MAD MEN season finale: “Shut the Door. Have a Seat”
Read on for my recap and review of the season three finale of Mad Men, aired November 8th, 2009:
Anyone who is reading this knows that Mad Men is quality television, but in my opinion the third season has really proved it to be the best show on TV. These last few episodes, ever since Betty found out about Don’s secret, have just been breathtaking—causing me to literally take in my breath for a dangerous amount of time. Never has a show more completely shattered the usual expectations and tropes of the genre. Every time I think I know what to expect, the show shocks me. The third season finale was the culmination of this, and left us with a Mad Men that is radically different from the one we first started watching in season one. In the past, if I would have had to describe Mad Men to people unlucky enough to have never watched, I might have said that it is a show about ad men in the early 1960s working at a Manhattan firm, Sterling Cooper, and that the show centers on Don Draper and his family. I might have said that while Don and his wife Betty seem like the perfect couple, in fact Don is really hiding a big secret about his identity, and Betty is consciously oblivious to every aspect of her life that is not perfect—eternally clueless about Don’s affairs and secrets. None of that is true anymore. The show and its characters have radically shifted. If it was any other show, or these changes were not so well-written, I would be nervous—but it’s Mad Men, and the journey has been told so well that I’m not worried at all. Instead, I’m excited to see where the show will take these characters, who have grown so much, in the future. But on to the recap:
The episode opens on Don, waking up in Gene’s room. Yes, things between him and Betty are not improving—there is no magical relationship Band-Aid for those two, so get used to it. I recommend that you read Matthew Weiner’s words on that subject, in addition to other insights he provides, in an interview by Jace Lacob for The Daily Beast. Don goes to meets with Conrad Hilton, who drops a bomb shell. Connie tells Don that he was at McCann-Erickson that morning, and effective January 1st they’re buying Putnam, Powell, and Lowe (the British company that owns Sterling Cooper, and henceforth referred to as PPL). Hilton explains that he will have to move his New York properties elsewhere, and that Don is losing his business. With McCann-Erickson in charge, who knows what will become of Sterling Cooper. Hilton guesses where this will leave the partners: “Sterling, I don’t know. Cooper will be put on an ice float. But you’re a prize pig.” I don’t think Don sees that description as a compliment, and Don continues the metaphor by calling McCann a “sausage factory.” Connie says that this happens all the time, and that it’s business—this is when I first started making The Godfather comparisons, and then my mind wouldn’t stop making the connections. Don blames Connie, as he is now stuck because he had to sign a contract in order to gain the Hilton account. Connie turns it back on Don: “You know, I got everything I have on my own. It’s made me immune to those who complain and cry because they can’t. I didn’t take you for one of them, Don. Are you?” Don is somewhat chastened, or at least appears to be, and they shake hands. Of course a lot more is going on in Don’s head at that moment, which we find out later. Connie: “Some other time we’ll try again. Have a nice holiday.” But don’t worry—Don will not go so gracefully into the night.
Don leaves and goes to Sterling Cooper. As he walks in, he sees the secretaries busy at work, and he flashes back to his boyhood past. Little Dick Whitman watches as his dad meets with other farmers, who are all dealing with tough economic times. One of the farmers says that they’re all in this together. Dick’s dad disagrees, and says that now everyone is on his own, and orders them all out. On first viewing, the significance of this scene escaped me, but after seeing the rest of the episode, it is clear why Don is remembering this event at this specific time. The farmers, led by Don’s dad, all went their own way, and failed, but Don is going to be smarter, and work with his colleagues at Sterling Cooper in order to succeed. Ultimately, Don is going to prove himself to be a better and less selfish man than his father, and thus remind me why I thought his character was so compelling once upon a time. But more on that later.
Don goes to Bert Cooper and tells him about the sale. Bert is not wholly surprised. He didn’t know about the sale, but he’s been around the block a few times, so it makes sense. Don asks him what they should do. Bert is less than helpful: “There’s nothing to do. I have a contract, you have a contract, Roger has a contract.” Don can’t believe that’s it, and wants Bert to do something about it. In fact, he wants them to buy the company back. Bert notes: “Young men love risks because they can’t imagine the consequences.” Don has the best come back ever: “And you old men love building golden tombs and sealing the rest of us in with you.” Burn. Bert asks Don why he cares, and I couldn’t help wondering too. Don’t get me wrong—I’m thrilled that Don cares about this—but I was somewhat surprised by the passion of Don’s response. Don: “Because I’m sick of being batted around like a ping pong ball. Who the hell is in charge? A bunch of accountants trying to make $1 into $1.10? I want to work. I want to build something of my own. How do you not understand that? You did it yourself 40 years ago.” Good answer, Don. There’s hope for you yet. Bert isn’t sure if Don has the stomach for the realities, but Don is not swayed: “Try me.” Bert asks if Hilton told him when, and Don says New Year’s. Bert says that they have to talk to Roger, because of American Tobacco and accounts and blah blah blah. Don is hesitant, because he and Roger totally broke up when he married Jane, but Bert says it’s necessary. Thank goodness for Bert.
