we saw people wearing clothes like they are wearing, but in that 1970 s world they look like what they are, 50-60 year olds. If you had been born in 1930 (say), and you were walking and talking in 1970, they would not look that old to you. To someone born in 1990, they look like your grandparents, that is to say, old. The wife of the owner of the hotel looked about 40 or so to me, but looked very old to my son, born in 1990.

          • I just re-watched. I think the actress looks mid-forties at the youngest, I’d guess 45 or 46 at the youngest but she could be anywhere from 45 to 53. This judging from her skin, not from the hairdo and the glasses around the neck which I agree are aging.

      • I agree. 5o is not what it used to be. You can see this on TV. The Golden Girls were supposed to be in their 50’s. No one in their 50’s looks like that any more. Maybe that is just my perception since I am getting older 🙂

    • Draft age in WW2 was 18-38. There were many 30-35 year old soldiers in WW2. They would have been 56-61 year old vets in 1970.

      • scenes of Don’s youth.

      • Yes, there were. My late grandfather, born in 1913, tried to volunteer in 1942 at age 29. They rejected him (“too old, too many kids and flat feet,” he said in a memoir he left 40 years later) and he spent WWII drilling and tapping holes for the superchargers on the Pratt & Whitney engines they put on bombers.

  121. Incidentally, they should have gone around the Huertgen Forest.

    • I remember a lecture on that, bad maps and poorly marked roads were the cause I think.

  122. The preview for next week implores us to ” not miss the BOAT”, any significant clue there?

    • Nope. There are no actual clues in previews.

      • They raised non-directional previews to high art years ago. Other AMC shows have made great use of it. After MM vanishes, I will try to plug the gap with “Halt & Catch Fire.” They use the same opaque previews.

  123. My husband, who NEVER talks through episodes kept saying, why is this SO sad? And I had a terrible feeling of dread through all of it. I found it very interesting though that this link gave the Betty storyline a little over 6 mos ago. So, either someone leaked, and kudos to them, or someone has a very good method of guessing. But, we don’t know what might happen do we? Penultimate episodes sometimes throw us for a loop and get us off the scent!

  124. I will have to let this one sink in a bit before I truly inderstand where next week will take us. And leave us.

    (p.s. I think it was anachronistic of Don to refer to his car’s “glove box” when handing it off to the kid. “Glove compartment” would have been used in 1970.)

    • I still call it the glove box in 2015, guess I’m behind the times.

    • I’m not sure if using an older term counts as an anachronism. If that’s what he grew up calling it, why wouldn’t he continue to call it that?

    • Some people called their refrigerator the “ice-box”.

    • My point was that throughout my life — I am 62 — I had never heard the term “glove box” and always heard the term “glove compartment” in reference to that part of a car, until relatively recently. Whether there is a generational or regional cpmponent involved, I don’t know. But, it sounded wrong when Don said it.

      • We used “glove box” and we are almost-63 (me) and 65 (Mr. Melly). We used it the other day.

        My mother’s father was an ice-and-coal man (family business now heating oil moving into solar as a sideline). I said “ice box” until I was in my 30s.

        Generational? Regional? Who knows?

        • Just to be clear (on this very small matter):

          The “old” name (circa 1970) for that little storage compartment in a car was “glove compartment.” Within the last (maybe) 10-15 years, that exact same little storage compartment was renamed “glove box.” It was not – to my knowledge – originally called a “glove box,” where the Don character in 1970 may be simply referring to an outdated term (i.e., “glove box”) from his earlier years. That term had not yet been coined.

          It is unlike the “refrigerator” vis-à-vis “ice box” references in this thread, because people who refer to the “refrigerator” as an “ice box” are simply using a term they may have grown up with and which is ingrained in their way of speaking. “Ice box” preceded “refrigerator,” while “glove box” succeeded “glove compartment.” And therein lies the anachronism.

          (For the record, my parents, more often than not referred to the “refrigerator” as the “ice box,“ as I did, on occasion.”)

