Mad Men Finale Post Mortem: Creator Matthew Weiner Talks Don's Ouster, the Peggy-Ted Fallout and How the Show 'Struck Gold' With Bob Benson

Mad Men Season 6 Finale Now that Mad Men‘s Don is done, Megan is alive and Bob is… yeah, we’re still not entirely sure what Bob is, we figured it was time to hear what creator Matthew Weiner has to say about the AMC drama’s sixth season.

“I always say, it’s not a history lesson. How much does history really impact us every day? It has to take a really big event,” he tells TVLine. “Well, 1968 itself was a really big event.”

Read on for more of Weiner’s take on the just-wrapped season, including Sally’s moment of truth, the meaning of Don’s hashish dream, Megan’s killer t-shirt and Bob’s short-shorts.

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TVLINE | Let’s start with the biggest development: Don is out of the firm?!
Yeah. We felt that, considering the fact that he fired their biggest clients, impulsively drove them into a partnership, ruined their public offering and then waged war on his partner, that Hershey pitch or no Hershey pitch, the business had to take action.

TVLINE | Well, when you put it that way…
Seriously. I think creatively, he’s been on top of his game, but I don’t think he’s an ideal partner.

TVLINE | Don seems like he’s been in a very bad place all season, and that’s saying a lot for that man.
Yeah, he has been… I never want to repeat stories, but people do repeat their habits in life. And what’s different about [this season] is he said, at the end of the premiere, “I want to stop doing this.” And the anxiety created by his activities and his lack of control and us learning more about his past and why he is the way he is… I wanted him to see through his double — and through what was going on in the world, and obviously what happened with Sally and Betty – it’s been a bad year. And he might be the problem.

TVLINE | Let’s talk about that look between Sally and Don at the end of the episode. Does it herald more understanding between the two of next season?
I’m not gonna talk about the coming season, because I don’t really know. But I can tell you that I hope the audience can take that for what it is: a mammoth moment in both of their lives. Sally seeing Don with Sylvia is the worst thing that ever happened to him, as far as I’m concerned. The shame — for both of them, for Sally and Don — has been devastating… I’m not being coy, but I hope the audience gives that moment its due.

TVLINE | Let’s talk Megan’s storyline this season, especially her relationship with Don.
She’s a very modern person, she’s the most [modern] of the people in the show — especially as a woman, to be pursuing a career and have that level of independence. I think she’s on the outside of this thing… She doesn’t know what happened with Sally, but Don obviously is in bad shape. He is drinking more than ever… But we felt she’s not a doormat… [Megan is] an independent person. And we saw what his fantasy is for her when he was on hashish. He wants her to be a hippie who is not working, who is pregnant and who doesn’t mind him fooling around.

TVLINE | What was going through your mind when you saw people making Sharon Tate comparisons?
First of all, I don’t see them posted. I heard about it from my brother. I don’t see anything on the Internet at this point. The only thing that’s predictable about [the speculation] is there’s gonna be a conversation, and that is a gift to someone in my position…

I think it’s been revealed now that the reason why she’s wearing that T-shirt is because we were trying to find evidence of a woman in a T-shirt from that period… Sharon Tate was in Playboy, she was an international sex symbol. The fact that she died the way she did – I didn’t even think about it. I love that people know that we infuse things with meaning, but in this case, I just really wanted people to think that Megan was wearing a period-correct T-shirt and that she looked really sexy when Don came back from being with Betty.

bob benson mad menTVLINE | Did you have any idea that Bob Benson would intrigue the fans so much?
I knew when we cast James Wolk that we had struck gold, in terms of getting a great actor. The only inkling that I had is that the crew, and James himself and the cast, were really, really intrigued with [Bob]. In [writer] Erin Levy’s episode ["The Better Half"], when Joan and Bob are getting ready for the beach, James called me and he said, “What am I doing here?” [Laughs] And I was like, “You’re friends! You were just at the hospital, and you’re friends.” “Uh, OK. Why are these shorts so tight?” [Laughs]

TVLINE | Pete’s reaction to learning about Bob’s deception was surprising. I expected him to blow up. Vincent Kartheiser has said he thinks Pete is someone who learns from his mistakes. Do you agree?
I don’t know if he has in the past, but that’s part of why Bob Benson was in the show. That’s part of why that character was created, to show that Pete had learned something. Vincent played it beautifully… To see Pete not pursue [taking down Bob], to me, was a great moment of growth.

On the other hand, in the finale, when Trudy says, “You’re free,” and Pete says, “This is not the way I wanted it,” she says, “Well, now you know that.” Will he learn from that? It’s one of the most stinging things that’s ever been in the show. And the way Alison [Brie] did it was amazing. I directed that episode, I got to watch her do it. To see the two of them and to know that the whole season, this guy was realizing that he had ruined his life… And what do you do? You wait till you can get up and go on? Maybe.

It’s very exciting to work with the writers, deliver these scripts and then see the dailies, or if I’m lucky enough, be on the set and see what Vincent does with it, what all of them do with it… I mean, Jon Hamm… That Hershey pitch? That’s one take. The whole thing. We’re cutting in between other people, but that is one take of it. He was so amazing in that speech and that breakdown, with two cameras there, that when we were facing him when he was doing it – Roger and Jim Cutler, they’re supposed to talk at the end of it. And they forgot to say anything!

TVLINE | I would be remiss if we didn’t touch on Peggy and Ted. In your mind, is Ted actually the good guy she thinks he is?
He’s in advertising, no offense. I don’t know how good he really is. [Laughs] He is the same guy who called Don up and pretended to be Bobby Kennedy, remember? He’s not a saint… Peggy’s real story from the beginning of the season was the idea that she doesn’t have any choices… She was forced to work where she didn’t want to work, she was forced to buy an apartment she didn’t want to buy, she was forced on some level to be in this relationship that she had no control over. She ends up sitting in Don’s chair, so I think something’s OK.