Bert and Don go to Roger, who is just getting off the phone with his wife, who’s apparently obsessed with the assassination. They tell him about McCann buying PPL, and that it is absorbing Sterling Cooper along with it. Roger’s reaction? ”Christ. From one John’s bed to the next. What a joke.” Bert explains to his partner that he and Don have been discussing the idea that they buy the company back. Roger: “Really. Why?” Ha! Don: “Because we don’t want to have to go to McCann.” Oh, c’mon Don, you can do better than that. Roger is not going to let Don off the hook easily: “And now you’re sniffing around because I have a golden pork chop dangling from my neck.” I’m assuming that the pork chop is a euphemism for Lucky Strike. Don says that it’s more than that. Bert throws the divorce settlement in his face, which Roger does not appreciate: “Oh here we go. This is your pitch? Well move along.” Again, I live for Roger’s lines. Roger is still upset with Don for undervaluing him: “You don’t value what I do anymore than they do.” Don: “I was wrong.” I love to see Don apologizing, and he does that a lot in this episode, so it’s lots of fun. Roger takes the opportunity to dig at Don, and speak the truth: “You’re not good at relationships because you don’t value them.” Truer words have never been spoken, but Don has learned his lesson, now that he’s lost his family, and is possibly losing the only other thing that means anything to him. Don assures Roger, “I do now.” I hope so. Roger is a bit dubious, and says that he doesn’t mind being useless, as there’s a deck chair with his name on it. Bert uses reverse psychology, and also hints that retirement leads to death. Roger: “Join or die? Jesus Bert, he was doing better.” Ha! OK, I laughed at that line all three times I watched the episode, and while I was writing this episode. Roger can never die or leave this show, OK Matthew Weiner? Thanks. Bert: “You know it’s true.” Roger: “You’re still going to outlive me.” Ha! But they better both outlive the show. Don: “We have to try.” Wow, I love how earnest Don is in this episode, and it only gets better as things go on. Roger: “So you do want to be in advertising after all.” Exactly. Don has finally figured out what he wants to do with his life, and it’s what he was already doing. It took a lot to stop him from treading water, but Don is finally growing as a character. I couldn’t be happier with this development.
Cut to the Draper home, where the kids are watching TV, as usual. Not that I have anything against TV, obviously. Betty tells them to go upstairs when Don comes home. Don hilariously interjects: “Do you want me to go too?” Hehe. Betty tells him to sit down, as she is not amused. She says that she made an appointment with a divorce attorney, and he should too. Don doesn’t think that it’s necessary, as he is still in denial. Betty: “I want to be civilized about this. Please don’t act surprised.” Wow, Betty is hard core. Once again, I am impressed with how take-charge she has been in this situation, ever since she found out about Don’s lie. Don makes a bad move and pulls the crazy card: “You haven’t been yourself. Maybe you need to see a doctor. A good one this time.” Shut up, Don. Betty echoes my sentiments: “Because I would have to be sick to want out of this?” Don doesn’t give up: “You’ve had a tough couple of weeks. We all have.” Betty corrects him: “I’ve had a tough year. I felt I should tell you rather than just let you get a phone call from work.” Don moves from denial to anger: “Forget it. I’m not going to let you break up this family.” Betty: “I didn’t break up this family.” The scene closes on Don’s pensive face.
Later, at Sterling Cooper, Lane Pryce enters Bert’s office, to meet with Bert, Roger, and Don. The Americans tell Lane that they know McCann-Erickson bought PPL. Lane lies. Roger: “Lane, we’ve worked next to each other for a year. Don’t act like a stranger. We’ve got tea.” Ha! It’s all in the delivery—so perfect. Lane relents, but says that the information isn’t entirely correct—only Sterling Cooper is being sold, not PPL (or so he thinks). Bert tells him that they want to buy back the company—at the purchase price plus 12%. Lane says that it’s worth more than that. He apologizes and says that it wasn’t his decision: “I quite enjoyed it here.” At least his wife will be happy—or at least she would have been if events didn’t unfold as they did later. Roger tries to see the silver lining: “They’ve only have me for a year, and you (Don) for three. We’ll make another run at it.” Don’t worry, readers, it doesn’t end so disappointingly.
