Mad Men Mid-Season Finale Open Thread

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The mid-season finale of Mad Men‘s pointlessly halved seventh season aired on Sunday, inaugurating an equally pointless ten-month hiatus before the seven final episodes air in 2015. 2015! Do the iris-mounted GooCals on our Google Glasses even know what 2015 is? DO OUR IRIS-MOUNTED GOOCALS EVEN KNOW THAT? Anyway, let’s open thread to celebrate another perfect episode of this always perfect show. I’ve included a few questions for discussion to get the ball rolling. Zoobie, zoobie, zoo!

Mad Men Mid-Season Open Thread: Questions for Discussion

  •  Did Neil Armstrong really walk on the moon? Like, really?
  • Harry Crane was the only character on the flight to Indianapolis to recline his seat on the plane. What does this say about his smarm carnival personality? What does Harry Crane as a whole say about Matthew Weiner’s feelings about TV people?
  • Why didn’t Don Draper BANG Meredith, amiright?
  • Peggy Olsen’s dress had an amazing arc over the past three episodes. First we saw it hanging on the back of her office door, then we saw its dry cleaner wrap on the back of her office door, then we saw her discuss it with Julio, then she wore it to the pitch. What a subtle way to show how important this meeting was to her! So, how’d she look?!
  • Still don’t get why Joan is so mean to Don. Not a question.
  • What would you do if someone gave you a nipple? What is the proper gift to give in return for a nipple? Is it a nipple?
  • If the person I you relate to most on this show is Pete Campbell, what does that say about me you?
  • Lastly, what did you think of the episode’s closing musical number? What do you think of musical numbers in general? Are musical numbers just a temporary bandage on a permanent wound? Is every single thing in our meaningless lives just a temporary bandage on a permanent wound?
  • Did Neil Armstrong really walk on the moon? Like, really? Come on.

About Carmen Petaccio

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37 Responses to Mad Men Mid-Season Finale Open Thread

  1. FRQ says:

    I assume the musical number was the first sign of Don losing his marbles, which will eventually lead him to jump off of a skyscraper ala the opening credits.

    • catweazle says:

      I was thinking he had a stroke.

    • I think I’m the only person in the world who doesn’t want Don to kill himself via the opening credits. It just feels so forced and obvious. I will groan if it happens. It will be worse than the Lost finale.

      • catweazle says:

        I think it would be super dumb too but I also don’t really want Don to get a magical happy ending and I’m afraid he’s going to.

        • I don’t think he’s going to have a super happy ending. What I wouldn’t mind seeing is the suggestion of him starting a new identity, now that Don Draper is ruined. Something open-ended but imperfect. I’d be happy with an ambiguous ending to the show. The end of the 60s were such a shitshow that nobody really knew what was going to happen and I think it would be disingenuous to wrap it up in a neat bow.

        • msmessica says:

          All I want from the ending is basically an ending ripped off from Six Feet Under, where we get to just see everyone we’ve met die. We’ll be sad to see Joan’s grandkids finding her “asleep” in their favorite chair and then we’ll be whisked off to the joy of watching Harry have a massive coronory after snorting coke with a much younger starlet in a bungalow somewhere. It is the only closure. (Sidebar: Harry is the obvious choice for the first person we’ll see snorting cocaine, signaling the philosophical end of the sixties, yes? I suppose Jim Cutler might be in the running? California Pete? I feel like as we show the denouement from the sixties a coke party will be in order but there’s no way Don is getting his nose in there.)

      • I just realized: it’s totally going to be Ted. If anyone were to jump out a window right now it’s Ted.

        • FRQ says:

          I was actually thinking that it was going to be someone else that jumped, making Don realize what a shitty person he was, and now that you mention Ted that makes total sense.

    • I currently place the chances of the writers throwing any character off the top of a building at 0%.

    • Commentatrix says:

      I very much doubt they’ll revisit the suicide motif with another major character. But maybe murrrrrrrrder!

  2. catweazle says:

    I thought the musical number was incredibly stupid. I mean, good for Robert Morse that he can still sing and dance I guess but not only was the sequence completely out of place in the episode/show, but if Cooper’s ghost was really going to come back to the office he would obviously just steal everybody’s shoes so I don’t buy it.

    And the stupid thing about Joan being mad at Don is that Don is such an awful fictional human being that there are any number of legitimate reasons that she could be angry with him and they didn’t use any of them! They just threw in that line in the last episode about how he lost her some money at some point.

    • Yeah, I stopped watching the show ages ago, but even I know enough about Don to have thought, wait, why wouldn’t someone be mad at him

    • I think one of Don’t greatest traits is his ability to make everyone forget he’s a complete asshole. It’s why I have a hard time liking Betty- part of me knows Don was terrible to her but I still can’t help but like him better. (Betty is the worst)

      Also Don is really good at what he does. When you’re in the creative industry that makes your other actions excusable (to a point).

