Mad Men series finale recap: 'There are a lot of better places than here'
This recap contains spoilers from Mad Men's series finale, so make sure you watch before you read!
Don's done, guys.
Hard as it may be to believe, Mad Men has offered up its final ad pitch, swilled its final cocktail and smoked its final cigarette. And the series finale found Don Draper & Co. going out — some in style, some soused, and some just sad.
Here's a rundown of what happened in "Person to Person" (keeping in mind I'll be back later with a full recap):
* Since we last left him, Don is driving cars fast in the desert and shacking up with a young blonde. When Don calls Sally at school, she breaks the news about Betty's cancer. "The doctors gave her six months to live." Betty wants the boys to live with their Uncle William and Aunt Judy, but Sally says Don needs to lobby for them to stay with Henry. He balks at this — he's their dad, after all — but she is firm: They need as much as possible to stay the same. He immediately calls Betty, who's gotten much sicker since the last episode, but she's not on board with his plan. "I want to keep things as normal as possible. And you not being here is part of that." He calls her "Birdie" and starts to cry, then she starts to cry, and it's rough all the way around.
* Roger fires Meredith, who doesn't seem too sad about it. Then he gets into a post-coital argument with Marie over her seeing (and possibly sleeping with) her husband while in Canada for a divorce. He later visits Joan to tell her he's doing up his will and is planning to split his estate between Ellery (Margaret's son) and Kevin. Why the emphasis on future planning? Joan asks. He's getting married... to Marie.
* Joan and Richard do cocaine while on vacation in Key West. "I feel like someone just gave me some very good news," she says, looking happier than I think we've ever seen her. "I want you to let yourself have a future with me," he tells her, and she seems very into the idea. She later meets with Ken, who wants her to hook him up with a commercial producer for some work on a Dow movie. So she calls Peggy to write the script... which eventually turns into Joan pitching Peggy an amazing idea: Harris Olson, a production company that would be completely theirs. Stan, though, isn't on board. "There's more to life than work," he says. Richard agrees — and he wants her to choose between her fledgling business and him. And before they can even really talk about it, he says, "Good luck, Joan," and walks out the door.
* Peggy is sincere when she says she'll miss Pete after he leaves McCann Erickson. And he is genuinely nice to her in return, and it is very sweet to see how far these two have come.
* Don winds up in Los Angeles and makes his way to see Stephanie, Anna Draper's niece. She's not psyched to see him, especially when he asks about her kid, who apparently lives with his father. He tries to give her Megan's ring, which was Anna's, but she won't take it. She then asks him to come with her to a yoga-ish retreat up the coast. "Be open to this. You might feel better," Stephanie tells him. But when things get intense during a group therapy session, and she storms out of the room, Don gives her a version of the "It will shock you how much it never happened" speech he gave to Peggy after her child's birth... but she's not buying it. She takes off early one morning (with the car), so Don calls Peggy.
* Peggy reads him the riot act and asks him what he's doing, and he confesses he has no idea. "You can come home," she tells him. "I messed everything up. I'm not the man you think I am," he responds. The more Don talks, the more Peggy worries. So after they hang up, she calls Stan. "You've got to let him go. It doesn't mean you stop caring about him," he advises. She apologizes for calling him a failure. "All I want to do is be with you," he says. "I'm in love with you." She hyperventilates a bit, says "I don't even think about you" but then quickly follows it with "You make everything OK. You always do. No matter what," and that ends up turning into a teary "I think I'm in love with you, too. I really do." He runs down the hall into her office, and they kiss. IT IS GLORIOUS.
Now we want to hear what you thought of the AMC series's swan song. Grade the finale via the poll below, hit the comments to elaborate on your pick and make sure to bookmark this page and come back later for the full recap!
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