Meanwhile, Betty and Henry see a divorce lawyer. The lawyer explains that abandonment, insanity, and adultery are the only grounds for divorce in New York. Betty says that Don has been unfaithful, but the attorney points out that it doesn’t matter when both parties are at fault. Betty is very uncomfortable at this assumption, as she and Henry have not had sex—she doesn’t bring up her anonymous encounter with Captain Awesome though. Henry sets the record straight, but it’s unclear whether the attorney believes him. Attorney explains their options: “I know it’s hard to understand, but the state of New York doesn’t want anyone to get divorced. That’s why people go to Reno. It’s painless. I met my second wife.” Ha! He further explains: “You stay there for six weeks to establish residency. Mr. Draper doesn’t even have to go, just consent.” This will be important later. He also says that they need to discuss settlement. Betty says that she wants what she’s entitled to, but Henry steps in and says she doesn’t need what Don can provide. Betty points out that she has three children, but Henry is insistent, saying that he’ll take care of her, and that he doesn’t want her owing Don anything. Henry tells the lawyer: “We want to get this done as soon as possible.” What’s the rush?
Back at Sterling Cooper, Lane Pryce calls the British boss, St. John Powell (yes, his first name is really St. John), the one who played Mr. Sheffield on The Nanny, and fills him in on the Americans’ concerns. It turns out that Hilton was correct, and Lane was wrong: PPL is being sold to McCann as well. Lane wonders why he wasn’t told, and asks, “Well where’s my place in this?” St. John is not terribly sympathetic: “With McCann, I suppose. There, there, Lane.” Lane is upset, but St. John rather dispassionately replies: “Lane, don’t be disheartened. I’ll put in a good word for you.” Methinks St. John will regret this lack of concern later—and I’m right.
Cut to Don in Gene’s room, where he watches Sally as she sleeps. Then the scene fades into a flashback. Dick’s dad and step-mom fight about money—they could lose the farm, and things are really bad. Step-mom: “We got nothing, and we’re about to have less.” Dick’s dad says, “Fine. I’ll sell. I’ll sell my crop for nothing. Dick, I’ll drive it to Chicago tonight.” His wife says that he’s drunk, and she’s not wrong. As the dad leaves to attempt to drive somewhere to sell his farm, his wife tells young Dick to go with his dad, as he can barely stand. Father and son both go out to the stable, where Dick takes a drink from his dad’s booze jar. When the little boy is looking away, the horse suddenly kicks his dad, and I’m pretty sure that’s how he died. Sad. Also, pretty harsh for poor Dick to have witnessed that. We cut back to the present, where Sally is still sleeping peacefully. Don crawls into bed next to her and goes to sleep.
The next morning, Don meets with Lane, Roger, and Bert. Don wants to go directly to McCann, and asks Lane to find out the price of Sterling Cooper and let them know. Lane says he can’t do that. Roger lectures Don for drinking: “Have another. It’s 9:30 for god’s sake.” Wow, Roger really is a changed man. Don suddenly comes up with a new idea. He tells Lane: “You have absolute authority to fire anyone. Fire us. Sever our contracts. Let us go.” Roger: “Can you do that?” Lane: “Why should I?” They explain that the sale will not be good for him, so he should throw his lot in with them. Lane is not so sure: “Nothing good ever came from seeking revenge.” Bert: “Nonsense, we’ll make you a partner.” Ha! I love Bert. Lane says that it should be worth more. Roger is hesitant, but Don and Bert are all for negotiating. Lane says that it could be done, but they would need accounts. Roger reminds him that they have Lucky Strike (I’m still mad at stupid Lucky Strike for taking Sal away from us, but OK), which is worth $24 million. Roger asks about Hilton, but Don says no. Lane wonders if they can get any other accounts, which hints to us that Pete will be soon approached. Finally, he says he could fire them without it being noticed until Monday, so they have today and the weekend to “obtain” the accounts and a skeleton staff. Don: “Obtain? We have to steal everything.” Hehe. This should be fun. Lane points out that everyone approached must be handled with secrecy. Don: “Do we vote or something?” They all raise their hands, and that moment just filled me with hope and exhilaration. This is definitely the start of something new and exciting. Lane: “Well, gentlemen. I suppose you’re fired.” Roger is not about to let anyone else have the last word: “Well, it’s official. Friday, December 13, 1963. Four guys cut their own legs off.” The men leave Don’s office, and Don tells his secretary to call Pete—apparently Pete is out sick, an excuse which I do not for one moment believe.