What did you think about the finale and the season on the whole? Hit the comments to share your thoughts, as well as your predictions for Season 7.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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198 Comments
  1. Angry Dude says:

    I wanted Megan dead.

    • Kara says:

      Seconded. I just want her off the show already.

    • martina says:

      Yeah, I was kinda hoping she got hit by a bus or something after she left the apartment.

    • Avid Viewer says:

      Yeah, that would’ve been interesting. Will next season be the last?

    • Gailer says:

      Megan better be out of Don’s life for good! I would have written that exit of hers a little more obvious lol

    • april-ann says:

      I have wanted her gone for a long while now. I don’t care how it happens. I thought she was gone for good last season when she wanted her career, walked out and Don was left alone in that bar. I thought that was symbolic but it turned out not to be. She was still there bigtime. So I’m not really trusting it, meaning her “leaving” (all she did was go for a walk) this time. Too bad. I may be out for good if she’s still in.

      • Mike says:

        I don’t know that the symbolism wasn’t followed through. Don and Megan have been on a different page all year. They’ve been content at best, not really happy.

      • Megan is such an important character in this series. Those of you who were not born yet are just completely missing the point. Look how different she is from all the rest of the women – she is living her life the way she sees fit and not how a man tells her to live. She was at the forefront of the women’s movement. I know – I was there. So, Megan haters, quit being so shallow and give this series some serious consideration and the thought it is due. Or do your homework and a little research on the past before you leave shallow comments on an era you know nothing about.
        .

        • jains says:

          Plus we LOVED anything French. To some extent, that was Jackie Kennedy’s influence. There were lots of movies set in France in the 50s and 60s so even though Megan is French Canadian she brings in that dimension. Her mother is a hoot. Love it when she visits and we hear French spoken. If Megan goes, so goes her mom. From one who was there in college in the early 60s.

        • april-ann says:

          We’re not missing a darn thing. It’s not “shallow” to dislike Megan. I see Megan as a progressive, somewhat independent woman making her own choices (I would have liked to have seen her “miscarriage” revisited) and not allowing a man to control her. But she is staying in an unsatisfying, mostly unhappy marriage, and I for one couldn’t care less about her acting career. And by the way, she IS leaving in a pretty fancy UES (?) loft courtesy of her successful husband, I wonder what she could afford on her ’68 soap salary? Just because she was at the forefront of the women’s movement doesn’t make her character important to the story and the show. At first it did, but I feel her character has become redundant. The character said it best last night herself, which I loved – she and Don DON’T have kids, something about she loves his kids but they are whiny brats or some such thing, so funny. She has become simply a prop, there to prove that Don is cheating. And in no way is she completely different from the rest of the women. We have Peggy and Joan, faults and all they are partners in a Manhattan advertising firm, maybe not quite equal, but they are partners. Many of us DO know about the era, which is beautifully represented. We don’t have to love Megan and don’t deserve to be personally insulted if we don’t. I respect the opinion of those who love Megan. For some reason, discussion regarding this show invites know-it-alls.

        • anna says:

          Why are we shallow for not liking Megan? And Peggy is more at the forefront of the women’s movement than Megan will ever be.

        • here we go says:

          Maybe you should do your homework then you would realize people don’t like her character because she has become redundant. Or maybe do your homework and a little researchbefore you leave idiotic rants on a topic that apparently went completely over your head.

          • april-ann says:

            Oh grow up. You and anyone else can hurl all the personal insults you like. The fact remains that no one has to like Megan. Fans of the show can dislike her for any reason they see fit. And that does not make them shallow stupid idiot morons. Is this how you deal with anyone who disagrees with you? With abusive personal attacks? Is that the only way you know how to get your point across? Seriously? Grow up already.

    • Chloe says:

      So did I. I’m sorry Pete’s mom is gone. She was entertaining [not that alzheimer's in funny in real life.]

    • TV Gord says:

      Don will follow Megan to California for the months that he’s away from the agency. She’s not going anywhere…and I couldn’t be happier! I love her character.

    • tstephen51 says:

      I thought it was tongue in cheek when they talked about how Megan was being written off her show…

    • Jase says:

      Sylvia and Don too.

    • jerry zaleski says:

      The show is boring.

    • Mary says:

      Agree Megan is the most boring character on the show… Even baby Gene is more interesting

  2. Fan says:

    Loved the ending with Don and his kids.

    • april-ann says:

      I liked that too, but I remember my parents showing me “where they grew up”. And I didn’t care at.all. Not one bit at that age. Think about it. Kids at Sally’s age don’t care one bit about where their parents grew up or anything else they have to say about their lives before they came into it. And even less in the 60’s. This had better improve or this show will be the laughingstock of AMC.

      • don's girl says:

        But the thing is these kids know zero about their father

        • rowan77 says:

          Exactly. Sally felt like she had no connection to her father and she didn’t even know him. This is giving her the beginning of him letting her know who her father is. He always said he grew up on a farm. His being honest, first with Hershey’s, then with Sally and the boys is a way he can fuse Dick Whitman and Don Draper into one person – not the person he left behind or the person he is now, but one and the same.

          I hope Megan leaves. She’s right that their marriage is a mess. So I hope she leaves him and he has Sally move in with him. I think it might be the only thing that saves them both.

          • Michael says:

            He wasn’t really lying about growing up on a farm. He lived there for a good chunk of his adolescence until his dad got killed by that horse. He lived in the brothel from age 10 up until he went off to war. It was a half-truth if anything.

      • Jains says:

        I agree that it needs to improve a lot. Did Don grow up in New York?

        • Chloe says:

          He grew up in Pennsylvania. I guess they went on a road trip for Thanksgiving.

          • drhenning says:

            That’s a lot of driving from outside Hartford ( where Miss Porters is) to PA especially then before all the interstates were built… it was slow.. I-84 wasn’t finished nor was I-80…

      • stfu says:

        so “I didn’t care” = “no kid ever cares ever at any time period in history.” k. know what nobody cares about? what you didn’t care about when you were 10.

