Sunday, May 17, 2015

Mad Men Season 7 Finale (Episode 14): Person to Person

Don Draper achieved a higher consciousness....and perhaps wrote the most famous Coke commercial of all time.

Why Mad Men Episode 14 (Season 7) Worked:

  • Sally's "Mom's dying" phone call with  Don.  She was really talking to him adult to adult.  What a satisfying way to see Sally grow up (although in very sad circumstances).  
  • Don's subsequent phone call to Betty.  Finally, they have a real conversation (although I'm not sure who's going to wind up with the kids when Betty dies).
  • Roger's discussion with Joan about his will and his intention to marry Marie.  The relationship between Roger and Joan was one of the enduring joys of the series.
  • Joan's conversation with Peggy about forming a production company.  That rang true.  And Joan finally had a smile on her face.
  • Stan's "I love you" phone call with Peggy.  It was a bit trite.  But they deserve each.  
  • The phone calls.  Lots and lots of them in  this finale.  And each call was a riveting zinger.
  • The tidy packages.  Joans gets a new career and her own company.  Peggy gets her man. Pete gets a great job (but in Witchita so I guess that balances the scales). Roger gets married.....again. And Don gets enlightenment.  Great way to wrap up the show.

Why Mad Men Episode 14 (Season 7) Didn't Work:

  • Joan and Richard snorting Coke in Key West.  That came out of left field.  Is this to suggest that Joan will become an 80s coke fiend?  
  • Stephanie's relationship to Don.  It was asking a lot of the audience to remember exactly how they were connected.  

Overall Grade for Mad Men Episode 14 (Season 7): A.  Props to Matthew Weiner for bringing the seven-season run of Mad Men to a satisfying conclusion.  Don wound up on an interesting journey of self-discovery.  The only loose thread appears to be the "Buy the World a Coke" television spot which ended the show (it is one of the most famous ads of all time).  I'll interpret the show's ending to suggest that Don achieved enlightenment at the hippy dippy California retreat, went back to McCann, and wrote the commercial. (McCann Erickson did in fact have Coke as a client in the 70s). I would have liked the last shot to have been the McCann executives patting Don on the back in a meeting with Coke executives or maybe Don receiving a Clio for the ad.  But I can live with this ending.  It will certainly have people talking for as long as people talk about Mad Men.

Which is to say a long time.

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