Mad Men Midseason Finale Recap: The Best Things in Life Are Free [Updated]

Mad Men Season 7 RecapThe following recap contains spoilers from Mad Men‘s midseason finale. If you haven’t watched yet, bookmark this page and come back later! 

“No man has ever come back from leave, not even Napoleon,” Bert tells Roger in Sunday’s Mad Men midseason finale – and soon after, the firm’s founding father gets a chance to test that theory… in a permanent sense.

Yes, let’s all have a moment of silence for Bertram Cooper, the shoeless Col. Sanders of Madison Avenue, who kick-ball-changes his way off this mortal coil as the AMC drama hits the midpoint (and the high point, at least so far) of its final season.

Bert’s passing comes at the same time that Apollo 11 touches down on the moon, Jim tries to oust Don for breach of contract, Peggy steps up to take her rightful place at the SC&P table and Roger shrewdly saves the day. Let’s review the major developments of “Waterloo.”

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DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YA | Ted takes some Sunkist execs up in his plane and rattles them by cutting the engines and letting the aircraft go into freefall for a few minutes. During a call that follows, Chaough informs Jim and a livid Pete that he’s miserable. “I don’t wanna die, I just don’t wanna do this anymore.”

Meanwhile, back in New York, Pete, Harry, Peggy and Don rehearse the upcoming Burger Chef pitch. It’s always enjoyable to watch the team’s conference-room antics; this time, I particularly enjoy Peggy’s soft Don-intro voice – and how quickly she drops it – and the way Pete sharply cuts Draper off as he’s gearing up to work his magic. They all agree that if the Apollo 11 mission ends in tragedy, the pitch is screwed.

Speaking of screwed, Meredith is waiting outside Don’s office with a letter full of “very upsetting news”: His crashing of the Commander Cigarettes meeting was a breach of his contract, and the partners are tossing him out. (Side note: I adore how ridiculous Meredith is in this scene, telling Don “I am your strength” and kissing him on the lips as he cocks a brow in WTF?-ness. Oh honey, that ship has sailed.)

Don angrily gathers all the partners upstairs and demands to know who was in on it; turns out, Jim pretty much acted alone. A vote reveals that only Jim (and Ted, by proxy) and Joan (?!) want Draper gone, so he’s sticking around for a while. “I’m tired of him costing me money,” she defiantly announces after the meeting. Careful, Joanie, as Pete astutely notes, Draper is a “sensitive piece of horseflesh.” (Heh.)

SO LONG, THAT’S ALL, GOODBYE? | Don calls Megan, who’s sunbathing – and not getting randomly murdered – on her California terrace, to tell her that he’ll probably be able to move out West real soon. Then, the Drapers save us all a lot of time by having one of those double-meaning conversations:

DON: They want me to move on.
MEGAN: Well, maybe you should. Aren’t you tired of fighting?
DON: Yes.

Don quickly susses out that his missus doesn’t really want him relocating to the Left Coast, so he solemnly promises to “always take care of you” because he owes her at least that much, and she cries, “You don’t owe me anything,” before they say goodbye. I’d argue that all of that Sylvia Rosen nonsense is worth at least a little walking around money, Megs, but it’s your call.

Has Michael Ausiello’s dream come true? Is Megan no longer someone we’ll see on Mad Men? It sure looks like the Drapers are done, but then again, it did at the end of last season, too…

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WELCOME HOME | Peggy finds a sweaty, not-unattractive worker putting up drop ceilings in her apartment and thinks he’s trying to bilk her out of more money, but he just wants to give her his number. Get it, Peggy! She later has a bittersweet moment with upstairs neighbor Julio, who sadly announces that he doesn’t want to go to Newark – I loved her too-true response: “Nobody does” – but he’s going to have to because his mom is moving there for work. Peggy is moved to tears when he hugs her, and softens her usual landlord gruffness to allow him to watch TV while she packs for Indiana.

ONE GIANT LEAP | Roger answers the phone as he watches the moon landing with Mona, Brooks and Ellery. It’s bad news: Bertram Cooper has passed away on his couch. A very sad Sterling and Joan embrace at the office, but all Jim wants to talk about is how to position the firm as “the agency of the future” now that Bert is gone, Don is on his way out and Harry is poised to finally sit at the grown-ups’ table.