        • Jan1 says:

          I usually don’t use “LOL,” but I actually did laugh out loud at your comment. Thanks.

        • waterbug says:

          Haahahah

        • april-ann says:

          Sally’s not 10, she’s a teenager (and so was I, but you don’t care, right? But you still commented, lol) and it’s been my experience that teenagers don’t care about their parents’ lives before they were born. Since when does teenagers not caring about their parents’ lives equal “no kid ever caring ever at any time period in history”? I never said that, you did, so why the “quotes”?

          • stfu says:

            your comment is generalizing and now you’re playing stupid by missing the point entirely and pretending not to know what paraphrasing and quotes are for. you assume sally and the boys don’t care because YOU didn’t care at 13 and pretty much said “teenagers don’t care.” if that’s too complicated for you to get, maybe you aren’t playing at stupid.

      • WW says:

        DOn did spend the early part of his life on a farm – remember his father was kicked in the head by a horse and his step mother moved in with her sister and “Uncle” Mack. So he didn lie to Sally – he just didnt tell her about this part of his life.

        • Britta Unfiltered says:

          That actually cleared something up for me, thanks. I was always confused about the whorehouse storyline, because I knew Don grew up on that farm and that his little brother knew him well enough to recognize him when he saw him as an adult. I had forgotten about the father dying, so that makes more sense why they left the farm. One thing I am still confused by though…don’t we see the father in the flashback in the first season when Don comes back from the army to take “Dick’s” body back home?

      • Juju says:

        I’m pretty much Sally’s age, and I was fascinated by both my parents’ childhoods. Given my age, both my parents grew up during the Depression, so their early lives were no picnics, so it wasn’t like “Oooh, Mommy, tell me about when you were a princess!” My dad’s family was dirt poor and I wanted to hear about that, too. So I don’t think you speak for everyone who grew up in the 60s and what they did or didn’t know or want to know about their parents. Every kid is different now and every kid was different then.

        • Cathy1122 says:

          Agree Juju.

          Don has been a mystery to his kids. Sally told him, “I don’t know anything about you”. Don opening the door to himself with his children – showing them where he grew up – was seismic. The glance between him and Sally, his gaze lingering on her after she looked away – was one of the best moments I’ve seen in any drama. It was amazing to be shocked in such a positive way. With all the finale speculation about someone dying, and all the ways we expect a gorey or wrenching ending, the shocker here was Don Draper’s internal shift, triggered by his love for his daughter. Stunning, subtle, and beautifully, masterfully done.

        • Anne says:

          That’s exactly true for me too, I also am Sally’s age and my parents both had hard dirt-poor childhoods and I was VERY interested in all of that. I found it fascinating and humbling, how do I live up to this history of survival and pulling themselves up by their bootstraps?

        • Nat S. says:

          Juju, I must be about your age because I would be only a little younger than Sally if she was real. My father grew up very poor too, also during the depression. My mother’s family was poor, too, but not quite as poor as my dad’s. Her father had a business that made a little money during the Depression, but my dad’s family had nothing after my grandfather lost the little store he owned. They were so poor, they often had nothing to eat. But my father did well in his career, though he never had Don’s money. My siblings and I never knew that kind of hardship and deprivation. We had a comfortable life. Anyway, we were all fascinated by the stories our dad told us about his time growing up. Once he took us in the car to see some of the neighborhoods where he lived, and we were fascinated by it. Some kids probably don’t care about the lives of their parents before they were born, but I think a lot of kids too. My mother didn’t talk myuch about her past, but she had a few hilarious stories. Her mother did too. When she visited, she often told us about her childhood and early years. We were all fascinated. It was like traveling back in time. Who wouldn’t want that chance?

      • I wasn’t aware you spoke for every child ever. Of course, I wasn’t around in the 60’s, But I’ve been asking my parents about themselves and their pasts since I could hold anything remotely close to a conversation. A single experience can’t be made into a blanket generality.

  3. DramaMomma says:

    OMG! How I would have loved to see Don in California giving a go of it, but being booted from SC&P is a good way to get things out of a rut. Little surprised that Ted would have voted to let Dom go, but maybe he was thinking of giving him a new start.

    • DramaMomma says:

      Also, what is going on with Joan’s makeup? She looks like she should be on Dark Shadows with that pale complexion.

    • Mike says:

      For me, both Ted and Roger are hypocrites. And wouldn’t you know, Don does something truly selfless and still gets a kick in the ass. I did like that last scene. It’ll be interesting to see Sally and Don’s relationship if he continues along the path of being more honest with her.

      • FR says:

        Exactly! Don impulsively helped Ted dodge a bullet at the price of his own health and marriage, and Ted did not even try to return the favor when the other partners conspired to remove Don altogether. Wow. Ted’s about-face within less than 12 hours was quite breathtaking; Peggy was impressively strong in her response (rather than begging), and gets rewarded in her job… And why is Pete going to California?
        I don’t find it plausible that they kicked out Don. In the real 60s world, an ad agency never would have done such a thing. Even if he is hard on the sauce, his personal mystique is the agency’s only true selling point, and it’s saved many a campaign. Some schmo from that other agency is just not going to hack it. That they would both kick out Don and then let Ted go to California at the same time is another thing that would never happen in the real world; way too much upheaval at once for the firm to handle, much too risky! Peggy is never going to deal with the new guy, nor can she stand on her own quite yet.
        And I agree with the post below; you cannot fire a partner, you have to buy him out. I don’t think you can even force a partner to take a few months off. Bad writing, Mr. Weiner!

