This season Donald Drappers inner demons, turned into self-destruction riders of his personal (and professional) life: Don is aging fast in a world that change way too fast. The 60s probably were the most convulsive and awakening decades of american modern history: Racial equality, feminism, hippies, political troubles, drugs and urban crime. Our antihero walks his new surrounding world terrified of change, consumed by his split personality, scare of being just a relic from the 50s which has been recurring feeling in the plot of the series since the start: He tried drugs, had sex with legions of women, all undercover. He created a perfect mask that is falling apart and is not working anymore. Dick Witman is alive and well and willing to destroy Mr Drapper for good. The redemption is always around the corner for Wittman, the problem is he likes to avoid it. The last scene was beautiful but im afraid it will be just a detour, he will come back to his usual self soon enough.
Is a great episode, the problem is it taste quite familiar: a very risky business venture, the end of a marriage , another moving trip to Dons memory lane -and his long waited meltdown scene- great but nothing surprising or new on that. What is really surprising is the way they decided to solve the season in the last minute, basically evaporating the storylines in a rush manner, a way less palatable manner of serving closure after a very controversial season, logically they had to save something for last but this way of closure is less efective than allowing a natural development during the whole season.
The episode show us the power of goodbye, the perpetual sense of abandonment of our favorite characters and some sort of metaphoric apology from the writers: Peggy is once again used and pushed away by the man of her life, Roger is totally abandoned by his daughter trying of connecting with the not-less abandoned Joan & son, Sally Drapper is totally abandoned by "the fall from grace" of her hero, Betty feel alone and miserable as result of her inability of being a good mother. Megan was quite ready to leave Don only needed a excuse to do so, she wanted to fool herself but as she said she was on the same boat with Dons children ( Sorry Megan but thats what you get from a guy with a very weird past and old enough to be your dad , why so surprised?)
I hate seeing Peggy victimized by other people's choices, she lives on that horrible apartment that Abe took, seduced by a man she really liked only to be dumped the next day like nothing, living under the ghost of her lost child and also working again on the same agency she once victoriously left.
Some storylines were poorly resolved or literally abandoned: Joans avon account development, Stan Rizzos interest for Peggy and yes : Bob Bensons agenda.
Bob is a great character but i feel the Manolo-Bob situation is very out of place, just because they promised to fully explain the origin of the connection between these two. Bob obviously knows how to manage himself around Pete. The show still have it but im afraid is like buying one of those greatest hits albums from your favorite band: is a celebration of things you liked but they are serving things and situations we already know and seen before in a different context. Im quite sure next season will be the last one, it must be because the writers are walking on circles in here. Well still gonna watch but obviously this ride is getting to an end.
Best bits :
-Stan Rizzos fashion choices are always something to watch.
-The car scene was totally amazing not because we saw what Bob is capable of, more because the funny development with the car and Petes attempts of being graciously passive agressive.
-Seeing Peggy taking the Throne at Drapers Office.
-Betty acting like a real mother and the fragility of that phone call.
-Again: Jessica Pares acting skills made me laugh, because she was so out of tone in her attempt of crying at Don that ended like an unintended comic relief. I wonder why the show runner decided to impose us so much Megan when he knows shes not the most skilled actress of the show, unless of course he wanted us to link with Pares soap opera-ish acting style to bring more dimension to Megans character. Please Megan go away for good. i dont care if u get killed,just vanish already.
-The style of storys resolution, honestly i know Draper is the main character but since his storyline is so repetitive and self absorved we end loosing some precious time with other characters we love. (yes, i said it)
-The way Don (true to his form) robbed the idea of Stan Rizzos venture, just horrid and low.
-I liked the Hersheys meeting scene a lot, it was very touching seeing Draper exposing himself that way. Sadly it felt also a bit uncalled for. Sorry but one doesnt simply release the kraken and then just walk away like that.
-I know Pete have been dealing with his mother all season but the way he took her death was more upsetting than funny (;She always liked the sea) a mother is a mother after all Pete.
-Seeing Joan simplyfied to an ;invisible partner and single mother of one is a bit unnerving, specially because she was one of the most interesting, powerful and sassiest characters in the beggining. Now shes somehow less power and influence of what she used to have. How come? Wheres the money that comes with a partnership? above all why the hell shes willing to be Bob bensons beard?
I hope the show really does have Don continue to fall off and end the series on a bad note for him, but I am sure he will get his life on track in the final season and that is why I really can't get too invested in how this episode and season ended. Solid finale, but not one of the better ones.
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