Mad Men

Season 4 Episode 13


Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Oct 17, 2010 on AMC

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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  • A good finale that didn't have bombshells like previous years, but was a compliment to the character study of who is Don Draper?

    Well, we didn't see that coming! Well, we did see some of it coming, but the tone of the episode was deliberately low key. No big historical references, no office saviors, no mind blowing pitches. The theme seemed to be fresh starts, and do we get them (no).

    The biggest fresh start was Don and Megan. Megan is practically Ms. Fresh Start, great with kids and loves him for who is "now". Little did she know she was auditioning in LA for the job of Ms. Draper, but she passed where Faye failed in the episode "Beautiful Girls". Faye knows Don too well, it turns out. Don didn't want to build a relationship with Faye with the stink of his weakness exposed to her. As Peggy's dissapointment showed through once she learned of the engagement, Don does run from people who sees him too well. Faye saw him too clearly all year, and even called that he would be married by the end of the year. She fell for him anyway, and should have known better, but Don's good looks were too much to resist I guess. (I'm not being facetious in this observation, I think Faye did fall for Don for exactly the same reasons all the other girls do on the show, he is good looking, rich and has status) Megan doesn't know a thing about him except the image he projects, and that is what Don wants. He is the guy in the suit to her, and she is Julie Andrews to him, great with kids, young and pretty and accepts him without those pesky questions. She even knew about Faye and it didn't slow her at all.

    The agency also gets a fresh start as Ken (finally! getting into the story again, he is one of my favorite characters) and Peggy land the first post Lucky Strike debacle client. Its a small account, but they landed it "their" way, through talent and work. Peggy actually shares this philosophy with Ken, as we see Ken will not use a family connection to get new business, saying he is not Pete. (A telling jab at Pete BTW) Their way is more idealistic, and we see that it doesn't aways pan out the way Peggy and Ken wants. Ken was passed up in starting the new agency for Pete and Peggy is constantly afraid that someone will bypass her for a pretty face.

    Joan and Peggy talk in the best scene of the episode, where Joan for the first time (probably) relates to Peggy's frustrations (and probably a little jealousy) over Megan landing Don. Although Peggy/Don are not sexual, Peggy does feel that all her work can be equal to or less than a women using her sexuality. Both Peggy and Ken want the only key to advancement and success to be one based on merit. However, even today, there are many keys whether they are status and connections (Pete and Roger), wealth, sex or secret keeping. Although Ken is not as fully developed as the other characters, we have seen throughout the series that he is better at his job than Pete (even though Pete has grown this season) But he is limited because he will not make his work his life like the other partners do. To Ken, this is only a job, his wife is his life. The partners probably don't punish him because his statement hits on the nose, but he is not a partner for the same reason. He will not blend work and home like they do.

    Joan didn't get an abortion (which we guessed even though Matt Weiner seems dissapointed that people caught on so fast from the tenor of an interview posted on here earlier). That is her fresh start as well. She wants a kid to give her and Greg a fresh start, and I think we know that that will not work out so well. He is paranoid enough to do the math once he gets home. And I am sure he will intuit Roger taking an abnormal interest in his child.

    Betty also wanted a fresh start, and her fresh start hasn't turned out so well either. She is the example of how we cannot change even if we get a fresh start. She is who she is, and the same personality faults from season 1 are still there, even without Don. She "accidently" bumps into Don when he comes over to show the house (she was checking her make up before he came in, she wanted to see him) and tries to reminence about the house with Don. Of course he had a hidden bottle of booze, which said alot about them and where they were while married. She is very like Don, which is the killer about the two of them. She bailed on Don rather than work through their problems and she saw his weakness, much like Don bailed on Faye once she saw him too clearly.

    Betty is again attempting a fresh start with the move, and Don tells her "you can always move again". That is Don's answer, the perpetual fresh start to run away from problems. She fires Carla the housekeeper and wants to get away from Glen, who I almost see as a weird reminder for her of Don. Glen being friends with Sally had the ring of "you were my friend first" weirdness to it. Carla lets Glen into the house which caused the firing, but it was more Carla's answer to Betty's question "when did you become their mother?" that really did it. The unspoken answer is "when you stopped being one you child!" Henry also sees he bit of more than he could chew, as he calls her out for the hyprocracy of wanting to live in that house then firing the one stable presence in the kids lives. In a meta comment, he says "no one is ever on your side Betty" which is how viewers have felt about her from day 1.