Roger calls Don, who’s in Indiana with the Burger Chef team, to relay the news. “You know he was very proud of you,” Draper reassures his colleague. And spurred by the news, Don knocks on Peggy’s door to tell her that she – not he – will present to the fast food chain execs in the morning. She’s freaked, but Don’s apparently making up for seasons of being a total bastard by saying nothing but the right thing to everyone who crosses his path: “I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t know you could.”

And she certainly can. The next day, Peggy looks amazing, sounds convincing and completely hooks Burger Chef with her clincher: “There may be chaos at home, but there’s family supper at Burger Chef.” The fleeting look of victory  she and Don exchange when they realize they’ve hit a homerun is right on par with the hand-grab at the end of “The Suitcase,” by which I mean I will probably re-watch it 100 times between now and next Sunday.

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BLONDE AMBITION | One of Betty’s college girlfriends (played by Life Goes On‘s Kellie Martin, whom it took me two scenes to recognize) brings her family for a visit at the Francis estate. The minute I saw the hunky older son, I knew Sally would be on board with the houseguests, and judging from the poofiness of her hair and the amount of lipstick she wears for the rest of the episode, I’m not wrong. Yet it’s the younger, geekier son who gets a smooch from Sal while both are in the backyard as he shows her around a telescope. #notaeuphemism When he runs inside, Sally lights up a cigarette and looks around as though she’s slightly bored, unable to look more like Betty if she tried.

HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS | Not liking the way Jim’s headed, Roger meets with McCann-Erickson and strikes a potential deal: The competing firm will buy a 51 percent share in SC&P, retaining it as a subsidiary headed up by Roger. Stumbling block: The buyers want the whole Chevy team – including Ted – as part of the package, and all of the SC&P partners have to sign five-year contracts. Chaough resists, but Draper turns on the charm – and when everyone (even Jim!) realizes how much money they’ll make from the transaction, it’s a unanimous vote to move forward with the plan.

Peggy meets her mentor outside the partners’ confab with even more good news: Burger Chef signed with SC&P. Don looks pleased, but he may just be trying not to laugh at the fact that the two buttons on Peggy’s dress make it look like her boobs are smiling at him. As the entire staff heads upstairs to mark Bert’s passing, Don goes downstairs to work… and has a vision of a stocking-footed Bert singing “The Best Things in Life Are Free” as members of the secretarial pool join him in the song-and-dance number.

The scene is an awesome send-off for the immensely talented Robert Morse, and the episode on the whole leaves me very excited for where Matthew Weiner is going to lead this band of merry misfits when the show returns next year.

Now it’s your turn. Grade the episode via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice and to pontificate about what the second half of Season 7 will bring.

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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  1. Jase says:

    At least they finally gave Sally a hot guy to lust after…unlike Matt Weiner’s charmless son.

  2. Mountaineer says:

    I’m just happy Peg’s got some digits. Great episode.

  3. Derek Johnson says:

    Overall, good episode, but it left a few things to be desired.
    It’s last your last chance to end on a real cliffhanger, & you don’t? Ending with a music number basically says, “We ran out of material at the beginning of act 3.”

    • Lia says:

      Maybe it means brain cancer? One can hope …

    • opus says:

      Are you kidding? Ending with Robert Morse singing “The Best Things in Life Are Free” was awesome and so great a send-off for his character. A fantastic episode with an even greater ending, letting Mr. Morse’s Broadway career shine through!!

    • Walter Freeman says:

      Sorry, but abbreviated half-seasons aren’t worthy of cliffhangers. Things were just picking up steam, and AMC is screwing the pooch by making everyone wait until next year for a proper conclusions, by which time everyone will have more or less forgotten the last seven episodes anyways. I thought the bizarre sendoff for Bert was as good a bridge as any given circumstances.

      • Cameron says:

        Yeah, I gotta agree. It would be one thing if they were even just picking back up in the fall, but not till 2015? Mad Men’s long hiatuses are a big reason why it has the low ratings it does.

      • Vicki says:

        I could not agree more. It has to do with the network’s ability to generate revenue, as I understand it. But it’s irritating and interrupts the momentum. As I understand it too, all episodes have been filmed. the network decided late in the process to split the season because it made them money when they did it for Breaking Bad. Who know if that’s true but it’s lame nonetheless. dragging it out for 10 months seems counter-productive.