        • FR says:

          Plus, I also would really have loved to see Megan and Don hit LA! Glimpsing more of that scene would have been so much fun – I loved the episode where he was out there for Sunkist. I think this finale really got ahead of itself and forfeited some great story possibilities in the process, frankly.
          I was also surprised to see how easily Bob got the upper hand over Pete – rather inconsistent with Pete’s trajectory. I would have thought Bob would be more careful, since despite his earlier capitulation, Pete could easily retaliate by informing the other partners that Bob is a charlatan. In fact, I expect him to do just that now, especially since he’ll be at a safe remove in California.

          • Phyllis says:

            FR, you are absolutely right on in all of these comments. The finale was good but not really plausible. The business world, especially advertising, does not, would never, react in that way. To blow up the agency by sending both creative directors out the door at the same time. To handle Don’s partnership dissolution so unprofessionally. To send Ted to manage just one account. To have Pete crumble instead of exposing Bob. To have Don confess during a new business presentation. All not how it would ever play out realistically. However, the scene with the kids at the end was great. The look between Don and Sally said so much. Matt Weiner gets it wrong a lot but we still love the show. I’m not sure why but we continue to wait expectedly for another year to find out the answers.

          • Cathy1122 says:

            I don’t find Don’s forced leave of absence implausible. He’s an alcoholic – the firm is going to keep it’s options open – Ted knows Don needs to regroup. Don’s been coasting and screwing up. No such thing as rehab in the 60s. Being told to take some time off and get your act together seems pretty accurate for the time to me.

          • jains says:

            Cathy1122, alcoholism as a disease was recognized in the 30s and before, Hazelton existed in the 50s along with a bunch of other programs out of Minnesota, federal money was available for treatment in the 60s and numerous private programs existed, although expensive, but Don could afford them.

        • tamihagglund says:

          I believe them that it’s a suspension and not a firing–Don and Sally are in the same boat, really. They both drank too much and negatively affected others (him, the business & her, her peers). They get a shot at taking their leave of absence to think about what they really want–get their life together or throw it away. And both of them really need the other to choose getting it together for either of them to have it actually happen.

          • Emily says:

            I agree with you that Don and Sally ended in a pretty similar place. I also think that Don took Betty’s concerns that they had ruined Sally to heart, and that he knows that their actions, especially his in Sally’s case, have negatively impacted their lives. Taking the kids to the place he grew up serves two purposes. One, it shows all the kids that even though they grew up in a broken home, Don has still done his best to provide a better life for his kids. Two, it’s an important moment for Don to begin to repair his relationship with Sally. I think both Sally and Bobby this season pointed out to their dad that they don’t really know who he is. I think that Don realizes that the only way to repair this relationship is to finally be truthful.

        • TV Gord says:

          They didn’t fire him. They sent him on a sabbatical.

          Don has become a liability, so I think it’s completely believable. He has become a loose cannon at meetings with clients. How long are the partners supposed to sit by and let him do that?

        • Palisades says:

          I agree these events are unlikely, but they sure are possible. Don wasn’t exactly fired; he was told to sty away for a few months, presumably to dry out. Ted has headed an agency before, and even if Joan hast landed the Avon account yet, she broke new ground in a big way, and Peg has proven herself quite competent.
          Another thing Pete is not figtting, BTW, is Manolo.
          What I don’t appreciate is Ted’s inexplicable change from relentless taunter of Don to a sensitive good guy.
          I hate that Don is leaning toward honesty now, as a last-ditch effort to heal his relationship with Sally. So he’s going to explain away her pain by making it about him? He’s been a self absorbed and neglectful parent on an ongoing basis and continues to make it about him. Ugh.

        • mary says:

          Was Pete going to California to work on Sunkist, or did the trip have to do with Mom and Manolo? It wasn’t clear to me.

          • Britta Unfiltered says:

            Yeah, why was Pete going to California? That was not clear at all.

          • N tTVf says:

            I assume the SC&P West team needs an account man [Pete] to partner with the creative man/Ted. Harry is out there a lot as well. I tell you one thing – if I was offered a job at SC&P, and had a choice of working with Pete and Ted and Harry, or with the HQ team of Bob and Duck and Roger, I’d take the California job. Yes, they have one account, but in the 1960’s, California is booming – that one Sunkist account, with the right team in place, will mushroom to many other accounts. My hunch – Don will somehow end up in California, perhaps as a free-lancer (like Stan), and eventually will cross paths with SC&P West team – I await that day.

        • Futurologist says:

          I totally disagree with this, Don leaving (temporarily or otherwise) always seemed on the cards, although I am surprised it happened this season. Don has been out of control, manipulating numerous people and situations for his own means and making decisions on his own that affected the entire company. I think Ted is seemingly his opposite in many ways, hence their clash. Don could never be the good guy Ted is, and conversely Ted can’t be the bad guy like Don. When Don had the chance to save his family he didn’t take it, whereas Ted makes a difficult, if potentially wrong, decision as he feels it’s the right thing to do.

          Let’s not paint Ted as a total villain, he made a call to help the Rosen’s kid escape the draft when he had no ulterior motive. Note how he didn’t bring that up in his desperate plea to Don to switch places. I feel that’s a card Don would have played without hesitation.

          I think this series has been great, I was not blown away by the last season, but this has been a great return to form. There are numerous question marks hanging over next season, perhaps more than from any other MM season finale. Roll on season 7, thank god Breaking Bad is back soon…

        • The firing made no sense. It was completely out of character for the 3 Cooper Sterling partners. It did not make any sense—-except—-we are supposed to believe he has not been adding any value for a long time. But it does not appear true.

          He created the merged agency. He lets Ted (who must die in a plane crash next year!) go to LA. Cooper suddenly has recovered from his pre-dementia? Roger, the ultimate entitled lazy boy, suddenly is self righteous? They actually care what Harry Hamlin thinks? And Joan was invented by Draper. Why would she want him gone? He was always true to her. Then, on top of it all, they let “Duck” back in as a headhunter. Roger HATED Duck. They all hated Duck.