      • Marlasinger says:

        Didn’t Don fire Jaguar making Joan’s prostituting herself pointless? I thought that was why she hates him…

    • I’m always intrigued by people who read Don as an awful person or a cipher. To me, he’s not the hyper masculine, dick-swinging fantasy viewers seems to classify him as, but the emotionally damaged reality of masculinity impaired that underlies that fantasy. Anyone?

      • catweazle says:

        I don’t disagree with you but being the emotionally damaged reality of masculinity impaired that underlies that fantasy and being an awful person are not mutually exclusive.

      • Commentatrix says:

        Yeah, I’m there with you. He’s doomed to forever oscillate between the conflicting messages of what it means to be a “real man”–having the perfect family and life in the suburbs and also a lot of adventurous sex with a variety of conquests.

    • msmessica says:

      I actually liked that the money ended up being the reason. They should have been more clear about it from the beginning of the season I think, but it’s a valid reason. When he dumps Jaguar at that dinner we know that Jaguar guy is still being a total grosso, but all she knows is that Don lost the business that was making it possible for them to go public, which would have got her a million dollars. He didn’t tell her the guy was asking to sleep with her again and Don didn’t tell her. That’s like 6-9 millions dollars. I would slap somebody if they didn’t give me a good reason for losing me 6-9 million dollars.

      • Joan’s motivation for turning on Don is definitely there, but I felt that that was dictated to me instead of being shown to me. Lesson being I just want everyone to be friends again.

        • msmessica says:

          Oh, I definitely agree with that. I had forgotten until she made the comment about losing her money. They should have had more Joan trying to keep Don from the clients or something.

        • Commentatrix says:

          I think she’s been pissed at him every since he unilaterally dumped Jaguar in the last season, though. She had a great scene calling him out on it, too. They were about to go public and he ruined it. But yeah I was very disappointed with how long her grudge apparently lasted. It’s also understandable, as she is the only one of the partners for whom that money would have made a real difference.

        • Commentatrix says:

          Shit, I am basically just Donna Darkoing a bunch of monsters today. I read these things on my phone some days and the comments don’t always show up properly/at all. Sorry for my accidental redundancy, y’all!

      • marlasinger says:

        I don’t remember him asking to sleep with her again. Any idea which episode that was?

    • mydumbopiniongoeshere says:

      People have pointed out that Don had other “visions” of dead people at other points in the show, though nothing this extended and silly. I might have to watch it again, but I wasn’t happy with it. Also, I wasn’t happy with the way they announced Burt was dead, I mean didn’t they just show him watching the moon landing a minute before that? It seemed to violate the laws of TV. But maybe I’m all confused, it happens when I don’t take my vitamins.

    • Commentatrix says:

      I also got a distinct shark jumping feeling during the musical number. It just didn’t make sense to me even with the supposed explanation that it was in Don’s imagination. He’s never just had a hallucination like that for no reason. Maybe if they had gotten him to go to the dentist again…

  3. I loved the musical number at the end. I also loved everything Peggy in this episode. Great job, everyone!!!!

  4. I was so-so on this half-season until the last two episodes, which were stunning. Peggy is my spirit animal. Pete is the worst, but I actually enjoy him being the worst. The musical number was bizarre and I liked it, because Don can be emotional at the most random moments. I love what they did with the moon landing. I generally love how they incorporate historical moments into the show.

  5. flanny says:

    I haven’t watched this season because having a season pass on itunes is a super pain because it keeps trying to download the HD versions AND the SD versions, and the SD versions already take two hours to download, so why I would download both? It’s very annoying.

    However, Carmen, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Pete Campbell always reminds me of pictures I’ve seen of my dad in the 60s, so it’s very difficult for me to hate him as much as I should.

    • You can actually just buy SD versions if you want and it’s cheaper! They hide the link, but it’s there.

      • flanny says:

        Are you kidding? I could have been watching this season the whole time? *shaking my fist*

        • It’s a LOT cheaper, too (like, ten bucks), but yeah, they’re very sneaky about the links. I was almost tricked when I bought Orphan Black.

        • mydumbopiniongoeshere says:

          Yeah unless it is something that you expect to be visually stunning there is no reason to buy HD. SD looks great. (Full disclosure – I buy Mad Men in HD.)

  6. nastyemu says:

    Roger is just the best. THE BEST.

  7. marlasinger says:

    I loved the finale. I think the dance number was obviously an homage to Robert Morse’s Broadway career, but I also think the song choice is why Don was welling up. “The Best Things in Life are Free,” made me think that he was giving him a message that Don didn’t get until that moment. But then again, Don did give a big speech to Ted a few minutes earlier about how all he really wanted to do was create art…maybe the song was meant to validate Don’s current choices? I love this damned show. Weiner, God bless ya.

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