    • BJ says:

      Wait, you *want* a cliffhanger?? Cliffhangers are gimicky and stupid.

      • Marci says:

        Thank you, BJ. I’m sick of cliffhangers; and I agree with Cameron that the long hiatuses have ill-served the series. You’d think that AMC would have treated a prestige series like this with more respect and scheduled its broadcasts to generate more interest and better ratings.

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      I personally don’t care for cliffhangers that leave you waiting a year. It’s too long of a wait, and by the time the show returns, it’s too hard to care about what the cliffhanger was, and it becomes very anticlimactic. Plus I just think it’s mean for a showrunner to do that to their audience. If you’re going off the air for a year, end with some closure, for god’s sake. I applaud Mad Men for doing their weird musical ending.

    • TD says:

      It was a perfect ending.

  4. jar says:

    All season I could tell that Cooper’s death was coming but I wasn’t ready for it. I didn’t know if I should laugh, cry, or be scared for Don during the song (even if it wasn’t his first hallucination…maybe because it wasn’t), so I did all three. The whole episode was wonderful. Now to wait a year….

  5. Casey says:

    I loved the musical number. I was sad to see Bert go, and it softened the blow a bit. I’m glad they put his musical experience to good use. He definitely left a lasting impression, and I’ll miss him.

    • Ditto. I loved the number so much I went to YouTube and played Morse doing “I Believe in You”
      from “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” for my wife. The difference between that older, bearded guy and that young, dimpled boy is amazing. She was astounded, and said, “He’s cute!”

      The delicious irony of Robert Morse going full Broadway circle!

  6. Sean C. says:

    That was the “Mad Men” episode ending I never knew I always wanted.

    I had kind of guessed that Cooper was going to die, with the several little scenes of him, including him fixating on the launch. Seemed appropriately symbolic. I’ll miss Robert Morse, but he got a great final scene.

  7. lla says:

    What a perfect way to send off the incredible Robert Morse! Note to self: Watch “How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” movie again soon. I’ll never forget the first time I saw it on tv when I was a kid –just so taken with him. Bravo Matthew Weiner!

    • Cheo says:

      Also see 1967’s ‘A Guide for the Married Man’ for more early Morse brilliance.

      • lla says:

        Thx. I’ve seen it on tv at some point–but it’s been a long time. Will check it out again next time it’s on. I’ve seen How to Succeed quite a bit–but it’s time to watch it again :)

  8. N tTVf says:

    I was thinking along the same lines as Casey’s comment regarding Bert – nice to see that he got to do a song and dance to exit the show and RIP his character/Bert.

    I’ve read that Matt W was influenced heavily by two movies in particular during his youth (as was I, being around MW’s and JH’s age) – “How to Succeed In Business w/o Really Trying” and “Guide For the Married Man.” Both movies starred Robert Morse. I saw those movies as a kid on television reruns in the 1970’s – MW probably did as well.

    It was great to have RM have that final song-dance with the SC&P office secretaries – a nice nod to the ‘A Secretary is Not a Toy’ number from ‘How to Succeed’, both in the movie, as well as the original (also w/RM) on Broadway.

    RIP Bert Cooper.

  9. The Kaibosh says:

    Armstrong’s first steps on the Moon were on July 21, 1969. Bert’s death and the Burger Chef pitch would have been on July 22nd. Don saw Bert’s ghost the next day. The last time Don saw a ghost was in the “Suitcase” when he saw Anna. the Mason murders were on August 8, 1969. I suspect that we’ll see Meghan’s ghostly premonition soon.

    • JohnL says:

      In the US, Armstrong step on the moon on Sunday July 20, 1969 (late afternoon on the west coast, later in the evening on the east coast). It was only on July 20th in the eastern hemisphere.

      That means they met with Burger Chef on Monday, July 21, 1969.

      • JohnL says:

        Whopps–meant to type “It was only July 21st in the eastern hemisphere.”

        • The Kaibosh says:

          Thanks for the correction but really? Dates? That’s what you’re taking away from this?

          • M says:

            It’s not about the dates. What was meant was I wonder what will happen next. For example, Aug. 1969 was the time of the Manson murders. Will there be a storyline on that? We all don’t want to wait until Jan. 2015 to find out, so we are just imagining what Matt Weiner has in store for us.