          The whole thing is so implausible. Wiener did not even give us the benefit of how these It did not make any sense—-except—-we are supposed to believe he has not been adding any value for a long time—-we would need to review that. But it does not appear true.

          He created the merged agency. He lets the other guy (who must die in a plane crash) go to LA. Cooper suddenly has no dementia. Roger, the biggest lazy slob of all, suddenly is righteous. They actually care what Harry Hamlin thinks? And Joan was invented by Draper. Then, on top of it all, they let “Duck” back in. It is so implausible. Wiener did not even give us the benefit of how these characters could suddenly become different people—they were body snatched.

          Dick Whitman has obviously returned and Draper is “Dying”. This makes sense, I think. And Wiener seems like he wanted a “clean” break and make it obvious by “killing Draper”. But the way he did it makes no sense. I almost think we will find out it was a Don/Dick dream sequence. Dick Whitman is returning as the final Sally scene is leading up to. Wiener wanted to create a “clean” break and make it obvious by “killing Draper”. But it was so lazily done.

  4. My says:

    I don’t think you can “fire” a partner. You have to buy him out.

    Maybe this will (finally) push Don to grow up a little.

    • Tom Sroczyk says:

      You are absolutely right? That inaccuracy ruined the whole show for me as it incorrectly portrayed the legal aspects of a partnership. Several times during the show one partner would either fire or threaten to fire another partner; that is incorrect! One partner can dissolve a partnership but there has to be a buy-out or an equal assumption of debt.

  5. Barb says:

    Excellent finale. For all of Don’s problems this season it looks as thought he’s ready to face up to them.

  6. Season Six was an OK year than Season Five but it couldn’t live up to its character driven story lines. Mad Men returns in 2014 but we hope that Season Seven should be its last but until then, the season finale was a bit lackluster for me and it wouldn’t surprise me that they would’ve killed off Megan.

  7. Pat D. says:

    I wonder if Matt is setting up Peggy to be with Don? Sure seems to be headed that way.

    In any case, I would have preferred they outright fired Don at the end rather than this “in limbo” status.

  8. TLG says:

    The whole Bob/Manolo thing fell apart for me. And in the grand scheme of the season not needed. They had us going with Bob and built good tension with the fans but eh.

    Don did need to go. Does he go on the wagon in season 7?

    • Sue says:

      I agree. I don’t even understand the point of the Manolo/Mom storyline. To show that Pete and his brother don’t love their mother enough to hire a PI to figure out why happened? Is it that she’s not really dead?

    • kate says:

      The Bob/Manolo/Pete’s Mom thing might resolve itself next season. It’s not American Horror Story. Mad Men does maintain SOME story flow from season to season.

    • jains says:

      From the tremors in his hands I think he does not go on the wagon. He keeps drinking so he doesn’t feel that or have to think about it OR he joins AA, sees a doctor, goes into rehab for 30 days and dries out. Can’t really picture the second scenario.

      • Britta Unfiltered says:

        Ted was totally right in that scene, when you’ve been living that kind of lifestyle, you can’t just stop cold turkey. That is very dangerous to do. This is how my mom’s second husband died. He tried to go cold turkey off drugs and alcohol because my brother’s wife was having his first grandchild, and he wanted to be clean and sober when she was born. That ended with him being found dead curled up on a bathroom floor. You either need professionals to help you detox, or you need to keep drinking. With that level of alcoholism, you just can’t quit on your own. So I hope next season whatever happens with Don and his drinking, Weiner will make it believable.

    • Futurologist says:

      Agreed, that storyline did seem to fizzle out, but there is definitely potential for it to carry over to next season. Roger is now wary of Bob Benson too, is it wrong that I kind of want Bob to fool them all and con his way to the head of the company?!

      • Tom Forsyth says:

        This is where 1960s contemparay culture comes in big time. Anyone remember the death of the three martini lunch? I believe it was a Madison Avenue ad exec that was fired and sued his former employer for turning him into an alcoholic! Gonna be great drama next season and a few court room sceenes.

  9. asta says:

    I loved it when Pete said…mother always loved the sea.

    \

    • kate says:

      ha! my favorite quote of the episode was from Pete, but it was when he said, “It’s 1968! surely there isn’t some oceanic limbo where murder is smiled upon!”

      • TV Gord says:

        Mine was from Pete, too, but it was, “Honestly, I’ve got bigger problems than this.”

      • Mosh says:

        Mine was “Not good, Bob!” haha

      • Britta Unfiltered says:

        That oceanic limbo line was my favorite. The funny thing is even still in our current day that kind of thing goes on. There’s a documentary out that my friend was telling me about that covers murders and other crimes that happen on cruise ships. It’s apparently a pretty common thing that goes on, and there aren’t any authorities anywhere that can do anything about it because it happens on international waters, so the crimes are never really investigated. There’s no specific jurisdiction, so apparently it’s the perfect crime. Scary!

        • kate says:

          I’d never in a million years get on a cruise ship. Other people love it, but I feel like there are million horror stories of mass sickness and people “disappearing” (aka being thrown over the side). DO NOT WANT.

  10. dd says:

    What a bummer. The California twist is anticlimatic. All the violence was supposed to result in “destruction” as Weiner articulated. With America in a protracted gorilla war in Vietnam and both mlk and rfk getting bumped off, and Meagan wearing that Sharon tate tee mad men fans were shortchanged by the finale. don’s therapeutic reveal with Hershey was much needed for his personal growth. Not really season finale worthy writing tho.

  11. Ron says:

    Bunch of morons on this site, the moment when Don proposed Cali to Megan and she broke down w emotion was phenomenal acting – a great character, fully realized by a great actress.

  12. Frank says:

    And I thought the season 5 finale was lackluster. This one appropriately closed off a very subpar season, with little to get excited about for season 7.

  13. p says:

    on tonight final show wh sang that last song?

  14. dd says:

    Agreed. So over bob butthead.