    The question at the beginning of the season was "who is Don Draper?" and the answer seems to be a guy who is always wanting to be the guy in the suit, who wants a new beginning away from his past and looking at his ugly side. Like Betty, Joan, the new firm and Roger with Jane, there are no fresh starts, all are unhappy even with a fresh start because they are the same people. But as Faye said "your only good at beginnings". Don doesn't want to put in the work to make himself better. With Faye, he would have had someone who knows his faults and accepts them. He is not ready to face his faults, even with all that happened this season. Even in California, he backs off of telling his kids the truth about him, saying Dick was a nickname. I think his new relationship will be dragged down by his baggage much like Betty's has been dragged down by hers. There are no fresh starts, even if you try to make one, we are the sum of our experiences. If that was the point of this season, it is a sobering point. As Don told Betty, if you don't like where you are at, just move, as he did this year and no one is better off. The new firm, new marriages, new clients coming in, old ones leaving and new relationships do not cure what ails you, there was alot of change this year, but the point I guess is change is just change, you can change the drapes but you still live in the house which is you.
  • Finale with breaking news, open to new, interesting developments.

    Well, first of all I was very impressed by the look Don gave to his kids and her secretary Megan when he was approaching their table in a Californian café. That look was like: "This is my ideal family, why didn't I notice before?", so when he suddenly proposed to Megan I was not that surprised, even if I thought that he would have dumped Faye and started a serious relationship with Megan.
    But. These are the 60s. And life-changing decisions were often made all of a sudden. This consideration made me understand Don's engagement.

    I never liked Faye. She was never spontaneous, as every gesture she made or every word she said was calculated. Ok, she was dumped in a very brutal way, but what a relief! Moreover she was unable to get along with Don's kids, so - even if she was a "real" adult - she couldn't be a long-term partner for Don.

    And then Don's ex-wife. Betty, in one of the last scenes, was fixing her make-up, she knew Don was coming. In her usual, childish way, since her actual husband didn't take her side in Carla's firing, she tried to impress her ex-husband with her beauty, but Don instead let her know about his engagement (and you can see on Betty's pretty face all her disappointment). Since Carla was the nanny of Don and Betty's kids since they were born, the firing highlights Betty's selfishness: she doesn't care about the kids, she just think about herself. As always.

    Peggy's success was like a side story in this episode, but she was actually saving the company. She was disappointed about the fact that her success was shadowed by Don's breaking news, but I guess that her disappointment has more than one reason. Peggy and Don's relationship is very intimate as well as very strong. I don't understand if she's in love with Don or if she wants him to be in an appropriate relationship. We know for sure that she doesn't think Megan as an appropriate fiancée for her mentor.

    I was quite sure that Joan had kept Roger's baby. Ok, maybe it was an unethical choice letting her husband believe that the baby is his, but still. These are the 60s, a single mother was unacceptable, so she didn't have many choices. Keep the baby and tell lies or get rid of the baby. Well. I think she made the best choice.

    Matthew Weiner why do you make us (us = MM's fans) suffer for 39 weeks?! I can't wait for the next season!
  • I don't normally watch mad men...

    ...have watched only 2-3 episodes across the whole 4 seasons.
    With most shows, there are good and bad episodes.
    I didn't even realize this episode was the finale of the last season when i watched 'til I came here.
    Overall. it was a pretty decent episode, lots of cheesy little (or big) dialogues though (imho).
    I'm sure many men watch this solely for the female "eye candies" and women for ... jon hamm (i believe).
    The premise is not particularly strong/different, I have to agree with some of the reviewers that this show is way too overrated for its own good.
    Now ,slightly out of the trail, can anyone please tell me who's playing megan, the secretary that don .... with? I've tried imdb and here, but no luck (she's just credited as 1 of the gazillion secretaries on imdb, with no pictures :(
    Thank You.
  • In the words of Michael Bluth... "Her?"