  10. Outstanding sendoff for Robert Morse. We knew he was a Broadway performer and for his last scene, an outstanding exit from the show.

  11. maggie says:

    i cried

  12. Sue Bargeron says:

    If Don is wise, he’ll heed the message instead of being without moorings. It was funny that he was cautioning Sally not to be so cynical.

  13. Gail says:

    I sincerely hope Megan is not murdered by Charles Manson. Too much of an exploitation of a tragic event. While Mad Men has mentioned and reflected on current events it has never had its characters directly involved. First episode back will most likely be August 1969 so the Manson murders will likely be mentioned and maybe Megan will know someone that was killed, perhaps her friend or Anna Draper’s niece. Just seems that with all the speculation that Megan will die would be a reason not to do it. The character of Megan probably will not be seen in the last 7 episodes. Since they had no children together she will have no connection to anyone on the show once divorced.

  14. spartan says:

    Not a stellar season overall — too many annoying new people and too little on characters I actually care about — but these last two episodes were excellent. Not to dismiss younger viewers who might wonder what the hell was the big deal about the moon landing and why the hell finish with a wacky musical number … but these things really resonated with me. Loved ol’ Bert saying “Bravo” to Neil Armstrong’s lunar quip and the sendoff they gave his character with that bit from “How to Succeed” (which I saw him perform in). Roger steps up; Don shows rare altruism; Pete’s hilarious; Peggy succeeds sublimely; we get rid of Megan; Don gets his mojo back … all in all, great.

  15. Cheo says:

    Thank you, @MadMen_AMC for showing us that we can still be delightfully surprised by television. The last thing I expected out of this episode was to have a huge grin on my face as the end credits rolled. You’re the best.

  16. Denise says:

    Great episode and ode to Robert Morse! When I heard he died, I was angry they didn’t give him a better send-off and said to my daughter p, it would have been great if they had him do a musical number from How to Succeed and the.n went nuts when they had him do a song and dance. kudos! For next year, they’ll have to deal with the Manson murders, Woodstock (both were two huge events in August ’69 & Weiner better not leave them out! The series finale MUST tie up the loose ends of Peggy’s baby with Pete that she put up for adoption. I got the feeling she might’ve been thinking about that when she hugged the little boy and had tears in her eyes.

    • M says:

      There are so many loose ends to tie up. Peggy’s baby might not be one of them. How about more on Don’s past? Will Roger’s daughter who lives on a commune ever be mentioned again? Will Megan ever be mentioned again or was she dispensed with in a phone call?

  17. Carole Witt says:

    A perfect ending IMO. Great to see Robert Morse sent off this way – with props to his great background on Broadway. And congrats to Matt Weiner.

  18. Kris Collins says:

    Great episode! Finally letting Robert Morse do what he does best was a great send off for him and his character, also the lyrics of the song obviously have a lot of significance. The characters have all always been obsessed with money, Bert’s song was setting up something for the ending of the show, don’t know what, obviously. Can’t wait to find out!

    • Walter Freeman says:

      Maybe Don will give his ownership stake to Peggy, then move out to California and reunite with Megan, and spend his days walking barefoot on the beach. I’d like to see that ending, but only for the immediate Twitter outrage and reviewer postmortems; it’d be glorious.

    • Always An Art Director says:

      ‘I believe in you’ were the lyrics to the song Bobby Morse sang in ‘how to succeed in business without really trying.’ Didn’t Don say to Peggy ‘I know you can do this’ regarding pitching Burger Chef ? It always came easy to Don- as far as the creative – he succeed without really trying– and then when it was all taken away –he really tried without succeeding. The Bert Cooper song and dance was masterfully planned and not just a send off for a broadway star. The look on Don’s face of astonishment when he realizes the live he has been seeking all along but never grasped fully was always there in Peggy. The intimacy of unspoken thoughts they communicate with each other is far deeper than the fast food sex he had with Sylvia and even his wife Meagan. Bert sang how love was there for everyone and the best things in life are free. I think Don finally gets it and will be united with Peggy at least in their own agency if not on a more personal

  19. Tammy says:

    First, bravo to Robert Morse. I have been a fan since I saw
    How to Succeed as a kid.
    Second, didn’t Bert’s sister have shares in Sterling Cooper? I was thinking she was a silent partner at one time.
    Third, thank you for telling me who played Betty’s friend. I knew the voice but could not place the face for the life of me.
    Lastly….. Why do we have to wait a damn year! Argh!