Next, Peggy is ordered in by Don. She is a little nervous, and tells him: “I know we have to roll out Western Union by New Year’s. I don’t have art. There’s no one there.” Don tells her that they’re selling the company, and he’s starting a new agency. He then proceeds to tell her to be in the office on Saturday, and gives her a list of assignments. He is kind of an ass about it. Peggy asks, “Who else is going?” Don: “Why do you need to know that?” Peggy: “Because it’s important.” Don: “Well, I can’t tell you. Peggy, we are being bought by McCann. Do you know what that means?” Peggy is not happy with Don’s treatment of her: “You just assume I’ll do whatever you say. Just follow you, like some nervous poodle.” Don: “I’m not going to beg you.” Peggy points out the obvious: “Beg me? You didn’t even asked me.” Don: “Fine, I’m asking.” Peggy stands up for herself: “I’ve had other offers, you know. That came with a sales pitch about opportunity. Everyone thinks you do all my work. Even you. I don’t want to make a career out of being there so you can kick me when you fail.” Ooh, good one, Peggy. Don misses the point: “I guess I’ll have to talk to Curt and Smitty.” Peggy: “I guess so.” Wow, what a scene. I would call it the best scene of the episode, except that Peggy and Don’s later scene is even better.
Later, Trudy anxiously prepares for Roger and Don’s arrival. We learn that Pete is not ill, but called in sick because he had an interview, thus he is hurriedly trying to make himself look sick. Hehe. Roger and Don arrive, and Trudy goes in the other room to give the three men privacy. Pete: “Is everything ok?” Roger tells him about McCann buying PPL. Don also assures Pete, “We’re not firing you.” Pete is not assuaged: “Oh. Am I getting a few more adjectives added to my title? Don’t bother, I have other plans.” Ha! Trudy calls in from the other room, as a warning signal for his temper. Ha! Roger: “Pete, we’re starting a new agency. We’re here to talk to you about joining us.” Pete is shocked that Sterling Cooper/ PPL is letting them go. Roger tells him that they’re taking Lucky Strike, and they need more money/ accounts. He asks if Pete has anything else in his saddle bags—i.e. any accounts that he can hold on to. Don says that he doesn’t blame Pete for bailing out (a lie, as we learn later). Don and Roger also say that they haven’t spoken to Ken yet. Smart move to go for the one unhappy with the company, rather than the one promoted due to the Brits. Roger says that they want his accounts, but also his talents. Pete wants to hear what his talents are, from Don. Don: “It’s not hard for me to say, Pete. You saw this coming, we didn’t. In fact, you’ve been ahead on a lot of things. Aeronautics, teenagers, the negro market. We need you to keep us looking forward. I do anyway.” Pete: “I want to be partner and I want my name in the lobby.” Don: “There’s not going to be a lobby.” Hee. Pete names his accounts: “North American Aviation, Seacore Laxatives, Gillette, Jai Lai, maybe Pampers. That’s close to $8 million already. I don’t think you get conditions.” Don: “We’ll make you a partner if you can deliver by Sunday. We’ll leave the name in the title as a goal. If that works for you.” Pete: “I’d like to say I’ll think about it, but I don’t think that’s an option is it?” Pete holds out his hand and they hesitate, but he tells them that he’s not really sick. Ha! So many little moments of humor in this episode. Roger and Don welcome Pete aboard. Pete: “What if I come up short?” Don: “It’s not an option.” It’s fascinating to see how far the relationship between Don and Pete has come—what a change. When the other men are gone, Pete gets busy, and tells Trudy to call someone, and to sound like a secretary. They kiss.
Cut to Don and Roger sitting at a bar. I missed scenes between the two of them, one-on-one. Roger: “I can’t believe he was going to leave. The little shit.” Hehe. Roger notices a picture of Kennedy still up, which is a nice little bit of continuity. Don tells Roger that he needs an attorney for his divorce. Roger says, “So it’s true?” Don is shocked that Roger knows anything about it, and asks to what Roger is referring. Roger: “Henry Francis.” Don tells him to tell him what he knows. Roger explains that Margaret is friends with his daughter (as we learned at the wedding), and that it seems serious. Don asks if they’re sleeping together, but Roger doesn’t know. Roger feels terrible, and explains that he thought Don knew. Roger apologizes repeatedly. Uh oh.
