Saturday, June 29, 2013

Magnificent Mad Men

Mad Men finished its season (just one to go now) on a high note.


Peggy and Ted finally consumated their intense attraction, but it didn't go the way she expected. Peggy is ultimately the character who most intrigues me. She is a remarkable woman of her time and it is her story I most will miss when it's over.

What will happen to Joan? Is she aware Bob is gay? Does she care? Probably not. Roger has been more present in her life of late. It's the ridiculous romantic in me, for - even though he's a rogue, he's so entertaining and she knows what he's like - I love to think of them ending up together. After all, she's raising his child.

I wonder if we'll have any interesting returns in the last season. I always hoped Sal would return. Will we hear anything of Peggy's and Pete's child? And what of Pete? He has become incredibly amusing in his awfulness. Part way through his conversation with Bob, he seemed to soften, and I wonder if that is actual compassion or just self-serving vanity and the hope of a future weapon to use over his younger and handsomer colleague.

Meghan has been such a devoted wife, so very patient, obviously too patient, because now, with the cancellation of the California move, Don has dealt a heavy blow. She has given up so much for her husband, who is now a walking shambles. Will she stick by him? I think she might, but it'll have to be under her terms. Don, after some effort to avoid contact with daughter, finally reveals something of his past to his three children. It was a stunning final moment. I was emotionally shaken up by his desperation and left longing to know how much more he will reveal. My guess is: nothing. His revelation in the presentation to Hershey was almost surreal. Show creator Matthew Weiner is masterful, and left me literally marvelling at how he builds a show, a season, an episode, how the arcs work, how he paces it. He's a genius.

This is such a great character piece. I'm so invested in what happens to everyone after the series is over. And of course I've been mulling over in my head how Weiner and his team will choose to tie things up. My guess is that we'll have a Star is Born sort of ending. That hint was given when Don proposed the Hawaii tourism ad in an earlier episode of the season. The pile of clothes on the sand... the footprints leading into the surf. He thought it was a blissful escape, but the clients saw James Mason disappearing into the ocean. Is that how the series will end? We won't know if Don dies or if he goes on to reinvent himself yet again. What I would love is for Weiner to give us an ending like an 80s comedy, and tell us, with captions over the faces, what happens to every single character. BUT... I know that won't happen! When it is over, I'll decide for myself, and I'll put it here. Sigh. How long do we have to wait? Waaaaaaaah!!

Image "borrowed" from AMC's Mad Men site.

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