    As much as I really wanted to enjoy this episode, it just didn't captivate me or feel as cohesive as most Mad Men episodes, especially Mad Men finales. Overall, I've enjoyed the season but I'm not sure this was the best way to end it. Watching Don unravel this season has been painful but necessary for his growth, and when he hit rock bottom in the excellent episode "The Suitcase", he started to do what everyone wanted to see him do -- he really tried to change his ways. But as he emphasized in this episode, everybody tries, but we don't always make it. And that's kind of how I feel about this episode -- they tried but they didn't make it work as well as they could have. Peggy and Ken's storyline almost felt like an afterthought even though it was the most closely related to the fate of SCDP. Joan's story consisted of about 3 scenes and they didn't really do much except confirm she kept Roger's baby. Betty's story was a lot more of the same stuff we've seen this season. Don's story was the most cohesive and all but it really didn't turn out how I had hoped. I liked how he spent more valuable time with his kids but the rest of It left me pondering "Really? They thought that was the best direction and best place to leave it?" Personally, it frustrated me how Don dealt with Faye -- she was the most adult and supportive woman he's been with in years. And he ruined it all by cheating on her and asking Megan to marry him while she still thought they were together. We watched Don grow and become more humbled up until the last third of the season, and then, Don does it again like I'm sure everyone suspected and feared he might. He suddenly becomes infatuated with the idea of his new secretary, and it becomes painful to watch again, more so than before, as he succumbs to his new desire. It's not that his secretary isn't a good person, in fact she's great with Don's kids -- it's just that it all seems so flat. She's pretty attractive but they really don't have that visible chemistry. When the show first pointed out Don's attraction to her, in the words of Michael Bluth of Arrested Development, all I could think was, "Her?". She doesn't seem like the type of girl that would normally be on Don's radar for a "real" relationship and it seems like they both have an extremely naive view of love in the episode. And for Don to just tell her he loved her like that? It seemed out of character to me. Maybe he did feel like himself around her, like he had nothing to hide, but for Don to say (and believe it when he says it) that he loves a woman after that long? It didn't seem totally honest or real to me. All in all it felt like this season ended with an episode with too many plates spinning and not enough of a captivating focus on the characters' that makes this series fantastic. A lot of set up for next year, not as much true resolution.
  • Decent finale..

    There are two things that pop to my head after watching this finale. Number one - this season on a whole has been pretty disappointing with weak storylines barring a few. And number 2, this season started out with a aggressive idea to change or rattle things, but nothing substantial really happened. Perhaps that is what makes Mad Men - Mad Men.

    The season started out with Don trying to change, trying to carve a new identity. Trying to come out of his dark and mysterious life and become more mainstream in the 60 Ad world. He even gave a fake interview to Advertising Age. Don meets new women; although this tastes change from prostitutes to vulnerable secretaries to well educated and smart women, he for most part remains the Don who refuses to be tied down. But the finale was the tip of the iceberg. People were getting tired of him, they wanted him to choose, and he chose his pretty secretary.

    When the excitement settles around Don, there is a new version of Don in the making. Peggy, whose professional life was filled with the complexities of a woman fitting into a male dominated workplace, gets the last laugh. She single handedly closes in on a 1/4 million dollar account.

    While most characters such as Betty, Henry, Bert Cooper, Kenny, and Henry silently dwell in the background, a couple of characters have shown some growth. Pete rises to become the most important account man, while Roger is faced with a harsh reality that his only contribution to the SCDP was hiring Don Draper. Joan is still depicted as a struggling unimportant member of the team, despite holding some worthless positions that don't demand any real power or authority.

    I am surprised and at the same time not surprised that Mad Men didn't end with a bang. While we move into next season, we can still expect SCDP to hold on and be a pivotal part in June 2011. We did not get to see a lot of historical events this season other than some offhand mentions of the Vietnam war. I hope we see something good that contributes to a strong storyline. Overall it's not possible to say this was a bad season, like I love to proclaim about other TV show. This show is still a work of art, but definitely not Emmy worthy. Let's see what we have in store next season.
  • 413

    Note to January Jones: You cannot act.

    Now, onto the season finale. Mad Men did a lot right here. They took things out of the office, they livened things up, they did not have any lengthy scenes with Sally. But they did a lot of wrong things as well. A marriage proposal and corresponding engagement on the season finale? That was already cliched in 1963, when this show is set.

    It moved at a good speed though, and I was hooked from start to finish. To say it was effective would be okay, but the show has had better finales than this one.