  15. Jains says:

    So manic just like the 60s. No one could stick to a decision. Back and forth. up and down. Frustrating and yes, lackluster as someone said earlier. The tremors in Don’s hands will put him back on the bottle. The whore house he grew up in was in New York???

    • susela says:

      This confused me, too. I thought he said the whorehouse was in Pennsylvania. Which would mean he picked up the boys in upstate NY, drove to Connecticut to pick up Sally at Miss Porter’s, and then drove the kids to Pennsylvania?

      • tw111 says:

        That’s not unusual….all three are commutable/ easy drive from NYC,( depending on where in PA).

      • FR says:

        Rye is not upstate New York, it’s much closer to NYC, and so is Connecticut. Pennsylvania is just a hop skip and jump…

        • kate says:

          you’ve looked at a map in your lifetime and know “upstate” is not half hour out of the city? god bless you.

      • kate says:

        maps are your friend. from Rye to Times Square is about half hour. Not exactly “upstate.”

        • SkinnyKnockdown says:

          If you live in NYC, Westchester County is considered “Upstate”. As someone who grew up in Binghamton, 3 hours from NYC, we’ve always had a different perception.

  16. april-ann says:

    So the one who was knocked off was Pete’s annoying burden? Lame. But anyone who thought “virtuous” Ted and suffering sex-starved Pegs weren’t totally doing it shouldn’t be watching this show. When we resume we will see that Peggy has had his baby, and the timeline should prove that they were doing it all along.

    • SarahFW says:

      I’m positive that Peggy is a religious user of birth control after what happened in the first season (although, granted, she was on birth control then, too….but it wasn’t yet effective).

      • Rybo67 says:

        She got pregnant the first time she was with Pete, which was literally the same day she went to the doctor to get the pill. Probably hadn’t even taken the first dose yet.

  17. Bob says:

    What was the name of the song at the end?

  18. Jim says:

    This finale paled in comparison to the last five years. For all of the interesting things going on in the world during this season, it all just felt lackluster. I don’t like Ted, or anyone from CGC for that matter, there wasn’t enough of Joan and Roger, it just didn’t feel like Mad Men. I like Megan, I mean her character may not be as ‘complex’ as Don’s but I think she is an excellent foil to Betty. Also the Manolo thing was just plain dumb.

  19. DMC says:

    I predicted the agency would open a satellite office in LA!

    • N tTVf says:

      You were correct. Will be interesting to see how MW and co. deal with the two offices (NY and LA) and for how long. Will Peggy need to make a trip out west to visit the California office. I remember how happy she was to make that first trip with CGC. If she does visit California, that could make for an interesting storyline – both Ted and Pete at that branch office.

  20. kate says:

    wait, so Bob’s boyfriend is the gay killer? well, that IS a twist.

  21. Hans says:

    I thought the finale was excellent. But the whole season did have problems. story lines that went nowhere or were not fully evolved, such as Bob/Manolo. Worst of all was the fact that there was clearly great potential in the characters the stories. I am remain excited for season 7. With “a fresh start” seeming to be a theme in this season finale perhaps it’s a foreshadow of season 7 being a fresh start. I hope so.

    • jains says:

      Oh I like the addictions, the dysfunctional families and general mayhem better than a fresh start. A fresh start would throw us back to the 50s not thrust us into the 70s.

    • jains says:

      I like the addictions, dysfunctional families, and general mayhem. A fresh start would throw us back to the 50s not thrust us into the 70s.

  22. Julie says:

    I agree. Megan needs to go.

  23. cat says:

    Maybe you can ask Weiner what happened to the big role he said that Betty would have this season.

    Don is such a pig for letting Betty believe that Sally’s horrible behavior was her fault.

  24. Donna says:

    Megan was sweet, so why is everyone so down on her? Because she wanted a career of her own? Because she trusted Don was a better man than he proved to be?

    • Krissy says:

      Because she’s played by a mediocre actress and her character has literally eaten the show alive for the past two seasons. But have no fear. Weiner is clearly in LOVE with the character/actress and I don’t think she’s going anywhere.

    • TV Gord says:

      Most people who comment on message boards are nuts. ;-) Also, too many people are expecting soap opera elements and resolutions, no matter how many times Weiner proves to them that he doesn’t do that.

    • N tTVf says:

      I think many folks like Betty/Birdie, and Megan takes up story line time from Betty. I think that’s why you may see anti-Megan comments. They both can’t have equal roles at this point in S6. Don got remarried. However, in S7, maybe we’ll see equal (and smaller) time for both. I like both actresses and characters a lot, but this is a story about Don. My guess, he will be moving onto another women in S7 – probably someone in California, and you never know, maybe someone who knows him as ‘Dick’, not as ‘Don.’ To me, that would be an interesting story line to pursue.

    • Al says:

      Because many of the commenter’s here are immature viewers to whom Don is their hero.

  25. lily says:

    i don’t get why people hate megan so much. esp this season- i mean, she had so little to do anyway, what’s to hate? i guess i understand it last season, when people said she was taking over the show, but that couldn’t possibly be the case this year. i don’t hate her. and i don’t think she’s off the show at all. when people’s marriages end on this show, it takes a while, and always with some relapses before letting go. don and betty, pete and trudy, even roger and jane. don and megan aren’t over, i don’t even think they’ve split

  26. megan says:

    One of my favourite parts was when Don called Dawn “sweetheart>”

  27. Sharon says:

    OK–awesome season finale, particularly for a penultimate season! This was MM at its best–circling back to through lines from the best (Kodak, Peggy falling for the wounded man, Joan laying messy boundaries, Don and Sally)…I loved where it “left”–THAT it “left”: Will Megan stay (she plays twins on a soap–not impossible to be written back in–and Don was watching a smidge of Patty Duke [twin cousins])…Not to mention Bewitched (where the adman husband needs his deceitful quasi-feminist wife to make him successful)…Will Pete stay in Cali or circle back to NOT BE DON? Will Bob’s con games catch up to him/be more nefarious in an era of WaterGate than Don’s con games were? Will Don return to cars (as he said–a few years down the road when the company knows what car it has? [and remember–Don’s first “undoing” was when Anna found him working cars…). Just lovely–and can’t wait for the next season!

