June 2, 2015

Mad Men Finale Recap + Thoughts

Some spoilers about Mad Men & it's final season so if you don't know anything or want to know anything that happens throughout the series & it's final season/episode, don't read #sorry

This is a different type of post that I usually write on the blog but I knew it was something that needed to happen.

I've been obsessed with Mad Men since I binge watched the series last summer. I was persuaded by a few of my friends to start this legendary series because they knew I would fall in love.

It took me a while to be convinced but the first few weeks of post grad seemed like prime time to dive in. I will admit, it was difficult to start because Mad Men is a very slow show. It isn't fast paced, it's set in a different time period, and there's no real action.

Nonetheless, Don Draper & co is amazing and their stories were incredible to follow and watch. Hence why I feel the need to write this post because when I finish a TV series as amazing and impacting as Mad Men, I miss it terribly.

I have an obsessive personality which you may have already sensed if you've been reading my blog for a while, so it's natural for me to become completely addicted to TV shows. I go through phases where I can't talk/think/watch anything else. I need to know everything about the TV show until I am an expert. I've done with Beverly Hills 90210(the original), General Hospital, and more recently, Californication.

That's how I started to become with Mad Men throughout the 2nd half of the final season. This was the first time I was watching it on live television and not on Netflix so being able to watch along with everyone, recap with my friends, and read the Internet's recaps in the morning made it so much more fun. I forgot how awesome it is to watch a television show with the entire world.



The reason I love Mad Men so much is because it's so simple yet so complex. The writers and producers put so much thought into every detail and I really respect that in a TV show; but at the same time, Matthew Weiner(Mad Men creator) leaves certain things out to make it more believable.

The complication of Don Draper is one of the most intricate character developments in television, in my opinion. The way Peggy has transformed into exactly who she wanted to be is also incredible. Aside from making me believe that the 60s were actually like Mad Men, one of the best things about Mad Men is the character development. You truly took a journey with these characters and it was really sad saying goodbye.

My thoughts on this season were mixed. The first few episodes were very slow and annoying with the stupid waitress Diana. I legit thought she was a ghost at first. It was all very confusing yet I know that there was a point. She was Don's equal, she was Don, running away from her life and trying to make a new one because she couldn't handle the pain. It made sense, it just wasn't my cup of tea.

Betty's story line was by far the saddest thing I have ever watched on Mad Men. Betty Draper Francis is a child like bitch but my goodness, I love the woman. I've always been team Don & Betty because I just adore them together--the most beautiful couple to ever grace television, even though I knew they were terrible for each other.

In the last episode, when Don calls Betty "Birdie" as he is crying on the phone, ugh I have the chills just thinking about it, I completely lost it. I was ugly crying because when Don Draper cries, we all should cry.

One of my favorite moments from the season was Roger & Peggy's last day in SCDP's offices, with Peggy on rollerblades and Roger playing the organ. It was just so perfect and quirky and classic Mad Men, in an odd way.

Also, how can we forget at the end of that episode the way Peggy waltzed down the hallway of McCann Erikson (I was the only idiot who realized that it was a real agency at the end of the final episode), cigarette in mouth, sunglasses on--it was just a boss ass move.



Sidenote: I must mention it--Joan is one of my favorite characters and I really hated how she was treated this season; all the sexism and how she was kicked out of the agency because she was going to report sexual harassment, but then as Mad Men does, they gave her the best ending possible. Joan being the boss of her own company always seemed to be in the cards, she was never just a secretary, she was THE secretary and I'm so happy she got a great ending.

It really bothered me that Don left everyone back in New York but according to recaps & articles, this was where Mad Men was headed the entire time. Don saw California as freedom and when he got there, that's what he felt, it's what he got.

Something I really admired about Mad Men was the symbolism. There is symbolism throughout the series but in the last season, there was A LOT.

One of my favorite points of symbolism is when Ted tells Don "Every man has three women in his life", in one of the first episodes(I'm pretty sure) and then it comes full circle in the last episode where Don speaks to the three women in his life: Sally, Betty, and Peggy.

The series finale is also called "Person to Person" which is odd and perfect because Don doesn't come face to face with any of the main characters, he speaks 'person to person' with the three ladies on the phone, which is that spark of symbolism.

The main symbolic point, what the entire series boiled down too, blew my mind.

In the last few episodes, there were a lot of Coca Cola mentions; McCann Erikson bribing Don with Coca Cola to be happy at the agency and Don fixing a Coca Cola machine in that run down motel were two that happened before the finale.

Then, in the finale, it starts with Joan snorting a line of "coke", Peggy asking Don "Don't you want to come back and work on Coca Cola?" and then, the end all be all...the final scene.



The scene confused the hell out of me at first. I was PISSED when I thought Don Draper became some hippie in the 70s and left his nice suits and dapperness behind in New York, but then that smile, the ding, and then the most famous ad in advertising history played on television screens across the world.

It was amazing, it was perfect.

In my initial thoughts I didn't know if I was right, I didn't know if people were thinking the same thing as me. Did Don Draper write that ad? Did he take what he learned at the retreat center and take it back to New York to create the most famous ad of all time?

The answer was an astounding YES and I was so happy. It makes so much sense and it really was the perfect ending.



I really loved everything about the finale; from Joan's company to Roger to Peggy & Stan, to Pete & Trudy, to Sally and Bobby and finally Don. (And Betty too but that's just sad)

Mad Men was about Don Draper & Dick Witman. It was about a man struggling to be two people, a man who had such a horrible childhood, who couldn't pick right from wrong, but loved and cared and worked hard. He tried to make his life work, you saw it throughout episodes in the series, but Don said it best to Peggy on the phone (the conversation broke my heart)

"I screwed everything up. I'm not the man you think I am. I broke all my vows, I scandalized my child, I took another man's name and made nothing of it." 

That is the entire point of the show--Don struggling to come to terms with who he really is, and I think the series wrapped it up nicely, with Don listening to another man say the words he has always thought.

The show was just as much about Peggy's rise to the top than it was about Don Draper; their relationship was one of the main focal points of the show and it was just awesome to watch it grow. Their finale scene together is perfection. 

I just really love this series and I think it will forever be one of my top favorite shows. It was just perfect and imperfect on so many levels. The finale was everything I could've asked for and more. I will dearly miss the 1960s and need to fill the void with another television show as legendary, moving, and wonderful.

Here are some of my FAVORITE Mad Men articles that embody the series perfectly--most of them are from Buzzfeed because that's the story of my life.

19 Beautifully Emotional Moments from Mad Men

All 90 Episodes of Mad Men, Ranked from Good to Perfect

In Praise of Betty Draper, Difficult Woman 

108 Thoughts We All Had During the Mad Men Series Finale (best line of this article: "Who’s going to pay for all the Draper kids’ therapy?")

19 Life Truths Betty Draper Taught Us

Watch the cast say 'A Farewell to Mad Men" with the Television Academy (SO COOL!)

What are your thoughts on the finale? Did you expect more? 


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