          • Sorry, where I grew up in the 40s and 50s, my dad called it “the glove box.” It became the highfalutin “glove compartment” after I was an adult.

            • That’s interesting. Thanks.

              What’s also interesting are the nuggets found in the Wikipedia entry for “Glove Compartment.” There you will find another variation on the name — “cubby-hole” — used in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Barbados, and, get this, “…parts of Southern Minnesota.” (!) And, don’t forget “jockey box,” found in Idaho and Montana.

              Ah, woids! Ya gotta love ’em!


          • Kinda like my 85-year old mom still referring to margarine as “Oleo” (brand name from the Depression, I think??)

            • The formal name for margarine was”oleomargarine.” My mom called it “oleo,” too.

            • Oh, yeah. As late as the 1960s, they put a pack of yellow coloring in with the oleo that you could knead into the oleo to make it look like butter. Oleo was pasty white so it didn’t look too much like actual butter.

            • Does anyone know what that stuff actually was made out of? Is it Crisco? Did it have any taste?

    • Either or…

  125. I feel like the storyline of Pete and Bud’s father being an unfaithful husband was inconsistent with past episodes. When he died, Pete and Bud were talking about how he had spent all their mother’s money. Pete asked Bud if there was a woman, and Bud said he didn’t think so. “It was all oysters and club memberships.” Then tonight they acted like it was common knowledge that their father had affairs.

    • people lie to themselves all the time

    • It’s very possible their father didn’t have a woman when he died–or at least not one that they knew about. But they knew enough about their father to ask the question, in any case. Just like Peter says to his brother–his wife knows he’s cheating. It was probably well known but never spoken of in their home all their lives.

    • people do lie to themselves. maybe he did not have “an” other woman to maintain with an apartment and gifts but there were lots of other women with one night stands. I have heard this distinction made a few times as if one is better than the other. he was probably a cheater but didn’t have a regular mistress,

    • I agree that it’s retrofitted, but it’s not a terrible “goof.” Still notable, given how meticulous the show is.

    • In S2-Ep1, “Fight One,” Bud told Pete their father was insolvent and that he had tapped into the Dyckman Family Trust, spending the money on oysters, travel and club memberships. Pete asks if there was a woman, but Bud tells him that according to Dunham (presumably their father’s lawyer or financial advisor) there wasn’t. He must’ve been covering for him in death, as he would have in life, by not being forthcoming. Several episodes later, in S2, they tell Dorothy just how bad things are.

      Given Bud and Pete’s scene together this week, I’m guessing that there were suspicions about there being another woman or women. His mother’s family money had taken a big hit. If nothing else, the S2 revelation makes sense, in terms of why all the oysters, as they are often thought to be an aphrodisiac. If their father did have someone(s) on the side, it’s pretty safe to conclude that’s where a lot of the money went – especially in light of our now finding out he had also made a large jewelry purchase. Incidentally, the baseball Giants moved to San Francisco for the 1958 season, but before that they played at the Polo Grounds, Indiscretion and suspicion apparently swirled, even back then.

  126. Don becoming Dick Whitman has a real problem with Betty dying. Dons kids still carry the name Draper, which would make his assuming his old name a bit of a nightmare. How could he save his young friend and then blow off his own kids who he seems to be reconnecting with? any change to Dick would have to be metaphoric. He seems to be very headed for California…IDK

    • I don’t think he is blowing off his own kids, as far as he knows at this point they are in a safe environment with their mother and step father, he is obviously calling Sally and at the end of the conversation he says he is going to call the boys. What he will do when he gets the news about Betty remains to be seen.

      • Right. That’s the big question. I don’t see him cutting off ties with his kids. Even though he’s run away from the office he’s still calling his children, and that says something about who he is and what he values. I doubt the boys know about his adventures, unless he’s lying and saying he’s on a business trip.