Don goes home to Betty sleeping and wakes her up rather roughly. He yells: “Who the hell is Henry Francis?” Betty: “No one.” Don grabs her: “Who the hell is he?” Betty: “Why do you care?” Don: “Because you’re good, and everyone else in the world is bad.” She tells him that he’s drunk. Don: “You’re so hurt, so brave, with your little white nose in the air. All along you’ve been building a life raft.” Betty: “Get out.” Don: “You never forgave me.” Betty: “Forgave what? That I’ve never being enough?” Don: “You got everything you ever wanted, everything, and you loved it. And now I’m not good enough for some spoiled Main Line brat.” I’m not so sure that Betty got everything she ever wanted, as Don really doesn’t know what that is—I don’t think even Betty knows what she really wants. Betty: “That’s right.” Don: “You won’t get a nickel. I’ll take the kids. God knows they’ll be better off. “ Betty stands up for herself: “I’m going to Reno, and you’re going to consent, and that’s the end of that. Don’t threaten me, I know all about you.” Ooh, blackmail. Don then crosses the line: “You’re a whore. You know that.” What does that make him? Damn double standards. He’s also pretty rough with her in this scene—he doesn’t hit her though. The baby cries and Betty picks him up. When she turns around she tells him that she wants him out of the house. To Don’s credit, he obliges.
The next morning, Pete holds the elevator for Harry at Sterling Cooper. They have a hilarious conversation fueled by missing information. Pete: “Called you in too?” Harry: “Yes they did. I’ll admit it, I’m a little scared.” Pete: “Why?” Harry: “I don’t know. Cooper called me.” Pete realizes at that point that Harry doesn’t know, and silence ensues. When they get off the elevator, Pete loudly announces, “Harry Crane is here” for the benefit of the rest of the secret group. Ha! Roger and Bert fill Harry in, and tell him that they want him to be their new head of media. Harry wants to call his wife to discuss it, but Bert informs him that this matter is secret and time sensitive. He also points out that if Harry chooses to stay with McCann “we’ll have to lock you in the store room until morning.” Awesome. Pryce points out that no one knows how this office works, and I immediately thought of Joan. Roger says that he needs to make a phone call, so we knew he was thinking that too. The others ask where Don is.
Cut to Don at home, with Betty and the kids, in the living room. Betty tells the kids that their father is going to be moving out. “We’ll still be living here, but he’ll come to visit.” The kids wonder why he’s going. Don says that it will just be temporary. I think Betty would disagree. The kids bring up when he stayed at the hotel (after Betty found out about his affair). Betty pointedly says that it will be different this time. Bobby asks if it’s because he lost his dad’s cuff links. Sad. Don sets him straight, and explains, “I love you both, but you know that.” Bobby: “Then why are you going?” Don: “I’m not going, I’m just living elsewhere.” Weak. Sally gets upset, and is very sweet and heartbreaking in her grief about this development. She tells Don to go away. Betty is rather teary-eyed in the background, which I think is important to note—she is not as cold as we often think. They wonder if Don will be home for Christmas, and Betty tells them: “You’ll get to have two Christmases.” Sally: “I only want one.” Then she addresses her mother: “Did you make him leave?” Betty says no. Sally: “You made him sleep in Gene’s room and it’s scary in there.” She storms off, but Bobby hugs his dad. Don: “Nobody wants to do this, but I need you to be a big boy.” I thought this was a very well done scene, showing the consequences for the children, which had previously barely been hinted at. It really humanized both Betty and Don, and increased the stakes for them in getting along. I think this encounter also made Don a bit more sensitive to the feelings of others, as we will witness in the next scene.
