Trendy TV Report: Mad Men Delivers an Opulent Finale

 

The die has been cast for the man of many faces who has been running a marathon for all of his life, trying to escape the traumatic entanglements of his past. But Don Draper, played to perfection by Jon Hamm, is fast approaching the finish line, and he is taking all the players with him.

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The finale this past Sunday hit home – HARD. Almost everyone had a turn on the Ferris wheel of redemption using tickets earned from accrued devilry.

Peggy and Ted finally gave in to the sexual tension that had been building up all season but predictably, this tryst was destined to be a one time special. Ted wracked with guilt and desperate to restore some sense of dignity to an otherwise flailing situation, declares his love for Peggy and in the same breath announces his move to California. Once again Peggy relies on her demanding career to provide the sense of comfort and security that no man has yet been able to sufficiently provide. At least some things never change.

But change seems to be knocking on Pete Campbell’s door, not only did we see him grapple with the dramatically unnerving loss of his mother (the jury is still out on that one!) he also managed to possibly make the best decision of his life by throwing in the towel at the agency and heading West. Leaving behind his broken career and disintegrated family – second chances do happen after all!

We are definitely banking on it for Don’s sake – the twists and turns that dictated his ride this season left us utterly mesmerized as we watched him become systematically unglued as he drowned himself in liquor to wash away the image of his daughter Sally catching him in the act with a stranger and visions of his ominous childhood. It was only a matter of time before Don’s carefully constructed shell would crack, but geez, we never expected this much debris – from his drunken night in jail after punching a priest who tried to deliver the obviously withered spirit from evil to his cathartic delivery during a heightened pitch for Hershey’s which takes an unexpected detour that leaves everyone present stunned and impressionably enabled.

Don spared no expense as he lifted the veil and exposed his deepest darkest secret without hesitation or censorship.

His newfound vulnerability bought him his freedom from the shackles of self-imprisonment and also initiated his indefinite mandatory time off from SC&P. Perhaps that move to California with Megan would have been the perfect antidote for a life that had been consistently pummeled with a series of unacquainted fulfillment. Megan was all for it! She quit her acting gig and was prepared to pursue the life she always knew she deserved with the man that she helplessly loved.

But Don Draper is certainly not an easy man to love, and after she receives the news that their proposed move to La La land has been postponed she storms out signaling that this marriage is headed for an unknown destination.

This pretty much sums up the disposition of the show, as we will no doubt spend the next year pondering what will happen next.

One thing is for sure – The Emmy’s won’t be able to ignore the inevitable.