  20. Jack says:

    45 minutes of amazing television…and a dance number. I’m sad to see Robert Morse go, and I know he’s a talented song and dance man, but it didn’t belong here.

  21. betty force says:

    Sorry, people, but Don can’t have visions without accompanying strokes. Meanwhile, Betty’s marriage is on a collision course with new political hubby’s career. After splitsville comes next season, Betty takes Don back, and they retire to California. For those out there with a brain; the agency will lose Burger Chef because the strategy is so wrong. Only number 1 in a category can advertise as if they have no competition. Present strategy sells all fast food places. Weiner knows advertising like Bo knows chess.

  22. Madest of Men says:

    The thing that made Mad Men great was Don Draper. He was the superhero, even with all his faults. This season has been somewhat disappointing to see that our superhero has not been able to rise above the depths of the tar pits he has been drowning in recently. He continues to act like Superman with Kryptonite insoles. Perhaps that’s the design, but I like to believe in my superheroes like James Tiberius Kirk or others of that ilk, There are just a handful of episodes left and I am not sure that Don will be able to leap tall buildings by the end. But what the hell do I know. And lastly, I think that finally after all these years of toting those huge breasts around they have burdened poor Joan with madness….we may have to have Charlie Mason visit New York to seek out the red head.

  23. Ron McGowan says:

    My biggest disappointment in the Finale (and the last several episodes) is in Joan. She’s not only turned her back on a Don completely, but since when has Joan been all about the money and nothing else??? I was hoping there would be more substantive development of her character, but instead she pretty much went nowhere except to occasionally voice her anti-Don sentiments. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she’ll come around in the second half.

    • Greening says:

      Maybe we’re supposed to think that after she turned down Bob Benson’s proposal — “We could live in a mansion! You’ll never get a better offer” — she realized that she has to depend on herself to take care of her and her son’s future. With $1 million from the sale, she’ll never even hesitate again over offers from men she’s not in love with. She helped put that agency together and deserves her share. I don’t think she ever knew the degree to which Don stood up for her against the loathsome Jaguar deal…which she also took for the partnership = money.

    • roz12 says:

      Yes! I totally loved this season but I don’t get why Joan is so much wanting to dump Don. He’s always been supportive and respectful. There seems to be something more personal than the money they lost behind her hatred. Hopefully we’ll get some answers next year (sighs).

      • Jess says:

        Didn’t Don do something to ruin the Jaguar account? The one the Joan prostituted herself to get. That’s why she hates him now. Can’t say as I blame her.

        • Atticus1 says:

          I never understood that. Joan still had her share and now never had to deal with the man again. I would think she would be happy not to be constantly reminded of it.

        • JMill says:

          Actually, it was the actions of Joan and the other partners that caused the first financial gut punch Joan complains about. They put together an IPO for the agency behind Don’s back. That led to Don, operating totally in the dark, ‘firing’ Jaguar when the same jerk that demanded to sleep with Joan, tried to force Don to agree that the agency would let some kid that created sales fliers for one of the dealerships have veto power over the creative from the agency.

          Joan’s character has shown a very ugly side. Don has always been a champion for her, and there more than likely wouldn’t have been an agency for her to be a partner of were it not for Don. She’s in no way, shape of form, hurting for money since becoming a partner, and she was fooling herself if she thinks that the jerk from Jaguar wouldn’t have, sooner or later, come back around demanding a second helping if they had they had stayed with the agency.

        • leo21 says:

          Joan didn’t know that the jerk was trying to get her back in bed and that’s why Don fired Jaguar.

  24. Sparky says:

    The best parts of show for me have always been when Roger and Don and Don and Peggy pull together. Glad this episode reminded me of the strength in their relationships. Going to miss the show when it’s gone but I wish that they had just showed the remaining episodes this year.

    • Sparky says:

      Any chance Peggy will try to find her daughter….not to get her back but just to see did she make the best decision in giving her up. Or was that even possible to try and find a child that you gave up in the sixties!!!! She is questioning the decisions that she has made lately and then with her kid neighbor leaving it could be stirring up old feelings.