      • No of course he isnt …..thats the point!….. I mean plot wise, the fact that they show him closer to the kids makes it unlikely that the writers will have him go back to being Dick Whitman and leaving them in the lurch
        his motivation “when” he actually finds out next week, has nothing to do with it.
        trying to see where this is all leading for the finale and…………
        having Betty die makes it hard 4 them to write Don D out and Dick Whitman in

    • He’s headed west, but there’s nothing for him in California, so why bother? If it was important enough for him to get there, he would have been there by now– but there’s no urgency at all. He sure isn’t going to try and re-open SCP West; he even talks about his advertising career in the past tense now.

      I don’t think he’s going TO anywhere; just AWAY.

    • don is dick. he just has a different name, by the way, he has had his don name longer than the dick name by now. don just needs to come to terms with his problems, he’ll always be don.

      • I never bought into the theory that “Don” and “Dick” are separate personae.

    • Well, there IS a way for him to be a legitimate Draper, and she’s called Stephanie

  127. We need two hours next week.

    • Is it only 1 hour? Gads, how can they wrap all this up in 1 hour?

      • They’ve got to wrap up Don, Peggy and Sally’s storylines. Everyone else is tucked in for the night.

        • I agree with that list, although you could argue that Sally’s story was wrapped up tonight.

          • I think this episode actually could have served as the finale. I would not have been disappointed to have some things left unsaid. Peggy’s story was wrapped up with her strutting into McCann, ready to make the men uncomfortable and kick ass. Sally’s story was wrapped with with the VO of Betty’s note. Even Don’s story was wrapped up, with him finally free of his past life, and with a grin. Hasn’t MW’s m.o. been to make the penultimate episode of each season the one when everything happens, and the final episode winds things down more quietly?

    • We need two hours next week and flash forward movie explaining what happens to each of the characters.

      • How about this? Virtually all of the final episode is comprised of flashbacks to pivotal scenes in the series, interspersed with talking head clips of current and former characters, commenting about the adventure, in a quasi-documentary style.

        Near the final moments of the episode arrive, the finale ultimately takes us, via a time jump, to the night of Friday, January 1, 1971. Don is in a room, location unknown, watching The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. It’s 11:58 PM (EST).

        At 11:59, Johnny breaks for a commercial – but not just any commercial. It’s one for Virginia Slims, the women’s cigarette account that SCDP almost snagged, after they lost the Lucky Strike account. It’s also one of, if not THE last cigarette commercial on U.S. television.

        Don pauses to reflect on the significance of the moment, then turns off the TV. The picture tube image shrinks down to that little white dot, then goes to black and the final Mad Men credits roll. Perhaps there’s music, but maybe a cold, silent close would be better.

    • Looking ahead to the episode title, “Person to Person,” a quick snippet from Wikipedia:

      A person-to-person call is an operator-assisted call in which the calling party wants to speak to a specific party and not simply to anyone who answers. The caller is not charged for the call unless the requested party can be reached. This method was popular when telephone calls were relatively expensive.

      It was also the name of an album recorded and released in late 1970 by jazz saxophonist Houston Person. The album featured a cover of Bacharach & David’s “Close to You,” which may well end up being the finale music.

      • It could mean several things. Dick into Don. Maybe even Don back into Dick. It was also the title of Edward R Murrow’s “fluff” TV program, that featured him in the CBS studio in NYC interviewing celebrities and cultural personalities whose homes are crammed with camera and remote broadcasting equipment. It might even be a way to tie up some loose ends in the show or, even better, as a device used to let various characters in the show speak of their experience of Don and he of his, with them. Or, as you suggested, a phone call.

        As for closing songs. My vote goes to “In My Life,” by The Beatles – a particularly perfect choice, if it’s a phone call between Betty and Don.

        • You are right, perfect song.

          • Which season did they end with Don putting “Revolver” on the hi-fi in the penthouse? “Tomorrow Never Knows.”