Later, Don goes to see Peggy in her apartment. She tells him that he looks awful, and seems to get some satisfaction from that. Hehe. Peggy invites him in, and asks him if he wants anything. Don replies: “Yes I do. You were right. I’ve taken you for granted, and I’ve been hard on you. But only because I think I see you as an extension of myself, and you’re not.” Peggy is not so easily mollified: “Well, thank you for stopping by.” Don asks her to sit down, and asks, “Do you know why I don’t want to go to McCann?” Peggy: “Because you can’t work for anyone else?” Don: “No. Because there are people out there who buy things—people like you and me. But then something happened, something terrible. And the way that they saw themselves is gone. And nobody understands that. But you do. And that’s very valuable.” Peggy: “Is it?” Don: “With you or without you, I’m moving on, and I don’t know if I can do it alone. Will you help me?” Peggy is teary-eyed at this point: “What if I say no? You’ll never speak to me again.” Elizabeth Moss is really exhibited the most emotion we’ve ever seen from her. Don: “Nope. No. I will spend the rest of my life trying to hire you.” Wow. Wow. Wow. What a line, what a sentiment. I love Don Draper again, and my love for this show just shot through the roof.
Speaking of love, Joan waltzes into Sterling Cooper. Roger: “Mrs. Harris, what a pleasure to see you.” Yes, Roger totally called Joan, because she’s the only one who knows where everything is, and how everything works. Bert is happy. Following behind her, Don and Peggy come in. Don sees the red head and comments, “Joan, what a good idea.” So true. Joan is always a good idea. Now if only we had Sal back, we would really be complete. Pete reports on which clients he was able to bring with him: Clearasil, American Aeronautics, etc. Joan wants to start in the art department, but Harry says that it’s locked. Don solves this problem by kicking in the door, which has got to be my other favorite part of the episode. It was symbolic, and it was also just nice to see some physicality from Don.
Later, when they are all working on various assignments, Roger comments: “Joannie, I can’t read your writing.” Joan answers in a quintessential Joan fashion: “It’s perfectly clear: ‘correspondents.’” Roger: “I’m tired. Peggy, can you get me some coffee?” Peggy: “No.” Ha! OK, I know I have a million favorite parts of this episode, but that is definitely up there. Go Peggy! When they all get ready to leave Sterling Cooper, Don tells Joan that he’s at the Roosevelt and asks if she can find him an apartment. She says sorry. Aw, I like that she not only understand what that means, but that she’s sensitive. When she and the others leave, Roger and Don remain behind, and look at the office one last time. Roger: “How long do you think it will take us to be in a place like this again?” Don: “I never say myself working in a place like this.” I think that is particularly telling. Don is about to lock door, but Roger says don’t bother. See, Roger always likes to get the last word.
Monday morning, Don’s secretary comes in to an empty office, and screams that they’ve been robbed. Meanwhile Lane picks up a phone call from St. John, who wonders what’s going on there. Lane points out that it should be clear, so St. John yells at him and fires him. Lane: “Very good. Happy Christmas.” Ha! He hangs up phone, and tells Money Penny: “Mr. Hooker, I’ve been sacked.” Well played, Lane. Well played.
Meanwhile, Joan manages things at the new Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce headquarters, temporarily in a hotel. She tells them that “No one is to come into this office.” Presumably because it would be embarrassing. The phone rings, and they are all excited for their first client. Joan: “Good morning. Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. How may I help you? [Pause, and in an exasperated voice] Yes Harry, it’s room 435.” Priceless.
Back at Sterling Cooper, Don’s secretary cries. Ken reports one of the clients gone, whom Pete tried to poach. Then the guys realize that Pete is gone too. Kinsey is not happy, and seems to regret not being chosen for the move. I wonder if he will end up joining the new company, or whether they will even want him.
Meanwhile, at the new hotel office, Trudy brings in food. Peggy is there, so I feel awkward on her behalf. Don goes into the bedroom and calls Betty: “It’s me. I’m not sure where I’m staying right now, but I’ll be working out of the Pierre.” Betty: “OK.” They are on much more civil terms. Don: “Listen Betts, I want you to know that I’m not going to fight you.” Betty: “Thank you.” Don: “I hope you get what you always wanted.” Betty assures him, “You will always be their father.” They say their goodbyes. Don returns to group, where there is an air of happiness and busyness. It’s very refreshing.
Cut to Betty on an airplane with baby Gene and Henry, presumably going to Reno. I guess the divorce is really happening. So Betty is leaving Sally and Bobby for six weeks? Cut to Carla with Sally and Bobby. At least Carla takes good care of them.
Then we cut to Don, as he unloads suitcases and goes to his new apartment. The ending music plays, “Shahdaroba” by Roy Orbison (see the video below), and I am left thinking that the episode was over too soon. Season three of Mad Men is over, and when it returns it will have to redefine itself. Farewell Sterling Cooper. Farewell Drapers as one “happy” family. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
What did you think of the episode? Reactions? Questions? Comment below.