  25. lululime says:

    It was a good episode, but I was completely distracted by Kellie Martin’s appearance. And I can’t believe she’s old enough to have teenage kids.

  26. ljn says:

    I have watched this episode three times since it aired only hours ago. Simply amazing television and an incredible finale to the season 1a.

    • roz12 says:

      I still haven’t watched the finale but I’m planning to watch the whole series between the Autumn and next spring. I foresee some wonderful Sunday afternoons of Mad Men binging…

  27. Donna Rose says:

    Kimberly, how could you not write “SHUFFLE-ball-changes his way off this mortal coil”?

  28. Klementine says:

    Having Burt die during the moon landing reminded me of when Miss Blankenship died, and they were writing her obit, and Burt proclaimed, “She was an astronaut!” This show has so many layers, I love it.

  29. anna says:

    I really like this episode. The last scene was a lovely send off to Bert.

    I think Betty and Henry’s marriage is going to end next. Look how far apart they were sitting during the moon landing.

    Sally kissed the nerdy brother because she didn’t want to be cynical like the hot brother. And yes she is Betty jnr. Betty’s friend even commented on it. I can’t believe that was Kellie Martin! I knew she looked familiar.

  30. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I loved this season. I think it was the best season since season 4, or as I like to think of it, the pre-Megan era. But I do wish Pete and Joan had more interesting storylines. This was a great episode, and it gave me laughs, tears, and smiles. Most of the laughs came from Meredith. Great reviews, Kimberly. I’ll be looking forward to seeing these again next year.

  31. chloe says:

    Hope that’s it for Megan. The song and dance at the end was odd–but I didn’t know about the actor’s Broadway background. From what I’ve read, it doesn’t sound like anyone’s concerned that Don had a stroke at the end of the episode. I was hoping he’d die at the end of the series, but it would be lame to have him die so soon after Bert died.

  32. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though
    you relied on the video to make your point.
    You clearly know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you
    could be giving us something informative to read?

  33. jj says:

    Sorry Reviewer–But Don was never a TOTAL bastard. He thru all the season had a good side. The way Peggy, Joan and a few others treated him when he came back was beyond what he deserved.

  34. jj says:

    *He thru all the seasons*

  35. Marsha says:

    Roger’s daughter is living on a commune and possibly part of a cult. Could she be a member of the Manson family who kills Megan? Just a thought.

    • leo21 says:

      No. Based on where they are in the timeline, the Manson cult is in California and very close to the murders. That being said, I still worry about her Margaret based on her conversation with Roger at the beginning of the season.

  36. njartist says:

    What a great send off for Bert Cooper-Robert Morse was fantastic throughout the series. I thought that the musical number was terrific. I could see Robert Morse’s enjoyment in doing it.
    I loved the way Roger came through and had Don’s back-while undermining Jim
    Cutler. Is Ted’s morose is in part due to his unrequited love for Peggy? Pete was
    his typical self. Joan’s dislike for Don is an interesting turn-remember when they
    were in the bar a few seasons back talking like old friends? Harry Crane has to
    be the most ignored employee at the firm. I do not think Megan will die
    but continue on her career path. I always felt that MM was the journey of Don
    Draper from a damaged person to someone who is at piece with himself. I also
    do not think that Don will be dead at the end of MM but will have finally settled
    into a loving relationship and it will not be with Betty. I noticed how Sally when standing
    outside smoking mirrored her mother to a T. I wonder where Ken was during the last few
    episodes-I thought that the eye injury wasn’t permanent but it seems to be so.
    One more point-Bert gently told Roger in one of their last conversations that he
    wasn’t a leader. Roger showed leadership by crafting the deal that kept Don on board,
    made them all very rich and undermined Cutler at the same time making him the boss.
    Roger is very good at last minute saves, figuring out what needs to be done and making it
    happen. He knows how to get it done -look at how pushed for a vote while Ted was still
    thinking it over. Cutler may truly dislike Don but money certainly did talk didn’t it?
    It was great when Cutler dismissed Avery as a hired employee. How someone that
    miserable, cruel, cold and unimaginative ever succeed in advertising? I noticed during
    the previous weeks episode he walked right past Dawn and totally ignored her. The
    way he talked to Sally and bellowed that its not his problem-what a loser.
    One final comment-perhaps Joan’s change in attitude towards Don started when when she became partner? Did she forget that Don came to her apartment and told her she did not have to go through with the “date”? BTW-will the terms of Bert’s will have any effect on Rogers plans ?