            And they blew the doors off with last season’s use of “Both Sides Now.” Heck, they could have ended the series there, in some ways.

          • Until this episode aired, I envisioned final scene being the view from behind of Don headed west in the Caddy, to the sound of “Beyond the Blue Horizon” by Lou Christie. The song is from ’73 or so, but it still would have worked nicely.

        • Made me all weepy just imagining this (perfect) ending. Oh, I’m gonna be a wreck next Monday!!

  128. As a total aside, I was struck by Dons concern about money this episode. Saying not once but twice to Sally , sell the equipment and you don’t understand about money. And Duck asking Pete about Don leaving 2 million on the table? I also had a pang, but just a little one, when Duck said he could make it through winter if he pulled off just one successful job placement. I thought about his dog who he put out on the street, wonder if the dog made it through the winter.

    • I’ve always imagined that in the final episode Duck should emerge onto the street in some moment of triumph and then hear a noise behind him. As he turns a figure leaps out of the darkness. It’s Chauncey, who rips out his throat.

    • I thought Don’s comment to Sally was interesting too. Immediately made me think of, “I’ve seen how you are with money. You don’t understand it.”

      • Didn’t Betty say the same thing to Don?

      • Don has obviously told her that he is out of a job and she needs to watch her money. Sell the hockey equipment! But even though money may be tight, she is not giving up that trip to Spain! She knows whats going on with him.

  129. Don told the young kid that “the pink slip is in the glove box”.

    Doesn’t the owner need to sign over the pink slip to transfer ownership. Otherwise the kid is driving a stolen car.

    • Yes and really stupid as all the kid will do is wrap it around a tree.

    • In New York in 1970, there wasn’t actually a “pink slip,” in the literal term they used in California at that time. In New York until 1973, your car registration was your car title. You signed the back, handed it to someone, you’re done. Buyer takes it anywhere, registers the car in their name, they own it.

      The actual form, if I remember it, was half the size of a 3×5 card and it was blue and printed on a line printer. If Don had already signed the registration card, it means he planned this ahead of time. The equivalent of signing a blank check.

  130. Don’s last words to Betty,

    “knock ’em dead, Birdie”


  131. sally and don are going to spain, who knew?

  132. The woman by the motel pool who Don spotted briefly before diving in (Don and pools, never a good combination). Were we supposed to think back to Joy from The Jet Set? Significance?

    • I thought it was a glimpse of his former life, just a little bit of temptation, before he thinks, “nope”.

    • YEAH! Up above, I actually thought it was a flashback to that, inch-for-inch on film, same costuming, same shades.

  133. Don may no longer be paying alimony, but I bet he’s on the hook for child support through either 18 or college. His hobo future will be short circuited by that. And I will bet that Henry, with his political connections, will absolutely see to that.

    • I don’t think Betty took child support either. At some point Henry said he could take care of the children.

      • It was in the office of the divorce attorney in Shut the Door: Betty says she wants what she is entitled to (financially). Henry says I’ll take care of you. She says, Henry, I have three children. He says I’ll take care of you. I’ll take care of the children. I don’t want you owing him anything.

        I certainly got the impression that there was no order for alimony OR child support.

        • That was my impression. Even after Betty’s gone, I cannot begin to imagine Henry trying to go after Don for support. Without the childrens’ mother on the scene, that just didn’t happen.

          THAT SAID, in New York State at the time, and I speak from experience, second spouses marrying into an “instant family” were NOT automatically granted guardianship of the children if there was a living blood parent. Unless Henry legally adopted the kids after marrying Betty (I don’t remember hearing anything about it), the Family Court could and probably would award custody to Don. If not Don, then Betty’s next of blood kin (i.e., her brother and sister if they’re still around). Henry would be SOL unless he sought legal adoption prior to Betty’s death.

          Another interesting quirk about New York State family law at the time: if Henry did seek legal adoption of Betty’s children, and it was granted, they would have issued new birth certificates listing Henry as the ACTUAL father, and all prior records listing Don as the birth father would be sealed and archived. However, all the children would have been interviewed by the Family Court judge and could have objected to this.

