Here’s Where All the Characters on Mad Men Ended Up in the Finale

18 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Mad Men’ series finale recap: Don Draper comeback hinted in sunny ending.

Based on all the foreshadowing in the previous seven episodes, and for most of Sunday’s episode, it was more surprising that creator Matthew Weiner let Don Draper survive than it would have been if things had gone much darker. As “Mad Men” closes its accounts for the last time, AMC and Film Independent found a unique way to celebrate the Madison Avenue period drama that fans have loved (and sometimes mocked) for seven seasons: Invite Jason Reitman to direct a stage reading of one of the show’s most iconic episodes.The series finale of AMC’s “Mad Men” ended with a twist few fans saw coming: did Don Draper, wandering aimlessly across the country in search of happiness, stumble upon the inspiration for Coca Cola’s iconic ‘Hilltop’ ad? This incomparable drama set in the 1960s New York advertising world concluded its seven-season run Sunday night on AMC with a resolution that rang true to its spirit and likely left its devotees satisfied, even as they bade it farewell with regret. “A lot has happened,” Don Draper (series star Jon Hamm) tells Stephanie, a damaged young woman from his past, after his wayward odyssey from New York finally brings him to her doorstep in Los Angeles.

Over the phone, Sally (Kiernan Shipka) emotionally emancipated herself from her father Don (Jon Hamm); Joan (Christina Hendricks) lost a relationship but found a passion; Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) realized love; and Don finally reached rock bottom. “There are a lot of better places than here,” she says, and in this final episode, we’re going to get a lot of reminders like that of Don’s constant appetite for anything better than what he has. Though the writers didn’t make it explicit, there was at least a suggestion that Don, whose days as a brilliant ad man seemed far behind him, got the idea from a spiritual retreat in California. Kevin Pollack, shoes in hand, appeared on stage to read the part of Bert Cooper (played by Robert Morse on the show) while Colin Hanks — who actually appeared in season two of the show — came with a drink in hand to play Jon Hamm’s boozing Don Draper.

She intends for them to live with her brother and his wife. “Please don’t let your pride interfere with my wishes,” she said coolly. “I want to keep things as normal as possible. The episode was also a good choice to set up the screening of the series finale that followed, especially for the character of Betty Draper (January Jones) and her backstory with her sick mother. And your not being here is part of that.” “Mad Men” traced Draper’s journey through the 1960s in his identity as a successful, charismatic but tormented ad man. What we do know is that in reality the “Hilltop” ad, also known by the song “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke,” was the brainchild of Bill Backer, creative director on the Coca-Cola account for McCann Erickson (which happens to be the ad giant that bought Mr. Dick Whitman reinvented himself as Don Draper and took that character as far as he could go. “I broke all my vows, scandalized my child, took another man’s name, and made nothing of it,” Don tells Peggy on the phone from Esalen.

Backer was flying to London to meet colleagues in order to write some radio commercials that would be recorded by the New Seekers, a British pop group. Peggy had told Don he could come home and get his job back, even though the executives at McCann are furious with him. “Don’t you want to work on Coca-Cola?” Peggy asks, a hint of what might come.

Some have grumbled about Don’s marriage to former secretary Megan (Jessica Pare) as having undercut the story, but it was really more about struggling to reflect the increasingly groovy world in which the program existed. Peggy’s conversations with Don, where she became the grownup, and with Stan, when she surprised herself by admitting she loved him, were perfect Peggy. Whatever the cause, it’s hard to think of many moments in recent seasons that rival a favorite from the early going, when the Kodak carousel was pitched to the client as having the attributes of a time machine. And when Don doesn’t return to New York, if only to be with his three soon-to-be motherless children, it’s hard not to get frustrated with the ad guy.

Backer saw passengers exchanging stories and getting along while sharing Cokes. “[I] began to see a bottle of Coca-Cola as more than a drink that refreshed a hundred million people a day in almost every corner of the globe,” Mr. I’m not man you think I am.”—but though it seems for a moment that he might kill himself, Don knows that reinvention is just a question of will.

Backer wrote. “So that was the basic idea: to see Coke not as it was originally designed to be — a liquid refresher — but as a tiny bit of commonality between all peoples, a universally liked formula that would help to keep them company for a few minutes.” Mr. The final episode begins with Don about two-thirds through the cross-country journey that began when he walked out a meeting about Miller Lite two episodes earlier. Ferguson), her art-director colleague with whom she has worked and bickered for years, finally realize what every viewer has long suspected: They’re in love.

Indeed, the decision by Don Draper (Jon Hamm, splendid throughout the run, but even more impressive in the finale) to drop out of life – abandoning his coworkers, toiling under the oppressive stewardship of McCann-Erickson – added a degree of difficulty dramatically speaking to the entire episode. To their credit, the actors got the most out of those exchanges, and when Betty dryly said in regard to Don not taking custody of his children, “This way you see them exactly as much as you do now,” it had the impact of a punch to the stomach. As for the idea of putting a group of 500 young people from around the world on a hill in Italy to sing the tune in unison, that came from art director Harvey Gabor. Still, Don’s whole sojourn to California and the commune, while building toward the payoff ad, felt as frustrating during the episode as much of what has recently preceded it. These days, the company’s chief executive describes the macroeconomic climate as challenging, with weak sales in key foreign markets like Europe, China and Mexico contributing to the company missing its annual profit target last year for the first time in several years.

From its premiere in the summer of 2007 to its protracted final season in 2014 and 2015, Mad Men has argued with conviction that you can create your own future. On one level, creating a legendary ad would be a stunning turn for a character who was coming off a bizarre stretch that involved confessional drinking with war veterans, auto repairs, the latest of many meaningless hookups, and sitting paralyzed by a payphone. That said, a contingent of the audience doubtless came to this primarily wanting to feel as if they had seen Don’s entire journey, and on that score, the final shot risks being as divisive as Tony and his family sitting in that diner.

And given the reams of scholarly analysis the program has already generated — a cultural footprint that went well beyond its ratings — leaving something to the imagination has an element of poetry to it, even if it reads like a haiku. AMC has promoted this last season as “The End of an Era,” a slogan fraught with meaning, inasmuch as the show helped transform the network, thus paving the way for “Breaking Bad” (a more fully realized and consistently executed series), “The Walking Dead” and the other prestige dramas that followed it. I can’t speak for them, but I know I don’t love him for sucking up time in the last episode of “Mad Men.” Cut to a final montage of our cast: Pete and Trudy board a private plane to Kansas; Joan is running a bustling business out of her home; Roger is happy with Marie (Julia Ormond); Sally is washing the dishes while Betty sits and smokes; Peggy is working with Stan by her side. Finally in a good relationship, Peggy turns down Joan, who starts the company anyway, calling it Holloway Harris, a combination of her middle and married names.

It’s a triumphant moment, but comes at a cost: Her boyfriend Richard, who just wants to settle down into retirement with her, snorting cocaine in Key West and buying a house “in the mountains,” decides to walk instead of supporting Joan. Before any of that, Roger pays Joan a visit to say that he wants to leave part of his estate for Kevin, their child who everyone else thinks was born to Joan’s ex-husband Greg. Taking all that into account, the finale wasn’t bad, but like much surrounding “Mad Men” these last few seasons, it felt – in a somewhat exasperating manner – like less than it might have been. That mirrors another exchange in the episode between Pete and Peggy, who had a child together all the way back in season one. “Some day people are going to brag that they worked with you,” Pete tells Peggy, which is perhaps the nicest thing Pete has ever said.

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