    • Valerie says:

      LOVED Cutler’s capitulation that ended the vote. As for Joan, she likes Don. She even loves him. But he’s bad for her business and the financial welfare of her child

  37. dropera says:

    Surely the Mad Men producers planned this farewell musical number for Bert from the first moment that Robert Morse was cast, bringing to fruition the tacit joke of his connection to “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying”. It was a masterstrike.

    Two other aspects to admire about this episode:
    1) While Don ceded the Burger Chef pitch to Peggy, he actually took upon himself the important pitch of the season: convincing Ted not to bail on the advertising business, ensuring his agreement to Roger’s plan. Also:
    2) Bearing in mind that Robert Morse’s iconic solo in “How To Succeed” etc. was “I believe in you”, I found a very subtle homage to that song in Don’s interaction with Peggy, both in his visit to her motel room and his silent signals of “Go get ’em” at the next day’s meeting. He didn’t have to literally sing it; he was communicating it nonetheless. This is great TV writing.

    • singersalon says:

      dropera, You hit the nail on the head!!! Great creative writing with lottsa layering is why Mad Men is so awesome to begin with! It all ties together in a surprising yet satisfying way. Those who found the musical number “odd” have no imagination.

      • AnnieM says:

        Maybe, but I think a lot of them are just too young to be aware of Robert Morse’s Broadway musical background. And judging by many of the comments here, clearly many of them are taking it upon themselves to find out. :-)

  38. AnnieM says:

    I don’t think Megan will be killed, but I do think she’ll be freaked out enough to move, maybe back to NYC. Plenty of acting work there. Also, where are people getting that Don had a stroke at the end? Did I miss something?

  39. Justin says:

    How has nobody mentioned the line of the night? Pete’s “I have TEN percent!” after Joan finds out how much money she will make was just perfect. I had to watch it three or four times and couldn’t stop laughing.

  40. ? says:

    Don and Peggy: is the show laying groundwork for going there? It’s seemed like it a bit over the last few episodes and then there was that hug Peggy gave him right at the end of tonight’s episode and Don’s puzzled look. I really hope I’m wrong . . . I think it would be a mistake.

    • AnnieM says:

      Oh Lord, no. :-D. If anything, I personally would love to see them as equal partners in their own agency eventually.

  41. Lauren says:

    may its just me but isn’t what Ted did with the SunKist people way worse than what Don did with they Hershey people and yet no one tried to push Ted out or seemed all that bothered (Pete aside) by it.

  42. I would think Don could perhaps have paranoid schizophrenia, but he’s a little old for that to just be onsetting now. What the Hell is wrong with him?

  43. Juju says:

    Don has had visions or hallucinations or whatever you want to call it for years. Remember The Suitcase when he saw Anna? Ken Cosgrove tap-dancing? Don sees things. It doesn’t mean he has a brain tumor or is having a stroke. It means he is Matthew Weiner’s viewpoint character and Matthew Weiner has an off-kilter, surrealistic vision for the show.

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  45. Perry says:

    One thing that I was wondering about was whether Matt Weiner was lamenting the end of “everyone” watching the most popular TV shows and then connecting over them the next day or two. I think this because of the multiple shots of the various groups watching the moon landing at the same time as well as the gist of the Burger Chef ad, longing for a lost (and we know now, largely unrecoverable) past of eating without distractions.

    For M*A*S*H ‘s final show, almost everyone in America was sitting in front of their TV’s experiencing it simultaneously. It wasn’t that way for Tony Soprano or Walter White, and it won’t be that way for Don Draper, and I assume a showrunner today would look back fondly upon a time when they had such power.

  46. waterbug says:

    I think Cooper dying with his black maid was significant too–just as significant as his dance in the end. If you remember, he did not want black secretaries to be seen at the reception desk.

  47. A says:

    I hope Megan’s gone forever. I also hope that Ted and Peggy don’t hook up again now he’s coming back to NYC. Next season I hope don and Betty have some scenes together.

  48. maryjeannine says:

    I hate the mid-season split! But what an excellent episode. Love how Don is taking care of Peggy now, just as he promised to take care of Megan. And Don’s secretary is such a hoot!