          This practice has since been rescinded in New York, to reflect better the difference between the classic “giving up for adoption” and this sort of pro-forma adoption-for-custody-and-guardianship. But in 1970 or 1971, that was the law of the land.

  134. Amazing episode. Right to the end I have no idea where we are going.

    I’m surprised at some comments above about not wanting to see Don end up raising the kids. I would disagree. What broke him was his awful childhood and absent/dysfunctional parents – and what better way to heal and find his true self that to give away to his own kids those things he never had?

    For me the show has always been about the false self and the true self. What struck me with Betty is that right up to the end (literally in her case) she is still mostly about the false self – giving Sally the picture so the mortician can fix her hair properly, giving directions about the lipstick for her corpse… I mean. Really? No advice for her kids or words of comfort for them after her death. It’s still about Betty and how she will be presented to the world. She is not changing. The classes are nice – but it’s not a huge demonstration of Betty’s growth.

    Don has a chance to find out who he really is – stripped down as he is now with no home, no job, no car – who is his “true self”? The natural “grifter” (or who ever he described himself to be to the young thief last night), the success story, the coward – who is he? The son of a prostitute? A Madison Avenue success? All of those are outside labels that don’t begin to define who he is as a true person.

    Next week better be 3 hours. We can’t wrap this up in one hour. I’m freaking.

  135. The coke machine. Loved that moment. I couldn’t tell how it affected Don. The idea that he could’ve been the guy marketing the worlds most iconic product? That he blew it? Or that it’s amazing he got close to doing that – given where he started. Or did he harken back to Betty’s drinking the coke?

    That coke machine seemed a million miles from Madison Avenue.

  136. For whatever it’s worth. if the series ends in 1970, these are the top 100 songs that year

    And if we somehow make it into 1971, here’s that year’s list

  137. Unexpected. Better than I could have hoped for.

    Sad “Lucky” Betty who never had a beneficial relationship in her life takes a hammer to her cultural chains but is uncertain why she bothers even to the bitter end. One small rainbow – Betty didn’t believe in herself but does foresee so much more on her daughter’s horizon. Yes, Sally’s life will be an adventure – a dream Betty couldn’t allow herself. And #### cigarettes. I’m lost a half dozen friends in as many years from tobacco caused COPD and cancer.

    Many “Betty” types remain in our oldest generation. We sometimes notice them in the back row of college classrooms or learning how to dream. Fly little birds, fly.

    A happy ending for Pete? Life isn’t fair, is it? Maybe he had an unexpected epiphany that his promised land isn’t in Knickerbocker NY. Keep an eye out for those Kansas tornadoes, Peter.

    As for Don, sometimes catastrophe forces a new, stronger rebuilding. He’s no longer the empty non-person Dick Whitman once was. We’ve seen him endure loss, show empathy and accept unconditional love. (Not easy for him). He’s capable of recognizing that the path to love, acceptance and happiness isn’t found by going “hobo” by or changing one’s personal back story with the weather.

    “Don’t waste it.”
    “You’ve missed your flight.”
    “I brought cake.”

    Now Don is wandering in the desert. It seems he’s searching for his path. No more days missing what’s important, wasting a moment more or forgetting another cake day.

    He’s one of the most highly regarded practitioners in his field of expertise. Any leading ad agency in the world would have him. He didn’t just walk out of a meeting – he became one with the jet plane. McCann became a receding blip on his radar. He only need decide where to land and who else gets a ticket.

    Yeah, I’m an optimist.

    • Ah, but the non-compete…

      • Wasn’t the merger non-compete problem associated with specific client contracts and not agency personnel? Don insisted early on with SCP that his presence was contingent on no binding contract. I don’t remember any point where this changed with later moves but I may have missed it.

  138. LUCKY Betty STRIKES out.

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