Mad Men Series Finale Thoughts

***Spoiler Alert*** Mad Men series finale spoilers below the fold.

Anyone here watch Mad Men? Did you watch the series finale last pm? What did you think? I liked it. I thought it tied up things very nicely. Pete was happy. Peggy was happy. Roger was happy. Joan was happy (I think). And Don got his mojo back. And all were happy in the way the show had previously demonstrated them to be dissatisfied. Pete got his family back and got the recognition as the “important person” he thought he was due. Peggy got her relationship. Roger was Roger but was with his new love. (Interestingly, Roger was not a good person, but he was never portrayed as troubled or fundamentally dissatisfied in the way the others were. He was perfectly happy being a skirt chasing lush who really didn’t do much work.) And Joan got the recognition as the business savvy women that she is and not just as someone who benefits from her looks. The only down note was Betty who was about to die, but I think the bow that was put on that situation was that Don wasn’t going to have to be an everyday dad, and Betty finished at least in control and with her looks largely intact.

There had been a lot of speculation that the series would end with Don committing suicide, based on the title sequence of someone falling off the building, and I think Matthew Weiner deliberately made a swerve in that direction by showing us despondent Don and Peggy worried about him. But I’m glad it didn’t end that way. If all the others were getting theirs, I think it would have been a downer for Don to not recover. Don is not a good person, but he is good at what he does. I have never viewed Mad Men as a morality tale, where the bad guys get what’s coming to them in the end. I have always viewed it as a drama about flawed who still manage to excel at something. For Don to get “what was coming to him” in the end, while everyone one else lived happily ever after would have seemed unfair.

I thought the ending was brilliant. When the Coke commercial started running my reaction was a fist pump and a “Yes!” Don has got his mojo back. I went to the IMDB message board once it was over to see the reaction, and there was actually a lot of confusion about the ending. Was the implication that Don had returned to McCann and…? To me, this was obvious and well set up. Peggy telling him that McCann would take him back and he could still have Coke. The “ah ha” look at the end as he sat in the commune. Then the commercial. But there is still some debate on the message board if that was really what was being suggested.

The finale for well loved TV shows is always a tricky business. Most people didn’t really like the Sopranos ending. Dexter and Lost were universally panned. (I didn’t watch either show.) Breaking Bad was one of the few that was well received. Reaction to the Mad Men finale so far seems to be mixed, but I think it will grow on people. Put me down as a thumbs up.

2 thoughts on “Mad Men Series Finale Thoughts

  1. hawthornecht

    “In my own country I am in a far off land.
    I am strong but have no power.
    I win all yet remain a loser.
    At break of day I say goodnight.
    When I lie down I have great fear of falling.”

    -Francois Villon

    That is the opening sequence–did they live up to it? No.

    Funny, there is a Simpsons episode from the late 90s that does Dick’s act, only with Skinner, save the real guy comes back (voice by Martin Sheen.)

    Not suicide, but retiring back to his rural, “white trash” upbringing, and bringing some Light there was the only possible good ending.



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