    • Robin Zink says:

      A lot of Mad Men reminds me of Bewitched! Darriin Stevens, definateltly Roger is Larry Tate!! Just no witch so to speak but a lot of similarities!

  28. Dex P says:

    Another great season!!!!

  29. twnkltoze says:

    It’s my understanding that Don wasn’t fired. He was asked to take an open-ended break. I think he’ll be back when he gets his life together. Ted? Typical. Pig. Peggy? Turns out you ARE that girl. Gullible. Pete. Is he leaving the firm too? Geez. Whose left? Everyone with a meaty storyline is leaving? I loved the ending. Powerful. Looking forward to next season. It’s the only sitcom I watch.

  30. Brooke says:

    BUT DID JOAN GET THE AVON ACCOUNT OR NOT?! Way to drop a plotline, Weiner.

  31. Pagan says:

    Don wasn’t fired, they told him to take an LOA. He has to be bought out by the other partners in order for them to force him out. Which would probably be a decent chunk of change. Which means Bert, Roger, Ted or Jim buying his shares. None of the others have that type of cash.

    Pretty stupid of Megan to quit everything before the plans with Don were finalized. Serves her right for being so gullible, believing what Don told her about California. She knows he hasn’t been honest with her about anything in a long time.

    The only thing that surprised me this ep was Sally actually going to Miss Porter’s. It didn’t seem likely after her initial visit.

  32. Karen says:

    Pete’s Mom and Manolo made more of an impact in their few brief moments this season than Jessica Pare’ has made in all her tenure on Mad Men!

  33. TV Gord says:

    “Sally seeing Don with Sylvia is the worst thing that ever happened to him, as far as I’m concerned.”

    Don’s big character flaw here is that he’s only concerned about what Sally’s discovery means to him. He never once thinks about the impact it has had on Sally. To me, this is very much how parents were in the 60s. The effects of their bad choices on their children were never really considered much.

    • Palisades says:

      EXACTLY.
      Plenty of parents are still like this.

    • Emily says:

      That may be true that that is how parents were in the 60’s, but I think Don realized that impact that it had on Sally. Don was orphaned and raised by people who could care less about him. Betty is not exactly a shining example of parenthood. Don does not know how to be a parent, and he especially does not know how to talk to his children. It was evident in the scene where he stood outside of Sally’s room. You could tell that he wanted so badly to talk to her, but in the end the words could not come. Will Don ever be parent of the year? Heck no. But, I think the reason he spiraled so far out of control after that incident is because he did fully realize the impact that his actions had on his daughter, but he knows that he is too broken himself to fix it. This storyline, in my opinion, was the best of the season, and had the strongest grip on me. There is something so raw and devastating about the fact that Sally needs a love from her father that he is simply not able to provide. I hope Season 7 continues to explore the complexity of their relationship and the fallout of his actions.

  34. Jack Guzewicz says:

    A partner will retain his ownership percentage and share of the profits but the other owners can vote to relieve him of his duties or day to day position

  35. Palisades says:

    So, the Bob/Manolo/Mom storyline is largely about Pete, who is also becoming more like Don. We’ve repeatedly seen Don ignore or drop concern over events in order to pursue other things. Pete is finally learning this.
    I think Megan is an optimist who is perpetually left in limbo by Don, and at every opportunity, she tries to believe in the good in people. I was struck by her response to his night in jail – sympathetic and achingly hopeful.
    Is is mysoginistic to keep saying Betty seduced Don; it seemed completely mutual to me. These two were always hot for each other. Her growth was in leaving the next morning and not sticking around for false intimacies. Betty is finally able to be a kind of friend with him, to see him for what he is and enjoy what she can of him.

  36. SarahFW says:

    Did no one else pick up the parallel with the firing of Freddy Rumsen and the “firing” of Don Draper? Freddy “discovered” Peggy. Freddy had to go after he embarrassed himself with booze. They told Freddy it was a forced leave of absence with no end date. Peggy got Freddy’s office. Here’s hoping Don gets dried out during his LOA and can return to SC&P……it’s not like he’s replaceable, not even with Peggy. She’s still got a long way to go before she’s even in his league.

  37. Emily G says:

    Well, at least they don’t have to change the name of the company again.

    • jains says:

      I TOTALLY agree that we won’t see a preggers peggers!! She is definitely on a career path, trying out Don’s chair, and she has learned her lesson from the past.

  38. kristy says:

    uh cooper told don for the the past year he was on thin ice , he didn’t listen and yeah he was fired. I have seen bosses fired for way less than this.

  39. Allen Pope says:

    I thought the very ending of the show..including the music..Both Sides Now” by Judy Collins was so fantastic I watched over and over. That LOOK between Sally and Don just made me cry and gave me hope that both of them could see “both sides now” and how complicated life can be. Sally is my favorite character because she is exactly my age in the show and sees things the way I remember at her/my age…I hope she gets her Dad back in some way and Don realizes what a remarkable daughter he has …but perhaps that’s too fantastical for a show like this…which I freaking love.
    Second question, why DID Bob Benson rub his leg up against Pete?? He is a really cute guy ..speaks Spanish fluently, but comes from nothing…could he be gay and no threat to Roger? Hope we find out although I know he has another show coming up as well.

  40. Rob says:

    Was it a perfect season? No. But the finale did something that tv shows should strive for in their 6th season like Mad Men. What this finale did was have wonderful callbacks to the pilot. From the same song playing in the bar when Don is alone and the first scene in the pilot to Pete ticking Tammy under the covers like Don did with Sally and Bobby 1 in the pilot. It was a impeccably done IMO. Don’t even get me started on Peggy’s silhouette at Dons chair as a mirror of the Mad Men logo. Perfection.

    With that, I didn’t get the Manolo Pete Bob story but I can forgive it.

  41. Lorin says:

    I am a Mad Menaholic so I am ashamed to ask this (sigh) but when did Peggy sit in Don’s chair? Can’t believe I missed that! Thanks for the help folks! Can’t wait for next season!
    Also does anyone think Don was “dreaming” this when he was in the truck tank at jail??

    • N tTVf says:

      If you get a chance, re-watch the episode. Right near the end of the episode (the last shot of Peggy this season), Stan stops in the hallway at Don’s old office, and looks in and see’s Peggy in Don’s office going through his papers. “Everything we work on appears to be in here”, she says [or words to that effect}. Stan leaves, and Peggy sits down in Don’s chair – a cool moment, and she smiles and swivels in the chair a bit until the camera is right behind her, and that shot of the back of her head is a female-version of the Mad Men iconic Don-logo.

      Hey, maybe this Peggy-back-head shot will be the logo for the Mad Women 1970’s era spin-off of Mad Men when Peggy and Joan run an agency? Matt W, can you hear me? ;)

  42. Britta Unfiltered says:

    So Don’s got a problem, and it’s apparently a drinking problem. Well played, Weiner, that was right in front of my face, and I didn’t see it coming at all. I fear that like many others I try and see the soap opera ending rather than the ending of what could realistically happen. Ted’s treatment of Peggy made me really mad. I’m surprised she wasn’t more upset. She should have been. It seems obvious now that Manolo is a total con artist who’s just after the money of rich old ladies. He probably really was doing Pete’s mom the whole time and she was telling the truth about that. I wonder if he and Bob work together. That storyline felt extremely unresolved and I’m guessing we never hear anything about it ever again. Roger broke my heart with that look on his face when he walked away from his daughter. I’m really glad Joan stepped up there at the end. And where was Ginsberg? We haven’t seen him since he had that freak out attack. Did he quit?
    .
    I think as far as finales go, I liked last year’s better. Still, this one had its merits. I am curious where we go from here, and what characters will play a significant role next year. Also, how about that Vincent Kartheiser? I really think he’s got a shot at an Emmy nomination this year. He seems the most likely candidate in the supporting actors of the cast.

    • N tTVf says:

      I agree with you on last season’s (S5) finale ending – that shot of Don at the bar and his response to the pretty blonde asking him ‘Are you alone?’ That ending will be hard to beat – any year, any season, any show.

      Thinking back to the other season ending shots, S1 had Don sitting on the stairs at home, having missed a trip w/Betty and the kids. S2 was Don and Betty at the kitchen table, after Betty had told him she was pregnant. S3, Don walking across the street towards his new apartment as a soon-to-be single man – with a new agency. S4, Don staring out the window in bed w/Megan post Disneyland and engagement announcement. I think this S6 ending is on par with the others: S1-S4. I liked that S3 ender – very upbeat, and great background music.

    • jains says:

      Don has more than one problem. Drinking is one, womanizing is another, having an identity that is not his and living a lie, multiple other segments of baggage from his unfortunate childhood and early adult years. If he began therapy today he might have it all in place by the year 2063.

  43. keith says:

    Did anyone catch that “band of gold” was playing in the bar? The same song was in the first episode.

    • jains says:

      Keith, I did not hear “Band of Gold” in either episode but plan to watch entire series over the next few months. Way to go for close and careful watching! One of my favorite songs, used to ice skate to that one at an outdoor rink in junior high. Think it must actually be a 50s song but it must have lingered through the 60s.

      • jains says:

        Oops. There are two songs titled “Band of Gold” I was going back too far. In 1956 one was recorded by the Hi Fi Four and the one in Mad Men done by Freda Payne in 1970.

  44. keith says:

    This was he don cherry “band of gold” in both episodes. It stuck out cause of dons cheating in the first episode. It plays again when he hits bottom by hitting the minister and then realizing things need to change.

    • jains says:

      Keith, that is the one I remember and love. Of course, Don Cherry. It is from 1956 and no wonder the title here contains “struck gold”. Very keen observations on your part.

  45. j says:

    I really want Peggy and Pete together, so I was a little disappointed to see he was going to California. I loved when Pete’s mom talked about them having a child together, when she thought Peggy was Trudy. What happened with the peggy/pete baby?

    • GG says:

      Peggy’s Mother and sister take care of the baby. However, I know what you mean. It’s as if the little guy dissapeared off the face of the earth

      • KP says:

        Peggy’s mother and sister are not taking care of Peggy’s baby. Peggy gave him up for adoption. That’s why we don’t see him. He’s not in the picture any more.

  46. GG says:

    oops disappeared

  47. Frank says:

    Watch Don court Connie Hilton and Dow Chemical independently and return triumphantly to the shop with Duc repping him to grab more power than he ever had.

  48. Jen says:

    I’m sure no one will read this since it’s so late but I’ve been wondering, was I the only madmen fan that though Don was actually going to be faithful to Megan? I honestly thought it was the fact that his marriage to Betty being built on a lie caused him to cheat on her. I figured, he must know that Betty only loved the idea of him and that kept him from being vulnerable and intimate with her. He was always able to be that was with his mistresses so I figured it was because he could be his Dick Whitman self with them. I honestly thought that if Betty didn’t leave him, he would have been faithful to her. But His marriage to Megan isn’t built on a lie and he’s worse with her! So I guess Betty dodged a bullet. I still miss them together though even though they had a shallow type of love, it seemed more real than what Megan and Don had in season 5.

  49. brian wolf says:

    For me,…the whole show is really about Dons relationship with his daughter Sally. From the first season till now, they have had a special relationship, which can only help Don grow more as a man and father. She is truly, the only girl on the show he loves, and depends on.

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